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(Book Review ) The Suffering and Triumph of the Righteous

Pastor Johnson .T Ashaolu
Pastor Johnson .T Ashaolu

Title: The Suffering and Triumph of The Righteous
Author: Pastor Johnson Tunji Ashaolu
Reviewer: Pastor Adewale Adesola
Chapters: Nineteen
Language Style: Simple, easy to read

A wise man said; ‘If you want to be inspired, read about those who have succeeded but if you want to succeed read about those who have failed’.
This book will both inspire you and guide you to succeed in the face of life’s challenges.
The author shared practical experiences of trusting God for many areas of his life that seemed at the onset as if God was looking the other side. The author shared his pains, near error experiences and of course the sweet triumphs that followed each experience.
Both scriptural and contemporary examples are used in the book to enhance the readers’ understanding of the concepts of Righteousness, The Righteous, Suffering and Triumph.
From the first chapter, the author beamed light on the question every believer asks; ‘why do bad things happen to good people?’
He sufficiently provided answers using biblical characters and their behind the scenes experiences.
At every stage of our lives, there are moments we ask the ‘unending question; Why?
All through the journey of life, we are inundated by challenges and difficult experiences. Most of the time we go to God in prayers, we ask; ‘why am I going through this?’; particularly when we adjudge ourselves to be living right.
The author’s approach in defining key words in the book attests to the simplistic style employed in writing the book. The examples and illustrations are easy to relate with by any category of reader.
Sometimes, when we are going through difficult experiences we feel lonely and abandoned but this book brings us closer to our fellow compatriots who not only suffered, being righteous, but some of them triumphed at the end. This offers a great deal of hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel no matter how dark it seems, if we align ourselves appropriately following the step by step guide provided in this book.
The simple style laced with varied life experiences of both the author, people he had encounters with and sufficient references to biblical characters who had experienced at different times the three stages of suffering provide deep insight to the reader on the subject matter; THE SUFFERING AND TRIUMPH OF THE RIGHTEOUS.
Chapters 1- 17 of the book examined in sufficient details why the Righteous suffer.
The sequence of the chapters provide for better understanding of the various subjects discussed in the book. The relevant stories used both from contemporary and biblical characters references will certainly help the reader to follow through the discourse.
It is important to note that the author in employing simple writing style makes the reading of the book interesting and inspiring. The two key words of the book’s title were amply defined with explanation of basic terms used in the book.
The various biblical characters referred to in the book will help the readers to know that Heroes of the past have also gone through whatever experiences we may be going through or have gone through. In other words, you are not alone.
The Book in Summary
Chapter One
The Righteous and Suffering
Suffering is not always repercussion of sin but rather a way that God uses to bring the best out of us. Many times when we are going through difficult experience, the devil may delude us with the thought that may be God is revisiting our past sins and that is why the tide is against us. The author sufficiently explained that suffering is not always as a result of sin. But rather, it is a process through which God prepares His children for greater heights. The story of the woman that was bent over in Luke 13:10-13 and the tragedy of Job are cases in point. These two characters suffered not because they committed any sin but yet they went through suffering. David suffered persecution from Saul. Daniel and the three Hebrew youth were thrown in the lion’s den and the fiery furnace in spite of their being righteous.
God exposes us to different situations and circumstances because His plan deals with our ultimate perfection and triumph. He wants us to become so mature and stable that we live a lifestyle of righteousness even when we may be going through different ordeals in life.
Chapter Two
Suffering may be the perfect will of God for the moment. God is not obliged to answer all our questions!
It is what he wants you to know that He exposes to you. That is why He is Independent, Supreme and Sovereign.
Paul’s experience buttressed the fact that being righteously committed does not excuse believers from suffering. As a matter of fact, it may be a way of God pruning us of excesses that may destroy our harvest. To put it across succinctly, Isaiah 53:10 says’ It pleased God to bruise His son.
As believers, we must be willing at every point in time to pray that ‘His will be done’.
Otherwise, we will be inviting trouble.
Of particular interest in Chapter 2 is the experience of the author when he first applied for American Visa. In his own disappointment, God through him gave another person a testimony. That further confirms the sovereignty of God.
The will of God is a good learning point for His children. In our adversity, we must learn to know His will. Do not compare yourself with anyone. God deals with us at personal level.
Knowing God’s will requires painstaking efforts and that is the only way we can have victory in our affliction.

Chapter Three

God approves Wilderness Experience for the righteous.

Wilderness experience is for destiny preparation. The experience of the children of Israel in the wilderness was captured succinctly and that helps readers to put their own experiences in proper perspective in the light of God’s words. That understanding helps one to remain focused in the face of adversity.
The wilderness for a believer is a place of testing, training, trails of defeating sin patterns and temptation in our lives, where unproductive areas of our lives are broken up as a result of the situations and circumstances that we find ourselves. The righteous must know that the wilderness will not last forever. The different experiences we are exposed to may cause our outward man to perish but the inward man is being renewed day by day.
The wisdom of God is key in our lives, if the righteous however decide to walk in their own wisdom they will suffer and prolong their wilderness experience.

Chapter Four

The Righteous may have chosen to walk in his own wisdom.

Suffering may come as a result of walking in one’s own wisdom. David, incited by the devil, instigated a census for personal aggrandisement. And that triggered divine indignation. As believers, we must know that building on faulty foundation has grave consequences.
Earthly wisdom results in strife, contentiousness, envy and bitterness, that produce suffering. A wise man is the man that knows how much he does not know. The wisdom from above will always seek for godly counsel before any major decision is concluded. You must beware of sycophants who praise everything you do and only see things from your perspective. Seeking counsel from your fans is almost like applying your own wisdom. Rehoboam, the son of Solomon divided the kingdom of Israel on his own head. If you want to succeed, encircle yourself with men of integrity, who will not be economical with the truth even when it hurts.

Chapter Five

The Righteous May be Trusting Arm of Flesh.

Relying on the arm of flesh while walking in disobedience will only make our journey longer and tedious with suffering. Absolute trust in God in the face of challenges of life is the only way out of suffering. If you have entered into an unholy alliance, the way out sometimes may require that you humble yourself and cut off from such affiliations. The righteous must know that it is not the level of your human connections or the cash balance in your account that will determine how far you will go in life. The ladder of human connection will fail. If you trust so much in the power of the people that put you there because they have severally reassured you, you are heading for disaster. When the righteous builds the ladder of his life on human connections instead of virtue, when the connection is cut off, the fall will be greatly devastating.

Chapter Six

The Righteous may be walking in the path of disobedience

When a righteous man disregards the instruction from God and substitutes it with his own idea, such a person will suffer for a long time.
Jonah is a perfect case in point. There are three types of disobedience, namely; The Love of the World; The Love for Sin and The Love for Self. These three will further compound the experience of the righteous if he is engrossed in them.
Disobedience builds a wall of separation between the righteous and his maker. It breeds truncation to reign. As a righteous man, you must desist from walking in disobedience to gain the attention of God.

Chapter Seven

Temporary Camouflage To The promotion of the Righteous.

Joseph had setbacks that eventually served as springboard to the fulfilment of his destiny. He forfeited temporary glory for greater glory.
God has a way of disrupting the plan of the devil to rescue the righteous.
Sometimes, when certain things come our way, we must find out if it is an arrangement of God to mesmerize the devil in our lives.
No one can query God. The righteous must know that behind the cloud, there is a brighter day. Sometimes, God deliberately allows us to go through some disappointments in order to position you on the route to your destiny.

Chapter Eight

The Righteous May be partaking in the Forbidden Fruit (Wages of Unrighteousness).

Illicit gifts bring suffering. Unsolicited prayers and vigils organised because of greedy gains can bring suffering upon the righteous. Balam was an endowed but corrupt prophet of God. He probably loved God but not with a perfect heart. He was a prophet-contractor who offered burnt offering not because he wanted to honour God but because he was bribing God to get permission to curse the people of God.
Forbidden fruits my may not come as gifts or gratification, they may come by direct action of the righteous who are in privileged position to manage God’s resources. Awarding illegitimate grants and allowances because you are in the position of authority is an invitation to suffering. Diverting or misappropriating God’s money will attract suffering. It is like working strange mathematics for divine debts. So be careful.

Chapter Nine

The Righteous May have been Overtaken in the Love of this Present World.

The world we live in is oversaturated with all kinds of evil. The righteous, if not careful can easily fall and be swept away.
When we allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by the tide of strange things happening in our world, it will strain our relationship with God and that certainly will attract suffering into our lives. Worldliness brings misalignment and destructive yoke.
It causes a disconnection from the flow of grace in the life of the righteous. We must constantly check our motives. We must always examine ourselves and ensure that we are not walking against the path of life. The antidote is to grow in grace.

Chapter Ten

The Righteous May have chosen the path of sin.

Sin is a reproach. When a righteous man indulges in sin, he certainly will suffer. We must watch how we walk. Carelessness can open the wrong gate into our lives. The bible admonished us to flee from all appearances of evil. If the righteous plays with fire, he will be burnt.

Chapter Eleven

The Righteous May be Living under Unbroken Generational or Self Incurred Curses.

Blessings and curses are two most powerful forces on earth.
Weigh your actions before execution. The consequences of unguided actions may be more grievous. Reuben and Gehazi are two characters who were oblivious of the gravity of their actions and the consequences were devastating. It not only affected them but generations unborn. When a righteous man is under unbroken generational or self incurred curse he should look for help from higher spiritual authority. It is suicidal to suffer in silence. The righteous must note that, God does not take it lightly when grace is abused. Some have abused the privilege of grace and thereby attracted suffering into their lives.

Chapter Twelve

The Righteous and the Wicked May be yoked together.

Many times, believers take decisions before consulting with God. In such circumstances they corner God to rubber stamp their decision. Jehoshaphat’s alliance with King Ahab almost ruined his life if not that he cried out and God had mercy on him.
When we get ourselves yoked with the wicked, the best we can get from such an act is permissive will of God.
Every decision must be weighed. If it is not right, then it cannot be right. Unholy alliance will bring endless pain and unending misfortune. One error will always lead to another. Watch your association.

Chapter Thirteen

The righteous may have coveted the carrot of deceit from Satan.

Gehazi baited the carrot the devil dangled at him. Our destiny walk is a divine marathon. Jumping the gun automatically disqualifies a contestant from a race. Pursue your worth and not your want.
Eve and Esau coveted the carrot deceit from satan and they mortgaged their destinies. Many righteous have become victims of fraudsters because of greed. You must be careful not to be deceived.

Chapter Fourteen

The righteous may be harbouring satanic materials

Accursed things may come free but they are deadly. There are some of God’s children whose greatest problems is the love for gifts. If you don’t tame your appetite for gifts, you could be in danger of harbouring satanic materials.
Achan did not have a vital relationship with God because he could not hear of heed God’s voice and he paid dearly for it. If you are not a sheep then you are a goat.

Chapter Fifteen

The righteous may be faking relationship with God.

Know the Lord, don’t just master the art. Your being born to a Christian family is not a guarantee for a relationship with the Lord. You must know him intimately.
Little carelessness can lead you to a point of no return. Any Christian who works in iniquity is fake. It is either you are in or out. You can deceive men but not God.
The bible says that God shall judge the seceret of men one day. The children of Eli and sons of Sceva were appropriately dealt with for living double standard lives. Deceitful or fake disciples will end up in suffering.

Chapter Sixteen

The righteous may be yoked with Satan

When you take serious things lightly you may be playing with your destiny.
Judas Iscariot trivialized important issues in his life even when he was rebuked by Jesus openly. He ended up a victim of satanic plot. Love of money was his bane.
If you do not tame your appetite for gifts, you may become carnally yoked with Satan far beyond your wildest imaginations. You must make it a habit to daily tame your appetite.

Chapter Seventeen

Direct Satanic Attack on the righteous.

It could be direct satanic attack on the righteous
Satanic attack can come at any time but more so after a major victory, so you need to watch out.
The righteous has no business negotiating with satan when his obedience is complete. The violent must take it by force.

Chapter Eighteen

The Triumph of the Righteous

The suffering of the righteous in summary are categorized into:
i. God approved
ii. Self indulgence
iii. Satanic rampage
The value of suffering does not lie in the pain but in what the sufferer makes out of it. No matter the intensity of the assault, the righteous who knows with verity that he is seated with Christ will not be discouraged.
The silence of God when you are in pain is not and should not be interpreted as abandonment. God does not abandon His own.
When the righteous indulge in a negative habit, he is certainly going to face the consequence. To nurture self-will that will lead to pain amount to self-disloyalty.
Satan has no room for change. It is his hobby to afflict the children of God. However, the righteous God knows the unrelenting wickedness of satan against the righteous and He is the one that can deliver them.
A.W. Tozer said ‘It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply.’
Chapter Nineteen
In Conclusion
There is no controversy in the fact that suffering is a reality in human existence including the righteous but triumph is also a reality for the righteous.
God is never in a hurry. Once we receive the assurance that God is involved in our case, then the peace of God is inevitable. In essence, you may be in a storm but don’t let the storm be in you.
When going through suffering the following are important:
i. Carry out proper diagnosis. Observe due diligence in carrying out a thorough
self-searching and assessment to identify the cause of the suffering.
ii. You must have deep knowledge of the word of God. This is very key. It is the knowledge of the word that will lead you to the appropriate solution.
iii. Cry out! When you are suffering as a result of satanic rampage, you should cry out. God will not ignore the cry of the righteous who suffers unjustly in the hands of satan.
God is ultimately a God of triumph. He passes us through wilderness experiences, exposes us to seasons of trial, through which He shares certain elements of His intrinsic nature with us.
There is no winner without a contest, just as no conqueror without a battle. In the battle of your faith, you must fight with knowledge of who you are in the Lord. God is not just willing to decorate us with an honorary trophy; He wants the righteous to work to earn the trophy.
The last laugh belong to the saints of the Most high because they will stand again. The fall is not final. There is a rising in the offing. This phase of suffering in your life will soon pass. Remember that weeping truly may endure for a night buy joy comes in the morning.
God bless you
Satanic attack can come at any time but more so after a major victory, so you need to watch out.
The righteous has no business negotiating with satan when his obedience is complete. The violent must take it by force.

Chapter Eighteen

The Triumph of the Righteous

The suffering of the righteous in summary are categorized into:
i. God approved
ii. Self indulgence
iii. Satanic rampage
The value of suffering does not lie in the pain but in what the sufferer makes out of it. No matter the intensity of the assault, the righteous who knows with verity that he is seated with Christ will not be discouraged.
The silence of God when you are in pain is not and should not be interpreted as abandonment. God does not abandon His own.
When the righteous indulge in a negative habit, he is certainly going to face the consequence. To nurture self-will that will lead to pain amount to self-disloyalty.
Satan has no room for change. It is his hobby to afflict the children of God. However, the righteous God knows the unrelenting wickedness of satan against the righteous and He is the one that can deliver them.
A.W. Tozer said ‘It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply.’

Chapter Nineteen

In Conclusion

There is no controversy in the fact that suffering is a reality in human existence including for the righteous but triumph is also a reality for the righteous.
God is never in a hurry. Once we receive the assurance that God is involved in our case, then the peace of God is inevitable. In essence, you may be in a storm but don’t let the storm be in you.
When going through suffering the following are important:
i. Carry out proper diagnosis. Observe due diligence in carrying out a thorough self-searching and assessment to identify the cause of the suffering.
ii. You must have deep knowledge of the word of God. This is very key. It is the knowledge of the word that will lead you to the appropriate solution.
iii. Cry out! When you are suffering as a result of satanic rampage, you should cry out. God will not ignore the cry of the righteous who suffers unjustly in the hands of satan.
God is ultimately a God of triumph. He passes us through wilderness experiences, exposes us to seasons of trial, through which He shares certain elements of His intrinsic nature with us.
There is no winner without a contest, just as no conqueror without a battle. In the battle of your faith, you must fight with knowledge of who you are in the Lord. God is not just willing to decorate us with an honorary trophy; He wants the righteous to work to earn the trophy.
The last laugh belongs to the saints of the Most High because they will stand again. The fall is not final. There is a rising in the offing. This phase of suffering in your life will soon pass. Remember that weeping truly may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning.
God bless you

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