Archive | August 2014

Our Help In Ages Past.

 

 

 

 

Yayyynesss!!!

Hello People,

Ah, how have you been? Been a while here o, fault is all mine I know. Thank you for not giving up on me. This is for you, I saw it and couldn’t resist. Beautiful isn’t it?

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Yes, it’s another beautiful day in the awesome August. By the way, How has the month been? Trust me, there is always a reason to give thanks, if we care to look hard enough.

Let’s get down to it. I should warn you though, it promises to be a long ride. So grab a seat and some munchies wouldn’t be a bad idea too.

Read. Sing. Meditate. Enjoy.

 

Our Help In Ages Past

 

O God, our help in ages past,

Our hope for years to come,

Our shelter from the stormy blast,

And our eternal home.

 

Under the shadow of thy throne

Thy saints have dwelt secure;

Sufficient is thine arm alone,

And our defence is sure.

 

Before the hills in order stood,

Or earth received her frame,

From everlasting thou art God,

To endless years the same.

 

A thousand ages in thy sight,

Are like an evening gone;

Short as the watch that ends the night

Before the rising sun.

 

Time, like an ever-rolling stream,

Bears all its sons away;

They fly forgotten, as a dream

Dies at the opening day.

 

O God, our help in ages past,

Our hope for years to come,

Be thou our guard while life shall last,

And our eternal home.

 

“For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the scriptures, we might have hope.”- Romans 15:4

 

This topic has been on my mind for months now, I’ve just been too lazy to do something about it. Lately, I’ve been going through a lot of stuffs that to be sane through it all, I knew I had to look back at things God had done before, just to be sure he still got my back. I mean, it’s just a very thin line between faith and doubt. There are so many unanswered questions, so many what if’s, so many reasons to allow ourselves drown in unbelief. You know how you’ll be spitting scriptures one minute and the next you are thinking of a plan B, just in case. There are even times that plan B refuses to show up and we just worry rather than trust in the One who delights in wowing us.

The beautiful thing is even if you look back at your own life and think you’ve come this far all by yourself, I’m sure there’s yet a life that can convince you that there is a power, a force greater than life itself, greater than us. This ‘force’ is God. He is more than a power, He is more than a force, He is the only true and wise God, He is immortal, and invisible. I could go on and on but….I digress.

 

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So I’ve been dragging this particular issue for months now with my dad and really, I threw in the towel at a point. I mean why is it difficult for him to see things from my point of view too? My dad can be very difficult like that and yes, I can be very stubborn too, so you could call it, ‘clash of titans’. My mum (that woman ehn…) sat back and in my opinion, did nothing (Wasn’t she supposed to scream down her husband’s throat if it’ll make him see reason?) but advise me to pray. She would call me and start with the song, ‘I know my Redeemer lives’. I was always so angry. Whatever happened to ‘the violent taketh it by force?’ This dragged on for months and still I didn’t budge, neither did my dad. In the midst of all these, I couldn’t find a way to put it all into words and send a word of prayer up without feeling a tad guilty. I sulked, cried, gave him a piece of my mind etc

 

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“..In quietness and confidence shall be your strength..”-Isaiah 30:15

 

I’m learning.

August came and I was still bitter. I began to give God FYI prayer points. I was bitter and nothing happened. Why was it so difficult to then look up to the one with the answers? I really do not know. Then one day, something happened. I don’t know what it is but I started praying. First Sunday in church, I was crying while writing my prayer points but I wrote anyway and prayed. I started talking to God about the situation, I didn’t even pray the ‘let down the roof’ kind of prayers. It was just conversations. I knew what God wanted me to do and I did it and looked on. Somehow, I looked down memory lane and knew I was in for yet another surprise. Let me share some of them with you.

I remember being in the hospital for the first six months of my life, as skinny as they come (as told by mum), I remember having this leg injury that could have cost me a foot in Primary five, I think, I was in school for just four days in the whole term and still came 4th in the class. I remember my secondary school days, how God saw myself and my siblings through as Dear ma had to borrow money here and there to pay the fees. I remember making all my papers at once with enviable grades and then came admission into University which was drama all the way. I remember writing post Jamb, only to be told I scored zero because I didn’t fill a form so well. Did I cry that night or what? My aunty wouldn’t let me be though, she dragged me to Church that same night. You know God has a way of teaching us lessons in life but in the end, He comes through for us. I was not used to failure and that was a huge blow but the year after, I got admitted without itches. Don’t even get me started on my Uni days. I remember a particular day in my final year though, I had a minor issue with a Professor and she promised me I was not graduating that year. She told whoever cared to listen. I cried, pleaded and when nothing happened, I went home. I prayed for a while and when there was no strength left for prayer, I switched to Byron Cage’s ‘He is able to turn the table in my favour, He remains faithful to believe’. I sang it all through the night and even while preparing for school the next day. This same Professor came to meet me and told me I could go ahead with my project defence. Ah, tis a day I cannot forget. I could go on and on and on and I really want to but the conclusion remains the same, He is a faithful God!

 

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Like I mentioned earlier, even if you find it difficult to look in retrospect, take a look at the next person to you. It might be difficult to believe but trust me sugar, you aren’t going through something someone hasn’t gone through before.

“No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; He’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; He’ll always be there to help you come through it.”-1 Corinthians 10:13 The Message

 

Now, I know we may think ‘pushed past your limit’ as used above is relative. But if God does not know what you can take, then who does? If he cannot understand, who can? He formed you after all, He moulded you and gave you life, He knows you even better than you know yourself. He can do whatever He wishes, to and with you.

 

“…but the jar that he was forming didn’t turn out as he wished, so he kneaded it into a lump and started again. Then the Lord said: O Israel (Insert your name here) can’t I do to you as this potter has done to his clay? As the clay is in the  potter’s hand, so are you in my hand.”-Jeremiah 18:4-6 The Living Bible

 

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You know how they say, ‘You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have?’ Well, that’s to tell you you’ve not reached your limit yet, He will always make a way, He will always come through. The above verse in KJV says, ‘…He will also make a way of escape’. You know sometimes when things happen to us and we are talking about it later, we’ll say, ‘It happened, just like that.’ Well, I think that’s God’s way of saying, ‘you’ve reached your limit, this is my way of escape’.

“I knew you before you were formed within your mother’s womb, before you were born I sanctified you and appointed you as my spokesman to the world”-Jeremiah 1:8 The Living Bible

Here’s the beautiful part, whatever you are going through is for a larger purpose- A spokesman to the world!

 

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Haven’t we heard of couples that had a child after 20 or more years of marriage? I know one or two personally. Haven’t we read of students who stood for God, didn’t write a particular paper and came out with an A in the course? Haven’t we heard of women who got married after 50 years of age and still had issues post menopause? Don’t we all know a child born by a mother who was told would never have a child? Didn’t we read about Bartimaeus? Have we forgotten the woman with the issue of blood? You still remember the 5000 men that were fed? Enoch? Abraham? Abraham! What kind of man would serve a God who promised something only to fulfil it 25 years after?? 25 long years if you ask me. Abraham did. Little wonder God blessed him so much so that generations after, we all still want to be associated with Father Abraham. To think he was willing to sacrifice that same child just because God said so is something I find difficult to comprehend. Hannah? Joseph? Moses? The list is endless.

 

 

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“Do you see what this means-all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running-and never qui! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how He did it. Because He never lost sight of where He was headed-that exhilarating finish in and with God-he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now He’s there, in the place of honour, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!”- Hebrews 12:1-3 The Message

 

These things do not happen so we can gather with the people and rejoice with them alone. No! These things happen so the day you find yourself in a similar situation, you’ll be reminded of the God that did it then and be encouraged that He can do yours as well. These people are our great cloud of witnesses. They are there to cheer us on. If God has done it before, He can definitely do it again.

 

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“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.”-Hebrews 13:8

 

 

Whenever you are tempted to consider the size of the problem and see if God can actually do it, throw in a word of faith. Do not focus on how big your problem is, rather focus on how big your God is. Remember Peter? Yep, the same Peter in Matthew 14. Dude was so sure of himself, after all, he was a disciple, a follower. He knew Jesus so well. He told Jesus to command him to walk on water and the master did. I can imagine him taking a step at a time with his gaze fixed on Jesus. As he took the first step and realised that contrary to popular opinion, it was possible to walk on water, he took the second step with his gaze still on Jesus. Then the wind came and the guy doubted Jesus’ ability. Who wouldn’t? We are talking about a storm when the guy was on water! He looked at something else other than Jesus and that minute fear crept in. That same minute, he began to sink.

 

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Truth is in life, things will always happen that will threaten our faith, things will happen that will cause of to entertain fear and doubt. The good part is when we find ourselves sinking, we can always cry out just like Peter did, ‘Lord, save me!’

“..And Peter answered Him and said, ‘Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on water. So He said, ‘Come.’ And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous (stormy, violent, strong, noisy), he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, ‘Lord, save me!’ and immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’ And when they got into the boat., the wind ceased.”-Matthew 14:28-32

 

Jesus did not promise us a smooth ride without storms but we know with Him in the boat, we cannot sink. If you are walking toward Him to the best of your ability, He will see you through life’s unpredictable waters-but you must risk launching the boat. Just ask Peter! He will never leave us stranded, He is God, He cannot lie!

 

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In Hebrews 11, we are told that faith in God is being sure of what we hope for. That is the reality of the Christian life. We know whom we have believed in, even though we have never seen Him. Our hope is in Christ and because of that, it is a sure thing, a done deal.

Hope on its own has no power. I can hope to wake up one morning and be an American with all the attributes, but that hope would not serve me well. Hope depends on what it is linked to. Our hope in Christ is surer than anything we can see and experience on this earth and we arrive at that place through faith. Faith is a living thing, it is our lifestyle. It is a commitment to walk in the footsteps of Christ, not knowing what lies ahead, but knowing that He is with us, therefore we can take the next step. Our walk with Christ sometimes takes us through dark places where it seems as if the sun will never shine again, and we may feel abandoned. Faith calls us to live above what we feel to what we know to be true. Christ staked His life on the cross so we can walk as those before us and blaze a trail for those to come.

 

Oh, did I mention that my dad has calmed down? and when I thought it will be difficult to take a day off work to attend to some stuufs, our MD himself put a stop to the meeting that usually holds that day, I took the day off, did all I needed to do and guess what? The week after, we started the meeting again. So I can say God used the MD for me without me asking. It would have been really difficult getting the approval to be away but God just had to show me that he’s always before me, making ways even before I get there. Now, isn’t this God just sweet?

“Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for me?”-Jeremiah 32:27 KJV

 

O God, our help in ages past,

Our hope for years to come,

Our shelter from the stormy blast,

And our eternal home!

 

Have a wonderful week people.

May the remaining days of August be awesome for you!

Lots of ♥♥♥

 

PS: I’m planning to start a new category, should be a weekly post titled: Tales of a soon-to-be-married Christian lady. Yeah, you guessed right. So, if you are like me and you feel the need to share some stuffs,  please inbox me at okunolabukky@yahoo.com.

 

 

 

Blessings all the way!