Hold the fort (part 2) ~Pst. Adesoji Oni
Topic: Hold the fort (part 2)
Text: Romans 8:35-39
Preacher: Pst. Adesoji Oni
8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 8:36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 8:39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
With all that we are seeing around, we know that quite a number of things are happening; many things go with COVID-19. I told someone that there are quite a lot of people that will not die because of COVID but because of the effect. I know of people who has lost major businesses and the likes. There are people faced with a lot of challenges, but the fact that this challenges are there does not mean that we need to lose our faith in God. Romans 9:35-39, our anchor text shows us the tendencies of facing trials and temptation in life. Trials and tribulations are inevitable in life. Jesus said in John 16:33 “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”. He said I’m telling you this, that you may have peace; in other words, we are expected to have peace I trying times if we are truly going by the word of God. Those words were actually released to us to ensure our peace because in times of trial, it is very easy for people to lose faith. In Luke 7:19-23 we see John the Baptist was the one who bore record of the Lord Jesus Christ, when he was imprisoned and was about to be killed; the same person who got the revelation now sent his disciples to go and ask Jesus if he is the messiah to come or another one is coming. Jesus answering said to them said “go and tell John what things you see and hear”, the last thing he said was “blessed is he that is not offended in me”. Some people are offended in God in this season. There are times that he wants to test your loyalty. There is a time that everyone’s love and loyalty is tested in life; Jesus said we are blessed if we don’t get offended in him when those times come.
The test of our faith is so crucial that it is said to be more than gold [1 Peter 1:17]. Trials and temptations are not indications of the fact that God is not with you, rather God may just be with you and watch what your reaction will be. Jesus was in the boat but the storm arose, but his presence in the situation was what delivered them from the storm. Nothing can stop God from loving us, even while we were yet sinners he gave his son for us. Those who draw back in trying times, God said he is not happy with them [Heb. 10:38]. In this season, it is possible that certain unpleasant things have happened to some persons, loss of job, loved ones, etc. The truth is that it is also a season of lifting for some persons. The ways of God are past finding out. We can’t understand him. We must always know that God wants resilient followers, those who will continuously show their love for him. He doesn’t want to occupy the second position in a man’s life, he always wants to be No. 1. Luke 9:61-62 “And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. 9:62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” Anyone who has come along with Christ and decides to look back at this moment is not fit for the kingdom. Paul who in Romans 18:18 “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us”. There is a glory that must be revealed in everyone’s life. A testimony sometimes ago about our brother who got married and during the birth of his first child, the baby came out dead. Revelation now came to someone that his wife gave birth to a second child and he died again. The church prayed and secured promises in God concerning the matter. It came to pass that the wife of this brother took in again and at delivery the child came out dead; When we heard about it, we reminded God of his promise in the place of prayer and to the glory of God, the baby sweated and came back to life. If the brother had given up, the glory of God that was revealed wouldn’t have been revealed. There are somethings that God allows because he wants to do his own thing; the bible says “if any man draws back, I have no pleasure in him”. God takes us through those things because he knows that there is a greater glory ahead of us [Hebrews 10:38]. John 15:6 “If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned”. May you not wither in Jesus name.
The ways of God are past finding out, Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose”. Everything that we are going through now will work for your good in Jesus name. Acts 5:29 “Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men”, despite the threat, the disciples still held on to their conviction and obedience to God. It is worthy of note that separation doesn’t just happen at once; any wall that is going to breakdown many times begins with a crack, if the crack is not addressed then the collapse is inevitable. Our Lord himself has promised that he will be with us in times of trouble Isaiah 43:3 “For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee”. Daniel, shedrack and his friends are examples of God showing up in times of trouble. If God has told us that he is with us, then we must believe him and stand by his word. Job 13:15 “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him”. Just maintain your own ways and see God move on your behalf.
LIKELY CAUSES OF SAPARATION
1. Faithlessness or fear: fear should not deter us from loving God, especially fear of the unknown. Jesus said whosoever shall save his life will lose it [Matthew 16:25-26]. Let’s hold on to God at all times.
2. Lack of commitment: some of us are not committed. When the dark hour of Jesus came, he was committed to prayer: he went straight to the garden of Gethsemane and prayed there [Matt. 26:41]. Prayer is the life and strength of any believer, this time is a good time for believers to engage prayers.
3. Inadequate strength spiritually: many of use, we are not strong spiritually, Proverbs 24:10 “If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small”.
4. Lack of solid foundation: Jesus told us of the parable of those that build their house upon the rock and sand. Your foundation in Christ must be firm to avoid separating ourselves from God.
Many are still earthly focus: we are in this earth but we are not of this world. The parameter of measuring how good one is doing in life is not same with how the world sees it. I may not have millions in my account but I know that the Lord supplies all my needs when I have needs. We must make sure that we fully know that though we are here on earth, heaven is our real home. Colossians 3:1-2 “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth”. If our faith is fixed in Christ, we will not be shaken. Your love for Christ must be paramount, remember the greatest commandment is to love God.
If you are yet to give your life to Christ, ask the Lord to receive you and be the lord of your life.
- Father I pray for every of your children, that none of them will deny you in Jesus name.