By Dr Oyindamola Adejumo-Ayibiowu
Act 27:25 So take courage, men, for I believe God that it will happen just as He told me.
My dad was famous and most loved. But he had several disappointments too. If I hope to achieve his type of success, should I not be afraid I might experience his type of failure? I have heard some youths saying that they are afraid they might be poor and unmarried because their seniors who were even smarter never had a good job or marriage. Worry says if a bad thing can happen to great men, then more terrible things are coming after small men!
Faith is the antidote to despair when the mighty are falling around you. But this is not faith in what somebody said about himself but FAITH IN WHAT GOD HAS TOLD YOU. You don’t worry about the failures of other people because you don’t even know what God has told them. Moses led Israel out of Egypt and never entered the Promised Land. That doesn’t make it a law that every great leader will not make it to the end. God told Joshua, “Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land…only be careful to obey me.”. That is, DON’T WORRY about the failure of Moses, just mind what I told you and obey me, YOU will enter and share the land!
In Act 27 during Paul’s sail for Rome, the crew faced a deadly storm that they “abandoned all hope of being saved” (Act 27:20). While everyone expected death, only Paul was relaxed. Why was Paul confident that God will save him even though God didn’t save Stephen from being stoned to death or James from the sword of Herod? It was because over the night God told him ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar…” it means even if the storms blow fire, and all apostles in other places are dying, death will run away from me, Paul till I have seen Caesar. “…For I believe God THAT IT WILL HAPPEN JUST AS HE TOLD ME”.
Faith says it shall happen to me just as God has said regardless of what has happened to your predecessors. If God says he is taking you all round the world then why are you afraid that you may soon suffer a stroke because you saw a neighbour in a wheelchair? Why would you develop high blood pressure because of other people who are running their own races? And the truth is, those you see fallen today may rise up tomorrow; you don’t know what God has told them.
I won’t forget my teenage years when I went to check my GCE result. I heard the officer calling out the result of a friend who was more brilliant than I. Her result was poor. I immediately concluded my result would be worse so I started crying and people were consoling me when I hadn’t even checked my result. when I later summoned the courage to check my result, I discovered my result was good! Thank God I hadn’t injured myself before finding out. Interestingly, that my friend is now a doctor despite failing her first GCE attempt. God has different purposes and timetable for each and everyone.
I won’t have my father’s failure! I won’t suffer my sister’s fall! The anchor of faith holds on what God says and not what has happened to your neighbours “…by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie … We have this hope as an anchor for the soul…” (Heb 6:18-19). Hold on to what God told you!
Your case shall be gloriously different in Jesus name!