"Are you crazy; don't you see who is teaching that course? Select this session. Been there, done that; easy teacher, easy A."
Sounds familiar? How many of us would... did respond, "Oh no, unlike you, I actually want to learn something." I'd understand if you'll want to plead the 5th at this point. As for me... ah well, another story.
The first half of Psalm 34: 19 says, "Many are the afflictions of the righteous." It really does appear that selecting to follow the Christian path is tantamount to selecting a course that is rigged with severe testing and exercises. Jesus is unpretentious in John 16:33 where He says, "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
My wife, a teacher of Mathematics, will tell you that a strategy she uses in getting her students to perform is to get them past their fears of Mathematics. Once that happens, the rest is easy.
Jesus, in the above passage, knows about that strategy too, for in His opening statement He speaks of peace of mind; the allaying of fear. In fact, further on He alludes to fun times, "be of good cheer," even amidst the clear challenges that lie ahead.
We are the students, the world is the classroom, Christ is the teacher. The problems we must often solve are taken from the devil's workbook. But get this, the instruction book is the Bible.
While the first half of Psalm 34:19 may, on the surface, be a bit daunting, the latter half speaks of the peace and good cheer Jesus speaks of in John 16:33, it says, "But the delivers him out of them all." If this isn't reason enough to be of good cheer, nothing is.
Dear Father in Heaven, so we won't always find it a walk in the park, enlisting for the programme of Salvation, for there will be afflictions and tribulations. But what a great reassurance it is to know that Jesus is our Teacher, and Guide. He overcame, and will guide each of us to overcome as well. O what blessed assurance we have! We pledge not to go for the easy A with the devil, but to tough it out with Christ, knowing that in the end it'll be worth it all. Thank you for this great hope, in Jesus' name, amen.
This reading is based on Psalm 34. To read and/or listen to Psalm 34 and to read other related blogs, please click here.