This year is moving fast, and already three weeks of it are already in the past. As is customary people would have set accomplishments for the year and the changes they intend to make to various aspects of life. On reflection some may discover these changes, intended accomplishments and ensuing plans reveal that: many simply live to work, whilst others work to live, some neither work nor live properly whilst there is a group that recognises they live primarily to commune with God and worship Him. Everything else comes after!
Whatever groups people find themselves in there is a piece of exhortation to take note of in our reflections, and allow to guide our thinking and life.‘Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.’ – Psalm 127.1. Our reflections and eventual achievement are futile and vain without due acknowledgement of and engagement with God, who has declared to make this year one in which we experience Him as a God of Wonders. This month’s theme starts the year of God of Wonders with a profoundly simple yet concise instruction to Just Believe!
It does not matter what aspect of life and living we most need help with. God cares whether it is education, family life, work, career, travel, health, holiday. Or other aspects of life like food, drink, clothes, weight, habits, aspects of the character or anything else. God is calling upon us to just believe that He the God of Wonders wants to be intimately involved on an ongoing basis, and get due acknowledgement for it.
On a personal note my mind has been further focused by a number of interactions to further convince me of the veracity of Proverbs 19:21 that says ‘There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.’From focusing on the next big birthday, enjoyment of life, redeeming the time, spending money to derive pleasures and comforts, struggling with what to make of the message of the Gospel or the possibility of the existence of a creator, battling with health or other challenges: people have taught me that I cannot do without the counsel and personal involvement of God in everything small or great I embark on this year. How appropriate to ‘Just believe’ in what God is saying to us as a church, stand still and see the salvation of this God of Wonders!
Appropriately and to further make sober these thoughts Ecclesiastes 12:13 enjoins us to ‘Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.’ I am convinced to believe God’s word and promises to us including Psalm 34:19-22‘Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken. Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate.The Lord redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.’
Likewise does Joel 2:32 – ‘And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call.’
The promises of God to us are numerous and specifically speak to our individual and collective situations. Psalm 91:13-15 assures us of the love and safety we will enjoy this year, as we continue to believe in His word. We are challenged in John 16:24 that ‘Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.’
What confidence we can have in the promises of our Great I am that is a God of Wonders!!
To start this year, I have resolved above everything else that in everything I just believe the Word of God.
The sermon, I Just Believe The Word of God, by Minister Yomi Sanusi, was delivered on January 21, 2018.