“On the first day of the first month he began his journey from Babylon, and on the first day of the fifth month he came to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of his God upon him.” (Ezra 7:9, NKJV)
“Hannah’s rival provoked her bitterly, to irritate and embarrass her, because the Lord had left her childless. So it happened year after year, whenever she went up to the house of the Lord, Peninnah provoked her; so she wept and would not eat.” (1 Samuel 1:6-7, TAB)
On your Path to Victory and Accomplishments, there are two constants that you will encounter—Problems and Provocation. Problems are put before you to bring you forward while Provocation equips you to handle the demands of the next level.
Every individual needs challenges so that such individual can be constantly alert. It is popularly said that an enemy will give you in a day what a friend cannot give you in a lifetime. When men are constantly singing your praise you lose sight of the objective. Many abhor insult but insult if properly channelled can be a catalyst towards victory.
You need challenges to take you to the next dimension in kingdom excellence. Envy, Insult or ill will is what is called PHD (Pull Him / Her Down). If you give in to certain situations they will drag you down.
“Slander cannot destroy the man… when the flood recedes, the rock is there.”
The Primary Objectives of Problems and Provocations are to:
- Pollute You—Take away your ability to reason. The mind becomes blinded.
- Paralyze You—Take away your ability to correctly function
- Punish You—Do what you should not be doing. Give you over to a taskmaster
- Perfect You—Prepare you for where you need to be
How to handle Problems and Provocations
In life it is not so much what we encounter but how we handle what we encounter.
Reflect not Reflex
Our human subconscious wants to defend or say something back when insult is thrown our way. In some other cases we want to really prove that the other person or party does not know anything. We display a knee jerk reaction or come shooting from the hips with guns blazing, firing from all cylinders. Instead of a reflex reaction we need to reflect.
Phillip one of the disciples of Jesus found a man called Nathanael and told him about Jesus. The response of Nathanael was an insult to the origin on Jesus. “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth. Jesus heard this and he did not feel “dissed”, instead he complimented Nathanael.
Problems and Provocateurs try to shift your focus but you must not give in. You must always remember that if you do not have something and someone is still harassing you, they must see what you do not see. What they see is causing them to envy you. Envy is the tribute that mediocrity pays to excellence.
The writer or coiner of words did not make a mistake with a word called backbite. There is nothing like front bite in the English grammar. Those that back bite will always be at the back. If you catch hell do not hold it, if you going through hell do not stop, simply go ahead (Ron Kenoly).
Hopeful not hopeless
The word of God says hope does not bring about shame. When the wind of ill will blows your way, do not allow it to blow away your hope. For surely there is a hereafter. After the rainfall there is sunshine, after darkness there is light and after night there is morning.
Another name for God is hope. The word of God records concerning Abraham against hope he believed in hope. Job was a man that was insulted and ridiculed by friends because they could not fathom how a man who claim to love God could experience such mind boggling catastrophes in a matter of hours. He lost his children and his property. To compound his misery he was afflicted by a strange illness and his wife deserted him.
The first words that came out of the mouth of his supposed friends that came to comfort him were these: Job 4: 7“Stop and think! Does the innocent person perish? When has the upright person been destroyed? 8My experience shows that those who plant trouble and cultivate evil will harvest the same. MSG
In effect these friends were saying that whatever has befallen him must be due to his own handiwork. He is being punished for his misdeeds. They even taunted him that he should call on God now and see if God will answer. In all these Job did not sin against the Almighty God.
Job told his friends “To him that is afflicted pity should be shown from his friends”. Job held unto a glorious hope, for Christ in him is the hope of Glory. Sometimes we need to glory in tribulations for it brings about patience and patience brings about hope. Hopelessness takes away faith from us and without faith it is impossible to please God. We have access into his grace by faith.
Job 19: 25“But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and that he will stand upon the earth at last. 26And after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God! 27I will see him for myself. Yes, I will see him with my own eyes. I am overwhelmed at the thought!
Alert not Aloof
Many people have been derailed on the path to greatness due to comfort. This is a false sense of security.
Amos 6: 1WOE TO those who are at ease in Zion… AMP
King David had a false sense of security and it caused confusion in his kingdom. When Kings lead the troops to war David stayed back in Jerusalem and on a particular evening he saw a lady that was having her bath. He lusted after the woman and had her brought to the palace. He had an affair with the woman and it resulted in pregnancy.
This woman was the wife of one of the soldiers that went to war. For David to cover his tracks he had to commit murder. Sin will take you further than you imagine. All these happened because he became too comfortable.
Advance in Adversity
We do not know ourselves until we encounter adversity. Our maturity is measured by how we manage what we do not like or do not expect. Jabez was a man that his own mother gave the name sorrow.
I Chronicles 4: 10And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested.