I Too Suffer In Bonds For The Sake Of The Gospel

2 Kings 4: 1-7
1Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets unto Elisha, saying, Thy servant my husband is dead; and thou knowest that thy servant did fear the LORD: and the creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen.
2And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee? tell me, what hast thou in the house? And she said, Thine handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil.
3Then he said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbours, even empty vessels; borrow not a few.
4And when thou art come in, thou shalt shut the door upon thee and upon thy sons, and shalt pour out into all those vessels, and thou shalt set aside that which is full.
5So she went from him, and shut the door upon her and upon her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured out.
6And it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said unto her son, Bring me yet a vessel. And he said unto her, There is not a vessel more. And the oil stayed.
7Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, Go, sell the oil, and pay thy debt, and live thou and thy children of the rest.

In the above story the prophet Elisha is confronted with a widow and her two sons, who are about to be arrested by their creditors, and the widow proclaims that she has nothing to pay her creditors. Then Elisha instructs the widow on what to do by asking her if she has anything in her house. And she answers by saying she has nothing else but one pot of oil. In the conclusion of this story the widow sold all that she had in her home of value and then had enough to pay her creditors off and still had enough left over to care for her sons.

Not everyone’s story will have the same ending as this story, in my personal account I had creditors and had attempted to sell everything I owned, including the house, and did not have the same result as this widow. I did manage to pay off some of the old bills, even though the house never sold and went into foreclosure, this is not the point of this story.
The true point of the story is to have faith to endure until the end, and to receive the reward not from the earth, but from heaven. Are you also suffering from the financial crunch, unemployment, under heavy debt? Let us not fear, and look to our Lord God who is still in control of our affairs. Even to this day, I suffer from this falling economy, and lack of jobs, and not only that to make things worse is being underpaid, not earning the top dollar that I feel I deserve for my education and expertise, but to take a pay cut and earning less than what I had earned in years to keep working. Soon I too will be brought before the judges and will face a sentence, because of the debt I owe, and to this day I do not have any help or assistance from family, friends, church, or state, not anyone will offer help. So I face these trials alone, but then my faith in not in man from where there is no help, it is Spirit that is my arm not flesh, and I shall not be moved.

Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm.... Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. Jer. 17:5-7.

Psalm 16:8
I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

Jesus has said in the bible that we can overcome as He has overcome and I do believe that He is not in Heaven looking down just pitying me but he has a plan to help me in this world to make it until the next world. He never promised me that I will become rich as in the wealth of this world, but He did promise me the richness in faith in Him the He will give me according to His riches and glory in Heaven. As God has instructed me to give up my worldly possessions and to sell all that I have, He too is also instructing others to do the same. As your regular prayer and worship in your homes, pray for the Holy Spirit to guide you in all wisdom and give you understanding of the whole matter of whatever you are facing. If you feel that the Holy Spirit is beckoning you to sell all that you have or to sell books and to follow Him, then if this is your calling then do so. That way you may be able to give to those who are poor and to those whom you owe. Just think if every believer was to just give up one prized possession and then use those proceeds to benefit a charitable cause or to give to someone who is in need, that would really change the whole perspective on the world.

Luke 12:32-34 (King James Version)
32Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
33Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.
34For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Knowing that these trials works patience, or without exercising your faith daily how shall you overcome? Here are some faith building verses from God’s Holy Word, the Bible.

2 Timothy 2:9
Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.
2 Timothy 2:8-10 (in Context) 2 Timothy 2 (Whole Chapter)

Hebrews 13:3
Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.
Hebrews 13:2-4 (in Context) Hebrews 13 (Whole Chapter)

1 Peter 4:11-13 (King James Version)
11If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
12Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
13But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

Luke 12:33
Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.
Luke 12:32-34 (in Context) Luke 12 (Whole Chapter)

September 16, 1884 A Lesson on Covetousness.
By Mrs. E. G. White.
As Jesus was departing from a certain place, a young man came to him with the inquiry, "Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God; but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honor thy father and thy mother; and, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. The young man saith unto him, All these have I kept from my youth up; what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him. If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions." {RH, September 16, 1884 par. 1}
Jesus quoted to the young man five of the last six commandments, also the second great commandment, on which the last six commandments depend. These he thought he had kept. Jesus did not mention the first four commandments, which define our duty to God. In answer to the inquiry," What lack I yet?" Jesus said to him, "If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven." {RH, September 16, 1884 par. 2}
Here was his lack. He failed to love God with all his heart and his neighbor as himself. Jesus touched his possessions. Said he, "Sell that thou hast, and give to the poor." This pointed out the young man's idol. His love of riches was supreme; hence it was impossible for him to love God with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his mind. And this supreme love for his riches shut his eyes to the wants of his fellow-men. He did not love his neighbor as himself; therefore he failed to keep the last six commandments. His heart was on his treasures, swallowed up in his earthy possessions. He loved the things of earth better than God, better than the heavenly treasure. Jesus tested him to see which he loved most, riches or eternal life. Did he eagerly lay hold of the eternal prize? Did he earnestly strive to remove the obstacle that was in the way of his having a treasure in heaven? Oh, no; "he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions." {RH, September 16, 1884 par. 3}
"Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you that a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." {RH, September 16, 1884 par. 4}
It is God's plan that riches should be used properly, distributed to bless the needy, and to advance the work of God. If men love their riches better than they love their fellow-men, better than they love God or the truths of his word, if their hearts are on their riches, they cannot have eternal life. Some would rather yield the truth than sell and give to the poor. Here souls are proved; and, like the rich young man, many go away sorrowful because they cannot have their riches and a treasure in heaven too. They cannot have both, and they risk their chance of eternal life for a worldly possession. {RH, September 16, 1884 par. 5}
"It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." "With God all things are possible;" but he will not permit the rich men to selfishly hoard their riches, and yet enter into his kingdom. Truth, set home to the heart by the Spirit of God, will crowd out the love of riches. The love of Jesus and the love of money cannot dwell in the same heart. The love of God so far surpasses the love of money that the possessor breaks away from his riches and transfer his affections to God. Through love he is then led to minister to the wants of the needy and to assist the cause of God. It is his highest pleasure to make a right disposition of his Lord's goods. He holds all that he has as not his own, and faithfully discharges his duty as God's steward. Then he can keep both the great commandments of the law: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind." "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." {RH, September 16, 1884 par. 6}
In this way it is possible for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. "And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundred-fold, and shall inherit everlasting life." Here is the reward for those who sacrifice for God. They receive a hundred-fold in this life, and shall inherit everlasting life. {RH, September 16, 1884 par. 7}
"But many that are first shall be last, and the last shall be first." Some who receive the truth do not live it. They cling to their possessions, and are not willing to use their means to advance the cause of God. They will not trust God's promises. Their love of this world swallows up their faith. God calls for a portion of their substance, but they heed it not. They reason that they have labored hard to obtain what they have, and they cannot lend it to the Lord, for they may come to want. "O ye of little faith!" That God who cared for Elijah in the time of famine, will not pass by one of his self-sacrificing children. He who has numbered the hairs of their head will care for them, and in days of famine they will be satisfied. While the wicked are perishing from hunger and thirst, their bread and water will be sure. Those who cling to their earthly treasure, and will not make a right disposition of that which is lent them of God, will lose the heavenly treasure, eternal life. {RH, September 16, 1884 par. 8}
There was a time when there were but few who listened to and embraced the truth, and they had not much of this world's goods. Then it was necessary for some to sell their houses and lands, and obtain cheaper, while their means were freely lent to the Lord to publish the truth, and otherwise aid in advancing the cause of God. These self-sacrificing ones endured privations; but if they endure unto the end, great will be their reward. {RH, September 16, 1884 par. 9}
God has been moving upon many hearts. The truth for which a few sacrificed so much has triumphed, and multitudes have laid hold of it. In the providence of God, those who have means have been brought into the truth, that as the work increases the wants of his cause may be met. God does not now call for the houses his people need to live in; but if those who have an abundance do not hear his voice, cut loose from the world, and sacrifice for God, he will pass them by, and will call for those who are willing to do anything for Jesus, even to sell their homes to meet the wants of the cause. God will have free-will offerings. Those who give must esteem it a privilege to do so. {RH, September 16, 1884 par. 10}
Some give of their abundance, yet feel no lack. They do not practice self-denial for the cause of Christ. They give liberally and heartily, but they still have all that heart can wish. God regards it. The action and motive are strictly marked by him, and they will not lose their reward. But those who have less means must not excuse themselves because they cannot do as much as some others. Do what you can. Deny yourself of some article you can do without, and sacrifice for the cause of God. Like the poor widow, cast in your two mites. You will actually give more than all those who give of their abundance; and you will know how sweet it is to deny self, to give to the needy, to sacrifice for the truth, and to lay up treasure in heaven. {RH, September 16, 1884 par. 11}
The young, especially young men, who profess the truth, have yet a lesson of self-denial to learn. If these made more sacrifice for the truth, they would esteem it more highly. It would affect their hearts, and purify their lives. Too often the young do not take the burden of the cause of God, or feel any responsibility in regard to it. Is it because God has excused them? Oh, no; they excuse themselves. They do not realize that they are not their own. Their strength, their time, is not their own. They are bought with a price; and unless they possess the spirit of self-denial and sacrifice, they can never gain the immortal inheritance. {RH, September 16, 1884 par. 12}
Said the great Teacher, "Ye cannot serve God and mammon." "Choose ye this day whom ye will serve."

{RH, September 16, 1884 par. 13}
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Sep 21, 2010