... and chose to suffer with the people of God rather than to enjoy the short-lived pleasure of sin. Hebrews 11:25 (HCSB)
Affliction is a funny thing, isn’t it? Affliction as defined by the dictionary as pain or suffering, or something that causes pain or suffering. As I was reading from the book of classic Puritan Prayers called Valley of Vision this week, a line struck with me, and I have been contemplating on it heavily. The writer states “May I with Moses choose affliction rather than enjoy the pleasures of sin.”
This statement was referring to Hebrews 11:25, where the author explains to us that Moses, as our example, chose to be faithful and obedient to God rather than enjoy the spoils he would have had living as Egyptian royalty.
Sometimes when we choose obedience, affliction is our consequence. When we make the decision to remain faithful to honoring God instead of giving into a temptation that may seem like a fantastic idea, it can hurt. We as followers of Christ are no strangers to affliction and all that comes along with it. We might face ridicule from others, yes, but many times the affliction we get from our own flesh can be even more painful. Can I tell you a secret? Your flesh hates you. Everything about your flesh wants you to enjoy the temporary, destructive, enticing things that sin has to offer. There is no reward in giving in to our flesh, however. The pain is only temporary, the affliction will fade, but your obedience and faithfulness to God will always bring reward.
I may sound crazy in saying this, but I mean it as an encouragement. Sisters I would encourage you to choose affliction. When the temptations of this life are trying to swallow you into a pit of destruction, stand firm, tough it out, rely on the Holy Spirit and don’t let your flesh win. Feed yourself on the Word of God, and walk your talk. Walking with Christ isn’t for the weak, it is time for us to take a stand.
God, I thank you for constantly sustaining me when times are tough. Though I know I fail you daily, I thank you that I am forgiven by the blood of Jesus. Help me to choose affliction and remain faithful rather than give in to the spoils of this life. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.
Do you have a particular sin you struggle with?
What are the consequences of giving in to your flesh?
How can you honor God by choosing affliction?