Three keys to happiness in difficult times – Part 1
Fear not. It is noteworthy that this message was addressed to the people of Israel when they were suffering the evils of Babylonian captivity. Though they were captives, and had suffered long, yet the Lord says, they had nothing to fear in regard to their final extinction as a people. Fear not, for He has redeemed you, not that He shall redeem you. (vs1) He has done it already.
Fear not for God is with you even at this difficult time. (vs5) Fear is the apprehension of danger, both natural and moral though some are more timid than others when it comes to natural fear. But this is no index to the moral state of the heart. Nerves, which are strong, do not constitute faith while nerves, which are weak, do not indicate distrust in God. He Who speaks is our Creator. When God is with us, He is for us, and who or what can be against us?
In this passage, we have two of God’s gracious promises. These are His presence and His preservation. With these two, He supports and strengthens us. He promises us His presence even in our trials. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.” So, do not imagine yourself being left alone in difficult times. In addition also is the promise of preservation under all our calamities. Because you are precious in His eyes, He will give Egypt, Ethiopia, and Seba as a ransom for you. These three nations symbolise Israel’s great worth. He can pull down to raise you up.
Recently, I watched a Christian movie titled: “The Hope of Glory,” which centred on a lady, who was jilted by her fiance, a Captain in the Armed Forces few weeks to her wedding because of her new found faith in Christ. Though it was difficult for her, she refused to deny Christ in exchange for her wedding. Few weeks after the disgrace/difficult experience, a Single General was transferred to their area and became engaged to her by divine arrangement. Unfortunately, for the arrogant Captain, he was deployed as the Aide de Camp of the General. He ended up being like a servant to his former fiancée. Your life will ultimately radiate God’s glory. (7) So, fret not, faint not and fear. You will still move from glory to glory. You will laugh last. Shalom.
Rev. (Dr.) Israel Kristilere, Shepherdhill Baptist Church, (Sanctuary of Grace & Glory), Baptist Academy Compound, Obanikoro, Lagos.