Stand! You are Not Alone! by Minister Tinkuma Ejovi
Text- Psalm 46: 1-11
The psalmist says life can be tough at times. Trouble and travail do come and bad things do happen to the righteous just as they happen to the unrighteous. Life is full of ups and downs, there are crosses to bear, and whether you like it or not the reality is that at some point in the journey of life, you will get to deal with something hard. It could be some stuff in your job, some stuff in your marriage, in your finances, your health, in your studies, if it’s not your parents, it might be your children, it’s going to be one thing or the other, that’s just life. But the good news is that you are not alone, God is with you in all of these so stand! Jesus speaking in John 16: 33, He says“in the world, ye will have tribulation, but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world”. You’ve got to stand; not because you are anything supper but because the one you are connected to is supper; He is the Solid Rock, the Unmovable God, the Unshakeable God, the All-Powerful God, the Lord of Host and much more.
Listen, the fact that difficult times come and you feel pressure on every side, and sometimes you even feel like the whole world is coming down on you doesn’t mean that you should throw in the towel, it doesn’t mean you should give up. You have to stand because God is with you and He will help you (Psalm 46:5; 1 Cor 10:13). If you stand, God will stand for you, but if you don’t, you prevent heaven from coming to your defence. I know it is not easy, I know you feel like crying, I know you feel like you want to give up, but the devil is a liar: Stand! You are not alone! (Isaiah 43:2).
Sometimes when certain things happen to us, our usual response is; God why? Why me? But do you know your faith cannot be tested at your comfort zone. Faith is proven in trouble, faith is proven in the fiery furnace of affliction, faith is proven in the fire. I am telling you this so that when situations come you will stand. Job said“though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him” (Job 13:15a). Job, according to historians was the wealthiest man of many generations. He had different livestock(cattle, sheep, lambs, oxen, asses etc), he had crops, he had houses, he had money, he had reputation, he was famous, he had friends, he had children and he had a beautiful wife. He had everything going well for him, but suddenly the tide turned negatively on Job. And Job was probably wondering “Why Me?” But what he didn’t realize was that it was a trial of his faith. And so Satan dealt severely with Job; he killed all of Job’s family except his wife, as if that wasn’t bad enough he destroyed all his crops, killed all his livestock, burnt down his real estate, destroyed his reputation, his relationship with his friends and all of that. The situation got so bad that even Job’s wife asked him to curse God and die. But Job refused to curse God; he said “for I know that my redeemer lives” (Job 19:25). He further said “If a man die, shall he live again? All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come” (Job 14:14). And the bible says in Job 42:12a “and the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning”. The power of Job was that in the midst of his circumstance, he maintained his relationship with God. Job still had a place where he heard from God. He remained connected to God despite the circumstance.
One problem with most of us is that we don’t stay connected.I know some situations can be tough but stand! Paul speaking in Romans 8:35says “But who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? He did not say what? And in Romans 8:37, the bible says “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us”. All you need to find is an anchor in something stronger than your troubles, and that anchor is the Lord of Host, He is Adonai, He is the Mighty fortress that we call our God, He is the Ebenezer, He is the Solid Rock, the Strong Tower, He is Jesus and at the mention of that name every knee bows (Phil 2:10).
Another problem with most of us is that when trouble comes, all we can see is the trouble. Sometimes, we even go an extra mile to magnify the trouble, then fear sets in and drowns our faith in God. Our text says there is a river which brings joy to the city of God (the child of God), God is in the midst of her and so she shall not be moved. But most times we concentrate on the problem and we don’t see Him, we don’t see that He is there with us, the ever present help in time of need. And if we are a little sensible, sometimes we make Him the last resort. This reminds me of Mark 4: 35-41 when the disciples were confronted with a strong wind in the sea that almost wrecked their ship. They got so afraid and did all they could but only remembered that Jesus was in the ship with them when they felt all hope was lost. The bible says “And He (Jesus) arose and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And He said unto them, why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?” (Mark 4:40).
Let’s take one more passage in the scripture and see what God is saying to us – 1 Samuel 17.
For forty days the Philistines challenged and threatened the children of Israel. The bible says in I Sam 17:11“When Saul and all Israel heard the sayings of Goliath, they were dismayed and greatly afraid”. They focused on their situation rather than their God, and so they became sore afraid. They forgot they have the presence of the Most High God, they could not even consider all the signs and the wonders they had seen God do in their midst. They forgot the scriptures that says if God be for us who can be against us? They forgot they are the beloved of the Lord, they forgot the words of the Lord, that says fear not! All they could see was the situation before them. But before long someone named David came, I don’t know how long you’ve been in that situation, but I have a good news for you in the house today, weep not, fear not, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah has prevailed. He showed up for the Israelites, He will show up for you, but you need to stand.
Some lessons we can learn from this passage are as follows:
1) David placed his God above the challenge. He said “who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he could defy the armies of the living God?” (I Sam 17:26). In other words, he was saying who is this unholy Philistine that disregards and threatens the army whose Commander in Chief is the Living God?
2) This was the first time the people heard words that encouraged them. I Sam 17:31 says “And when the words were heard which David spoke, they rehearsed them before Saul and he sent for him”. These words brought hope and relief to the people. That is why I know that the things you hear in the midst of trouble matter a lot.
3) I Sam 17:33 “And Saul said to David, thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him for thou art but a youth and he a man of war from his youth”. However, David narrated how God had delivered him in the past (I Sam 17:34-37) and these testimonies enhanced His courage and faith in God. Recalling your past testimonies can help strengthen your faith in the midst of trials.
4) David could not go to fight with Saul’s armour because he had not tested it. The question is do you accept and do all that people suggest to you in difficult times? Do you measure those suggestion with the word of God? What do you do when the suggestions are not in line with the word of God? David refused to go with what he had not proven.
5) And after David took off Saul’s armour, the bible says “David took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook and put them in a shepherd’s bag which he had, and his sling was in his hands and he drew nigh to the Philistine” (I Sam 17:40). A staff is a rod or stick meant for walking, striking or guiding. The word of God is our staff, the psalmist says “though I walk through the valley of shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff they comfort me” (Ps 23:4). How much of God’s word do you have in your heart? I encourage you to study the word of God daily, because when the storms of life confront you, the Word will help you. How much of God do you know? Remember “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph 6:12).
6) And when the Philistine looked about and saw David, he disdained him for he was but a youth (I Sam 17: 42). The Philistine did not consider who was behind David and he eventually lost the battle because God was with David. You too will win! Because you are not alone! God is with you – EMMANUEL.
In conclusion, no matter the trials of life, just stay connected and never leave the presence of God. If they can’t knock Him down, they won’t be able to knock you down.
Stand! You are Not Alone! by Minister Tinkuma Ejovi was delivered on April 19th 2015