We don’t choose to come into the world, but we have the power to choose where we’ll spend eternity.

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The Afflictions of the Righteous and the Wicked

One event happens to the righteous and the wicked; to the good, the clean, and the unclean; to him who sacrifices and him who does not sacrifice. As is the good, so is the sinner… Ecclesiastes 9.2

All men on Earth, regardless of their character or human condition, face afflictions. This is because we live in a world where rebellion against God reigns. As much as we walk in obedience to the Most High, we live surrounded by people that are disobedient to Him, and their choices will also interfere with our lives.

On the other hand, those who live apart from God, besides being affected by the injustice of others, will also be affected by their own injustice. In any case, the righteous and the wicked will endure afflictions, simply because they live in the same world.

The difference is not in what happens in the life of one or the other, but in the power these events have over their life.

The Bible states that: Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.Psalm 34.19 and when this happens: those who hate righteous shall be condemned. Psalm 34.21.

Note that, though the afflictions of the righteous are many, he is not harmed by any of them. On the other hand, a single misfortune is capable of harming the wicked in such a way that his situation becomes as irreversible as death. Then we shall again discern between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.Malachi 3.18

Affliction has no power to destroy the righteous, since God Himself delivers him from it. The effect is opposite: affliction makes the righteous stronger, more experienced, and closer to God. But it has the power to destroy the wicked, because he can’t rely on the Most High to deliver him, since he is indifferent to His Word and His Presence.

The effects that afflictions have on your life show whether you are righteous or wicked before God. A title, position, or reputation can camouflage a person’s true state, but he stands out when faced with difficulties. If you have been delivered from afflictions and became stronger with each one of them, God has spared you because He sees you are a good and faithful servant. But if a single misfortune has been or is capable of shaking your foundation, it is a sign that you are one step from hell, because you are living a life that is not according to the Commandments of God.

You don’t decide when you will endure an affliction – regardless, they are a part of your life –, but it’s up to you to choose to be delivered or destroyed by them, to be righteous or wicked before the Most High.

Bishop Macedo
Bishop Macedo

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