Our situations are tests to mature us. As a Christian, what situations are you going through? Don’t let them wear you down! They are to mature you. Don’t allow any situation to control, mislead or overwhelm you. Stay and cope with hard and good moments. Remember, in times of merriment, prosperity and success, even the wicked man will seem kind and generous but immediately the heat of trials and tribulations come, his wicked behavior surfaces. Sin easily hides where there is no heat of trials and afflictions, just as impurities hide in gold, until it goes through the process of the furnace.
No matter how much we master the Scriptures, without true obedience to what we read, we still wear spiritual diapers. Christians grow in character through obeying the Word of God in the midst of circumstances, e.g. hardship, persecution, trials, tribulations and temptations. Therefore, Christians should see situations such as these as God’s way to strengthen their faith, character and resolve to serve Him.
God chooses grace rather than works. We are what we are in Christ Jesus by His grace. Let no one boast. Whatever we are today is a product of His grace. Everybody cherishes breakthrough; that is why we work hard. Little do we know that the battle is not for the strong and the race is not for the swift. This means, after struggling, after our hard labor, God would still have to mark our work. When we have done everything, we must leave the issue with God. If we succeed, we must give God the praise; if we fail, we must submit to His will.
No man knows by the present signs what the future holds for him. Are you poor now? It is too early to grumble because God sometimes uses foolish things to reveal His purpose in our lives. Are you blessed now? It is too early to jubilate because you will still need God more in blessing. Time and opportunity act on us all. In other words, every man has the grace of time and space to act in only as allotted to him by providence (God). Every man cherishes breakthrough; that is why we all work hard. Little do we know, as the preacher puts it, in Ecclesiastes 9:11 that in the world, fast runners do not always win the race and the brave do not always win the battle. The wise do not always earn a living, intelligent people do not always rise to high positions. You can never tell when your time is coming. What the Bible is simply saying here, is that the battle is not for the strong, nor the race for the swift. This philosophy seems to work against ‘common sense’, but it is the reality.
Our knowledge of the Bible must be broad and holistic. Don’t make the Bible say what you want to hear. Don’t bring in what you think you need to hear. This is about what God has to say to you. Respond to Him in dialogue. That means it is as much about listening as it is about speaking. Open your eyes and your heart to hear His voice. You can read and think and pray all day but unless you live in God’s Word as well, you will miss the point. The Word helps man walk with God, receive from God and fulfil God’s will on the earth.
Those people who choose the Scriptures they want to live by are not eager about such other areas as holiness, consecration, evangelism, judgement and the love of God. However, these other areas and the love of God work in concert to develop man spiritually. But all that they want is merely to receive from God. They often pray – ‘God, give me, give me…’ It is true the Word of God talks about receiving from God. However, we cannot give out to others until we ourselves have received something from God.
We cannot rely on bits and pieces from the Bible to develop into strong, mature Christians. We need the whole counsel of God – all the bits strung, fastened and laced together in our lives – for us to develop into a strong spiritual man. Faith is important to our spiritual development because the Bible urges us to live by faith (Romans 1:17). However, we must also live a life of love because faith works by love.
“What we see as failure is not failure at all from eternity’s perspective. At first, the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross was seen by His disciples as failure but what looked like failure brought new life to all creation. Therefore, let us leave our troubles for the ONE who bore our troubles on the Cross!” – TB Joshua
Exodus 14:13 – “Moses answered the people, ‘Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
When Moses said, “Don’t be afraid”, he equally meant to say, “Overcome your fear” for fear is a thief of faith and hope. When our troubles seem unyielding to our prayers, it is in our own interest to get above our fear by leaving it to God. Don’t think of saving yourself by fighting a natural battle! ‘Be still’, means, ‘be calm, confident and determined’. God does not need our effort or assistance to carry out His promises of deliverance.
God revealed to Moses what He would do in the circumstances and he believed. Moses was saying to the people, ‘Don’t waver in your faith; be steadfast and be still – have peace of heart, have confidence in the God you believe in. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again; the trouble you see today you will never see again’ (Exodus 14:13). Their enemies were frustrated and immediately they surrendered.
PRAYER POINTS: ➡️ Lord, let my enemy see Your finger in my life, get frustrated and surrender because You have set a table before me in the presence of my enemy. ➡️ What is your problem? Ask God to give you the grace to always cast your burdens upon Him as Moses did in his encounter with the Egyptian army at the Red Sea. ➡️ Lord, in my encounter with the evil forces, teach me the way I should go as You did the Israelites at the Red Sea. ➡️ Instruct me the way I should go as You did Moses in his encounter. ➡️ Save me from the wicked plans of my adversaries as You did Daniel in the lions’ den. ➡️ Deliver me from every generational curse as You did Jabez. ➡️ Lord, give me power to face all the challenges of the enemy, in the name of Jesus. ➡️ I loose myself from the bondage of fear, in Jesus’ name!
Today, our hearts are so taken up by worldly considerations that we are impatient to recognise the fact that there is an appointed time for everything. This is why we try to move the hands of the clock forward by hook and crook. In order to beat the gun, we kill, join cults, steal and destroy.
Assuming Jesus had been impatient when his brothers urged Him to show off in public before the appointed time, He may have been killed by His enemies who were looking for Him at all costs (John 7:3-8). The same thing happens to us today. When we are impatient, we tend to disregard the fact that there is a time for everything.
Assuming Jesus was impatient to perform publicly, He may have failed to turn the water into wine. Assuming Jesus was impatient when His mother urged Him to turn water into wine, He may have failed altogether. But He simply said, “My time has not yet come”, knowing that there is an appointed time for everything (John 2:1-10). When it was time to die, He told his disciples, “The hour is near” (Matthew 26:45).
We all know that when it is time to start a race, everybody waits for the blast of the gun or the sound of the whistle; but in our daily lives, the opposite is the case. In an attempt to beat the gun, we discover that we are the worse for it; we pay dearly for it.
If any person beats the gun, that person would be called back to begin afresh, while others are still waiting patiently for the sound of the gun. This is what we mean by the saying, “More haste, less speed”, meaning that if you are in a haste to achieve something, you are likely to make costly mistakes that would pull you back, if not down. This is exactly what is happening today. Always remember – God’s time is the best!
Today, we are no longer conscious of our sin. That is why we come to Jesus with our petition and complaints without any regard for His purity. Jesus knows who we were, who we are and who we shall be. In other words, Jesus knows our past, present and future. Peter was conscious of his sin. That was why he asked Jesus to depart from him, knowing that the purity of Jesus might not tolerate his sinful nature. Many of us would not come to church today if we had not been made sensible by the vicissitudes of life, the ups and downs of life. I mean, you have exhausted all the advantages you felt you had in the world and now you are so tired and sick of the world, that is why you are now ready to embrace the superior order of Christ. Remember, in Christ’s new order there is peace, not as the world gives; there is blessing, not as the world gives; there is deliverance, not as the world gives and there is healing, not as the world gives (John 14:27).
Life is too short to waste time on things that have no lasting significance or value. If we know that our time is limited – I mean, everyone has a beginning and an end – we should make the most of life. By putting your trust in Christ, knowing that only He can give lasting value to our lives, as we look ahead to a new day we can say with the Psalmist, ‘My hope is in You.’ God alone can deliver us from a life of meaningless activities.