"The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the suffering of this present time is not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." (Romans 8: 16-18) There is a song that bears witness with my spirit, the words in part says, "we've come this far by faith, leaning on the Lord. Trusting in His holy word, He's never failed me (us) yet...." It is my firm belief and strong conviction that the message wrapped up within this line from the song correlates to this brief passage of scripture from the Epistle of Paul to the Romans. It was meant to give comfort and a calming assurance that thought the state of the church in this world always is an afflicted state, that the future glorious state was much more rewarding and one indeed worth the waiting for.We are reminded that our light affliction and pain is but for a moment (limited time only) and though in our present state we come short in both the enjoyment and knowledge of the glory, it shall be revealed to us, and it surpasses all that we have ever seen or known. It is rich, it is great, it concerns the soul, and it is eternal! What a wonderful promise!
God's promise is to help us His people. Our situation is never too grave for God to handle. In the book of 1 Samuel 7 it is recorded of how the religious meetings of the Israelites at Mizpeh brought trouble upon them from the Philistines, hence God allowed the Philistines to invade Israel. But how evil sometimes seems to come out of good and how good is, at length, brought out of that evil. They could have waivered in fear and buckled under the pressure of the attack, but instead, they cleaved closely to Samuel as their best friend under God in their distress, not as though he was a military man or as one celebrated as a mighty man of valour, but as one whom they engaged his prayers for God's deliverance on their behalf. The moral and the lesson captured in this story is that while we go through our momentary afflictions, we are going to need the prayers of others. We will need their love and support to help us get through whatever situation or circumstance that we may find ourselves in. Never give way to fear, it will cripple you! But we must always give way to faith in God, our only source and help in times of trouble.
The bible says that Samuel interceded with God for them and he did it by sacrifice. His prayer without sacrifice would not have been so prevalent, but the both together has taught us that we can thus expect great things from God in answer to the prayers which are made with faith in Christ's sacrifice. The words of Samuel is thus declared in the end, "Hitherto hath the Lord helped us." (1 Samuel 7:12) This was but the beginning of the people of God's deliverance from the Philistines, which was owing to the help of the Lord. God helped them, that they might hope and encourage themselves that He would go on to help them until their deliverance was completed. As a memorial of the victory to this day, Samuel has placed a stone between Mizpeh and Shen, to which he gave the name Ebenezer, 'the stone of help,' signifying that the Lord had thus far helped His people. If you or someone you know is going through a difficult time in their life, encourage them that they too might receive the same hope of salvation that the Lord has helped you with today. God is not a man that He should lie, nor is He the son of man to repent. Once God says it, that settles it! Your victory is moments away, and your promise is greater than your pain.
God bless you as we continue this journey of faith together. Keep the faith, it will guide you! Live in the fellowship one with another, it will keep you and strengthen you!
Minister Yvonne I. Wilson