Showing posts with label be faithful. Show all posts
Showing posts with label be faithful. Show all posts

Friday, 18 October 2013

Faith when God seems to be very far away

Faith when God seems to be very far away
Some weeks ago, my family was praying for three children whose mother died about a month before. My wife shared with me what one of the girls said to their teachers. She said something like, “Before our mother died, I had a dream where she died. We prayed and God did not answer us, she still died. Now, I’ve had another dream where my elder sister died. Does God love us? Why does He not want to answer us?” she is about twelve years old.

Often times in the journey of life, especially when tragedy strikes, it seems as if God has failed. Hope is seriously wounded if not completely shattered. Understanding hits a hard wall because we cannot see any reason behind why God allowed the situation. Sometimes, it’s not a hard wall that our understanding hits, it just gets lost in what seems to be ad infinitum. It comes back with nothing and starts afresh and wander away again in that cycle. We wonder whether He loves us. It suddenly occurs to us that we are so small on this earth and wonders whether God notices ordinary people like us. In fact, we even ask questions that we know no human can give us answers to - difficult life questions that seek to redefine everything that we seem to have known before now. When God seems to be far away, we ask a lot of whys with exactly the same relative silence. What happens to faith in this kind of situation?

Daniel was taken captive along with other young men from Jerusalem. Apparently, he was from either the royal family or from one of the noble families in the land. The record in Dan.1: 3-4 shows that they were selected from these special and privileged classes of families from among the exiles and were intelligent and well-educated with good prospects for leadership positions. In fact, they were perfect specimens. He was a young man full of aspirations which were cut short by Nebuchadnezzar who invaded Judah and took them captive. In spite of these qualities of Daniel, what distinguishes him is that he has a relationship with God and is living a righteous life when all these things were happening. We normally just read through these passages without stopping awhile to think. We seldom put ourselves in Daniel’s shoes. Often, the very thing that distinguishes us can be the very source of our crises in life. How can you explain the fact that a young man who is serving the Lord with all his heart is carried captive, displaced because of the sins of their leaders and fathers? Daniel’s life changed forever and he never returned from this journey. Right before his eyes, the articles and utensils from the temple of God are packed into the sacred treasury in the temple of the god of Babylon and the God of heaven keeps quiet. (Dan.1:1-2). You know what that means? Where is God when His holy vessels are desecrated? What happened to Daniel’s faith? It is amazing to see in the eighth verse of that same chapter that Daniel’s faith is still intact in spite of the emotional wounds he must have suffered. He was making a commitment to God not to defile himself with the King’s meat.

What do you do when God seems to be very far away? What do you do when the enemy’s attitude is that of pride and arrogance, giving the impression that your God cannot save you, in fact, that He has failed you? If you were Daniel, can you wake up in that foreign land, in what seems like a defeated state and still make a costly commitment to this God?

There are three things we can do when God seems to be far away:

  1. Remain committed to God the best way you can. Keep doing the things that are clear to you are God’s will. It is true that you may not understand what is going on now however, you have to hold fast to the things you have known about God before now. Like Daniel, when there is the challenge to sacrifice, go ahead and do it. Leave the result to God. Many a times, what you do next may determine whether you will experience God where you are or not. Remember, life is a test.
  2. Trust the character of God. He is good and He is perfect love, hence you may not understand your current situation, but you know that whatever is happening now, God allowed it for your ultimate good. We must be able to distinguish between our emotion and our faith in the God that loves us with steadfast love. Faith forges ahead even in the midst of confused emotions and when our human understanding shows limitations. We must accept that we are human and finite but God is infinite. We do not have all the pictures but God does. Though I do not understand but God understands.  Trust His heart even when you cannot find what His hand is doing. Real faith does not struggle when understanding is limited. Faith just believes and does not question how.
  3. Finally hang your life tenaciously on the word of God that you know. At the back of Daniel’s mind, he knew what God had declared through the prophets, The Lord sent Babylonian,  Aramean, Moabite and Ammonite raiders against him. He sent them to destroy Judah, in accordance with the word of the Lord proclaimed by his servants the prophets.  Surely these things happened to Judah according to the Lord's command, in order to remove them from his presence because of the sins of Manasseh and all he had done, including the shedding of innocent blood. For he had filled Jerusalem with innocent blood and the Lord was not willing to forgive.” “Nebuchadnezzar removed all the treasures from the temple of the Lord and from the royal palace, and took away all the gold articles that Solomon king of Israel had made for the temple of the Lord.” “It was because of the Lord's anger that all this happened to Jerusalem and Judah, and in the end he thrust them from his presence.” 2 Kings 24:2-4, 13-14, 20. Their suffering and punishment have nothing to do with how powerful their enemies are. They have nothing to do with the ability of God to save. God just allowed them for a purpose, and in this case, to fulfill His words through His servants the prophets and to punish Judah because of their sins. God is still able to save even in the midst of what you are going through right now. He will come to you right at the appointed time. Daniel believed in the word of God spoken by the prophet Jeremiah and hanged his life on it, in fact that was even why they surrendered to King Nebuchadnezzar in the first place. 2 Kings 24:11. If you hang your life on God’s word, be sure that it cannot land crash.
Remember to hold fast the confession of your hope without wavering because faithful is He who has called, who will also do it. Do not throw away your confidence in the Lord, it has a great reward. God bless you.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Faithfulness Part 1: Faithfulness in very little things


"He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much. "Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you? "And if you have not been faithful in the use of that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own? "No servant can serve two masters; ... You cannot serve God and wealth." Luke 16:10-13 NASU

“He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much.” Luke 16:10 NASU

"Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” Luke 16:10-11 NIV

There are three critical issues the Lord raised concerning faithfulness which we will be sharing in three parts starting from this part 1.

The first point is that if a man is faithful when he is entrusted with a little responsibility, he will equally be faithful when he is entrusted with a bigger responsibility. In the same vein, if someone is not faithful with little responsibility, he will not be faithful in a bigger responsibility. Faithfulness is a virtue of keeping trust and staying true to what you believe. It means being reliable, loyal and trustworthy.

There are a lot of young people who desire to do “big things” for God. They want to suddenly become ‘great men of God’ but do not want to be under anybody’s instructions. They do not see any link between what they are doing today and what they believe God has called them to do tomorrow. They do not see what is presently in their hands as having anything to do with what God wants to place in their hands tomorrow. Hence, they handle what is in their hands now with levity. They behave anyhow now because they have the mindset, “this is not what I am cut out for. This is not where I am going to be anyway”. This makes them to be careless in what they are doing today.

They are waiting for when God will announce them. They are looking up to when God will make them great and lift them above their fellows. They believe that God has promised them a worldwide ministry though right now, they are in one obscure environment under an administrator they even feel they are better than. Because of the vision they have, they tend to be rebellious and despiteful toward their superiors. The truth is that they have failed to understand the principles of the kingdom the Lord Jesus is teaching us in the passage above. Many of us today wish that these principles sank into our hearts when we were very much younger.

In the kingdom, there are no short cuts, except you choose to remove yourself away from the covenant. As long as you are in the kingdom, these principles stand. When God begins to look for people to be saddled with greater responsibilities, He looks for those who have been faithful in the little things. This is because the kingdom believes that he who is faithful in very little things is faithful in much. Please note that He did not say that the person WILL BE. Instead HE IS faithful in much.

The little choices you make today impacts your destiny. What you are doing today defines what you will ultimately become. What you are doing today defines where you are going. Where you will be tomorrow is determined by the direction you are headed today. Never you think that circumstances will interrupt your life and suddenly you are lifted to be in charge of much when you are not faithful in the very little that is in your hand today. You are the one to interrupt yourself and begin to be faithful now.

What is in your hands today?
It may be much or little in your own eyes but what you do with it is what matters. What happens is that many a times people do not value what is already in their hands. They despise it and refuse to commit themselves to it. Greed, envy, jealousy and pride are the killers in this area. Why is it that you cannot concentrate and finish well what you are doing now? Why is it that you are neglecting what you are doing now meanwhile you want a higher place? What is that in your hands? It may be a position, a ministry or a job. Do not misbehave in it.

Now, it does not matter what people think about where you are right now. It does not matter their opinion about how lowly what you are doing now is. What matters is what you do with it. There are people who are running some businesses who are not eligible for promotion no matter how hard they pray or fast. God cannot give you a promotion that is bigger than your character. Each time God wants to lift their business and wants to start with moulding their character, they resist Him or bolt out of training half way. They want to remain the way they are. You cannot remain the way you are and walk with God at the same time. God cannot give a kingdom to a child to run. The few times He did it in the Old Testament, He placed them under some tutelage and guidance.

God orders the steps of the righteous.
This is a biblical truth every child of God has to believe. In most cases it is a bitter pill to swallow. Firstly, if you have been in a position whereby it is as if your mates have left you behind and moved on with life and you are faced with the challenge of either following the short cuts of unrighteousness and meeting up with them or obeying God and remaining where you are, you will understand how bitter the pills can be. The truth is that you cannot do righteousness and remain where you are. But already there is a big problem here. We are never encouraged to compare ourselves with ourselves. Secondly, if you are in an employment where obviously you are being paid lower than you think you are supposed to earn and you believe you should be somewhere else better, you may understand what I am sharing. However, the truth is that that seemingly lowly place is a stepping stone. God brought you there.

All I am doing is to make you see the connection between where you are now and where you are going. Even if you cannot see it with your physical eyes, see it with your spiritual eyes. Faith has eyes and can see. In fact, what faith sees is more of a reality than what the physical eyes see.

One who compromises in one area will most likely compromise in other areas. It will be very much easier for one who is firm against sin in one area of his life to have victory against sin in other areas of his life. Please never you play or despise what you are doing today. Humble yourself. Be faithful and committed to it. God will lift you up in due time.

Watch out for part 2.

Friday, 27 June 2008

You can be healed

At the beautiful gate, the lame sat begging,
Begging for arms, begging for help,
He never knew that there's a Name,
That is bigger than the arms and man's help;
In the Name of Jesus, the lame man walked,
He ran and leaped praising the Lord.

You can be he--aled, says the Lord,
You can re--ceive, what you ask.
Just come by fai--th, To the Master,
And you can, never go, as you came.

At the gate of Nain, A widow was weeping,
For she thought, all her hope was gone.
She never knew, that there's a Name,
In whom, there is answer to her need;
She met the Lord, with a dead son,
But she left, with the son alive praising the Lord.

What men have said about your case,
May never be, God's Word;
His Word says 'You can be healed,
You can walk, you can leap praising the Lord,
Just come by faith, faith in Jesus,
You will have, a mi-ra-cle today.

Just come by faith, faith in Jesus,
You can have a miracle today.

Zakibiam 07.05.98

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Count it all joy

This is a blessing to my life. I just dusted it from my archives and want to share it with you. It was written in 1998 during my NYSC in Zakibiam, Benue State.

Count it all joy
Have you prayed all night long? Heaven seems like brass
If your life is pleasing to God, Count it all joy;
Even when answers delay, your mind full of questions,
If your mind is pleasing to God, the count it all joy.

Count it all joy, count it all joy,
If your life is pleasing to God,
Count it all joy.

When temptations tempt you sore, trials on every side,
There's only one thing to do, Trust His loving heart;
He'll never, never let you fall, underneath where you stand,
Are His eternal Arms, Count it all joy.

When you are feeling lonely, it seems the Lord is too far,
Loved ones are not near, your life seems cold;
It seems a lonely walk, where nobody cares,
If your life is pleasing to God, then count it all joy.

Count it all joy, in the face of various trials,
Along this Pilgrim's Way, count it all joy;
You've asked "is it my fault?", but hear the Word of God,
"Only be faithful, I'm there, follow me,
Wait, wait I say, wait don't bid me good bye,
I'm there I promise, you'll count it all joy".

My son count it all joy, my daughter count it all joy,
Only be faithful, you will count it all joy.