Every person engages in various activities of daily living. The core thing that drives most people is that their needs and desires be met. They had decided what they wanted out of life, and then tailored their endeavours towards achieving it.
Things would seem well and good until challenges or difficulties arise. The young person leaves school all pumped up thinking the world is at his feet. “I will be a big success within a short time” he says to himself. But he soon discovers that life is not as easy as he thinks.
The point is when things are not going as you expect, where do you go? Who do you turn to?
Naturally when people want or need help, they look for someone they think has the capacity to meet that need.
- So, when they need some loan, they go to a money lender.
- If it is housing, to the estate agent they go.
- They need treatment for an ailment, they go to a GP clinic, etc.
- There will usually be terms & conditions to be met for such a need to be met.
In all your actions, you will usually act according to your faith in and relationship with God.
Oftentimes, you think of the physical helps and networks around you. It is when these begin to fail to meet your expectations that you seem to think of God, and in a half-hearted manner.
Part of the problem is that when in need, the place some believer in Christ should go first is the place they go last. This is an indication of what or whom they think God is. If you are a believer in Christ and this reflects your situation, you are not alone. You are not the first to be in this situation, and in all probability, you will not be the last.
However, there is much believers in Christ can learn from the experiences of the people of God in the kingdom of Judah. We shall look at a particular event in their live and see what we can glean from it. This would be especially encouraging as even in our day many people of God continue to behave in many ways that are similar to the Israelites of old.
A family of God that went astray
God picked a family and brought them near to himself. He multiplied this family turning them into a nation made up of people peculiar and special to himself. He gave them the details of how to approach and worship him. He gave them law and instructions on how to live their lives in a way to please him. He gave promises of protection, provision, progress and promised never to forsake them. They demanded for a king. He set up kings over them thus making them a kingdom unto himself.
However, in spite of all that God did for them and to them and all the warnings, they gradually drifted away from God.
The people had become so idolatrous and gone after many of the Gods of the surrounding nations, that on many fronts, they were worse than the nations God used them to replace in the promised land. Both the leaders and the people were full of wickedness, and ungodliness including sacrificing their children to false gods. Injustice, violence, and all manners of evil were rampant.
The faithful who never leaves his own
It was so bad, that, despite the reforms that one their kings who was zealous for God (King Hezekiah) carried out (2Chr 29:1-31:21), God had decided He had had enough. He was Going to judge them severely.
Right now, under king Hezekiah, they were under siege from the most powerful army of the time, the Assyrian army (2Kgs 18:1-37). So, the prophet Isaiah was himself wearied and discouraged because of the terrible things that they were doing.
But though, God was going to punish His people, He gave them hope for the future as can be seen in Isaiah 40:12-31.
In the midst of their distressing situation and despite their apostasy God was not going to abandoned them to be completely destroyed. They were going to be chastened but not unto perdition. While not letting them go unpunished, God was not going to make an end of them.
That nation was the kingdom of Judah.
It is still the same God
The same word that God sent to the people of the kingdom of Judah to give them hope in the midst of their trouble and the impending invasion can also give believers in Christ hope today.
The people of Judah faced a ferocious army that was intent on doing them maximum damage. Today, many believers in Christ, and in many places, the church of Christ as a group are similarly surrounded by enemies that are intent on doing them maximum damage. But unlike the people of Judah, the believers in Christ are fighting a multi-front war. The world of the ungodly and wicked encircles and threatens to strangle the believer. The battle can often be so fierce that the believer may become weary or even want to give in to the wicked.
But our God is on the throne with all the power and love to take care of every one of his children. And this is what we want to remind the believers in Christ of and for them to therefore be encouraged in whatever circumstances they may find themselves.
Whatever your situation God is there
- Are you burdened by the terrible situation of the church?
- Are your burdened by the level of the wickedness you hear about every day?
- Like Lot is Sodom, is your spirit grieved by the horrendous disregard for God in almost anywhere you look today?
- Are you being persecuted for your faith in Christ?
- Do you feel overwhelmed by your personal situation?
Take heart child of God. Your heavenly Father is still on the throne. He knows you. He knows what he is going to do concerning you. And he is never late.
But who is God to you?
With God being on our side, his children, we have hope.
But this question needs to be asked and you should answer it sincerely and to the best of your ability: “Who is God to you?”
This is very important because the answer could be the reason for your situation and provide the way out at the same time.
When the Lord Jesus Christ asked a similar question of his disciples of what people said he was, there were numerous responses. But when he personalised the question, directing in specifically to his disciples, “…But whom say ye that I am?” (Mat 16:15), there was pin-drop silence. Only one could respond appropriately after a long silence (Mat 16:13-16).
As it was then, it is still the same today: It is not what others make of the Lord but what you who claim to be a Christian make of him that determines how you relate to him. And so, the question, “Who is God to you?” or put another way, “Whom do you take God to be to you?”. It is your view of God that underlies how you live your life.
Our God is the Almighty
Again, take a reflective look at Isaiah 40:12-31. This is just a snapshot of the numerous passages of Scripture that speak of the majesty of God. As you reflect on that passage observe and mediate on some of the attributes of our God. There is no better place to learn about our God than from the testimony of his word. Though much of this passage is in poetic and figurative language, this is describing our God and some of his actions in terms that we can understand.
To help you in your meditation, here are some points that can be inferred from this passage among other things and that you may use as starters:
- God is one and self-existing
- God unchanging
- God’s power is unsurpassed (Isaiah 40:27-28).
- God alone creates and his capacity to create is unsurpassed (Isaiah 40:21-22).
- God measures all, but he himself is beyond all measure (Isaiah 40:12).
- God alone has perfect Knowledge, knows all things perfectly, and is absolutely independent (Isaiah 40:13-14).
- God alone is the righteous judge
- God’s creation is vast, much beyond what any man can see or know (Isaiah 40:15-17, Dan 4:35).
- God is higher than any man-made or devil-inspired rival (Isaiah 40:25-26).
- God is incomparable to any of His creations and any man-made improvisations (Isaiah 40:18-20).
- God alone promotes and demotes (Isaiah 40:23-24).
- God gives power to achieve (Isaiah 40:29-31).
God is a self-existing. His creation exists because of Him. God owns His own existence to no one, but Himself. He knows all things perfectly, and is therefore, the righteous judge.
Yet some still dare to turn their backs on such a God! They turn to idols and false worship of false gods and in some cases, demons. The level of effort and expense they go through to procure these worthless idols shows how depraved they had become.
Idolatry did not end with the Israelites nor with the coming of Christ. Idolatry is not just bowing down to a wooden or golden statute and other such things. So, before you absolve yourself from being an idol worshipper claiming that you have no statue you bow down to hear this: Idolatry includes the giving of the worship and reference due to God, to creatures of God.
Each time a person thinks a more powerful being other than the true God directs him to comfort you, you may be putting that creature in the creator’s place. It does not matter whether in the face of a formidable army, well-stored magazines, a small circle of friends, or an income, it is idolatry if it is receiving that which is due only to God from you.
Remember, your idol or false god could be the devil and the numerous entities that front for him in the affairs of the world, you job, your spouse, your child, fulfilling your lust, and any number of other things people devote their lives to. This is what the Israelites were guilty of on numerous occasions. God had to eventually put a stop to it by sending them into captivity in Babylon.
Beware of personal pride
As the saying goes, pride goes before a fall. But common as that saying is, how many do the necessary self-examination to avoid it? Better than popular opinion is what the word of says of pride.
Here is a sampling,
“When pride cometh, then cometh shame: But with the lowly is wisdom.” (Pro 11:2); and
“Pride goeth before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Pro 16:18).
Please, never think that you are so faithful and committed to the LORD that you are beyond idolatry or cannot be ensnared. Such thoughts could be a sign of pride and could lead you to lowering your guard against falling victim to the worship of false gods.
Remember, the Israelites were people of God and many amongst them were committed and faithful to God. Yet they fell.
While His creatures come from nothing: He calls things from nothingness into existence, makes things in existence into nothingness.
Do not allow your personal situation to re-interpret the Word of God for you. What you received and believed in the light and when you were in the steady state, do not begin to doubt in the hours of darkness when you are prone to stumble.
Rather, examine yourself appropriately and regularly. Get yourself established and rooted in the word of God and personal relationship with his Holy Spirit. When in crisis, and in desperate situation, some claim that their ways are hidden from God or that God is no more interest in them.
But God is always the one in sole charge and the arbiter of all events. When you have Scriptural view of God and a heart that loves him you will be less prone to error or being deceived.
Some pertinent questions:
- But you the believer in Christ, what is your response when you are faced with some situation that is serious or even desperate?
- Who or where do you turn to?
- What type of help are ready to accept in such a situation?
- Do you think or assume that the end justifies the means irrespective of what you know of God?
You cannot run away from problem for God has not put you in a cocoon isolating you from life challenges. God’s word even says that,
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1Cor 10:13).
So, you, a Christian, what do you do when you face a challenge or problem that does not lend itself to an easy or quick solution?
Check yourself, for you may be unknowingly committing a form idolatry.
Our God never changes
Again, remember and take this to heart:
Believers in Christ should have comfort from God’s attributes or character. Our God measures all but is beyond all measure Himself. Even the waters, the heavens, the mountains, and the dust of the earth, He created precisely to His perfect satisfaction.
God alone has perfect Knowledge. No one ever directed the Spirit of God, nor ever will be. His capacity to create is unsurpassed. Yes, his creation is vast, much beyond what any man can know or see. Yet, are insignificant in His sight
Our God is incomparable to any of His creations, any man-made improvisations. He is higher than any man-made rival. No man-made image could ever portray such a great God.
His power is unsurpassed, and God gives power to achieve. He alone promotes and demotes. Our God alone can deliver.
Those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength. This is letting the people of Judah who were at that time discouraged, and possibly thinking, God does not care anymore, to let them know God still cared for them. God never leaves, nor forsakes His own (Heb. 13:5).
You belong to God!
To crown it all: This is the God that calls you his own! Should this be motivation and encouragement enough for you to be able to persist and overcome even the preset storm?
It is those who put their hope in the Almighty God that will keep going, even when it seems humanly speaking, it is impossible. Do not judge by what you see or feel alone, but by the word of God. God is with you always. So, take God at His word from this moment on.
I pray that the LORD will quickly come to your aid in the Name of Jesus.
But this has been about the people of God, especially in our time, the believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. Perhaps you are yet an unbeliever and you are asking, “How do I come in seeing I do not yet know Christ?”
What if Christ is not yet your Saviour? What if you are not yet born of the Spirit? Then the above does not yet apply to you. You are yet outside the fold of the people of God, the believers in Christ.
But there is a way out for God has made provision for you too. O yes, God created you. So, he knows you more than you know yourself! God knew you were going to get to this point and he therefore made provision for you.
By becoming a born-again child of God as demanded and provided for by God:
The invitation has gone out to all human beings including you reading this piece.
Accept God’s verdict concerning human beings:
“All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). And that “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).
That is, in the opinion of God, we all fall short of His standard. Further, our sin has earned a deserved wage which is death or separation from God in hell.
But while we are still in our sin, God took the initiative to reconcile us with Himself as we are told:
“But God commendeth His love towards us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
Yes, while we were all still in our sin, God showed His love for us by sending His only Son, Jesus Christ to die for us. God gave Jesus Christ to the whole world (John 3:16). So, all we need to do is to accept that Christ has died for our sin by standing in place of us.
We do this by doing what the word of God commands all would-be believers:
“If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10). “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).
Everyone who appropriates the sacrifice of Christ is acceptable to Him. And He Himself extended the invitation to all:
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30).
So, I encourage you to appropriate the finished work of Christ and confess Him as your Saviour and Lord NOW!
I prayer that God will accept you into His household through Christ in Jesus’ Name, Amen.