By Dr. Abayomi Sanusi,
We all know the advice and concept of making hay while the sun shines; of taking advantage of prevailing favourable conditions, and preparing for the future. Wise counsel from the preacher prompt us to ..(Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them. Ecclesiastes 12:1). This
is not only wise and advisable, but also essential to prayerfully planning for the future.
However things do not always go according to plan. In life people, even believers of Christ, can get stuck because of unfavourable events that happened in the past. Hurt, betrayal, disappointment, failure, errors, poor judgement, and various kinds of baggage, can conspire to stop a believer from their divine appointment. Those errors can even be deliberate, unfortunate, and unforgivable. Even in those situations the word of God continues to be valid and true. The word of God remains true and valid even in today’s society- heavy laden with blame, ﬁnger-pointing, and conﬂict.
For the believer God’s plan is unequivocal regarding past regrets. We must forge forward and press ahead in knowledge of His gracious provisions for us. Wonderful and emboldening declarations read unequivocally in Isaiah 43:18-19: 18 Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. 19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.
Why press on?
The following premises provide reassurance to the believer: Nothing in the past has ever been a surprise to God. Nothing in the future is a surprise to God. The promises of God remain true regardless of what the past was, or future will be. Consequently children of God, people who depend on Him should understand these facts; and therefore move ahead, forward, upward (in obedience to God’s word). It is an appointed fact that you will arrive at the favourable expected end. It is only reasonable that Christian press on in the knowledge that God is working with, and through us in each and every situation.
So when current affairs, global events, rumours of war, pestilences and destruction happen, as God’s children we must press ahead.
Example from history, pressing on…
Historically even in the midst of captivity, and when His people were in difﬁculty and suffering (regardless of whether they had been at fault, or suffered through no fault of their own) God had a word of peace and encouragement for His people. Just as then, today there is a lot of politics, clever doctrines, confusing creeds and brilliant philosophy all around us. We are encouraged that God will honour His word and promises in our lives. Our job is to focus on the word of God and press ahead whilst the sun is shining.
(5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have:for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. 6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. Hebrews 13:5-6).
(For thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed. 9 For they prophesy falsely unto you in my name:I have not sent them, saith the Lord. 10 For thus saith the Lord, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place. 11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Jeremiah 29:8-11)
The source of our conﬁdence (God’s promises….the words that came from His mouth)
17 For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord; because they called thee an Outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after (Jeremiah 30:17) I will rescue. I will have mercy. (verse 18). I will multiply you and glorify you (verse 19). I will punish those that oppress you (verse 20). I will deal angrily with the wicked, unholy and enemies of God (verses 23-24)
(verse 21b & 22) : I will cause him to draw near, and he shall approach unto me: for who is this that engaged his heart to approach unto me? saith the Lord. 22 And ye shall be my people, and I will be your God (Jeremiah 30:21-22)
Conclusion! 18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matthew 28:18-20)
7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall ﬁnd; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh ﬁndeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? 10 Or if he ask a ﬁsh, will he give him a serpent? 11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him (Matthew 7:7-11)
17 Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee (Jeremiah 32:17)
14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. 15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. 18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be ﬁlled with the Spirit; 19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; 21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God (Ephesians 5:14-21).
If we individually and personally hold on to His promises as commanded in the word of God, obeying His word by performance of His commandments; then we stand a chance of remaining focussed on God’s plan for us and eventually reaching the best and desirable end.However for now we must press ahead whilst the sun is shining.
Sermon delivered by Dr. Abayomi Sanusi on July 13th, 2014.