Summary of the Sermon by Pastor K. Steven, at Bethany International Service, on Sunday, 25 November 2018.
The “Little While’s” Of Life
Jesus went on to say “in a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.” John 16:16
Our God is the same yesterday and today, and the same for the ones who put their faith in Jesus Christ, our Savior. What does it mean when Jesus said “a little while” He will be absent from the disciples and after “a little while” the disciples will see Him? The disciples were so terrified after Jesus was crucified, fearing that there would come a time when they would be persecuted.
Every one of us will go through this “little while” in life like the disciples. In this “little while” of life we must remember that God is in control, even when it feels like God has neglected us.
The difficulties of life that we go through may be so bad that nobody knows. Ps Steven was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in April 2018, and the cancer markers kept going up and reached the fourth stage as the cancer had spread to the stomach, lymph nodes and liver. Although there is no cure for his medical situation, some of the cancer has disappeared. Our God is a miracle working God, without prayer nothing moves in our life.
God allows the “little whiles” of life for two purposes:
1. GOD IS AT WORK
In our despair, our eyes cannot see it and we may not feel it, but the fact is, God is always with us. Sometimes everything around us may be crumbling and life is so messy, but God is at work and progress will take place as we response correctly. God is working out a plan of salvation in His own timing.
2. FAITH & TRUST MUST GROW
As we walk with God, tests will come into our lives to remain faithful to God. Life and death are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). God understands how we feel and whatever we go through, stay faithful and refrain from making negative confessions. We are to grow in all aspects in the grace and knowledge of our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ. Faith is the currency of heaven and our faith must be mixed with prayer for something to materialize and rise up in the presence of God.
WHAT IS REQUIRED TO LIVE THROUGH THE “LITTLE WHILES” OF LIFE?
1. WE NEED KNOWLEDGE
We need to know that God has a plan and He is accomplishing something. We do not know how long this “little while” of our life will be. God has the final say over our life, anything under the sun can happen to us at any time. When we humbly walk before the LORD, He will push us forward. What we are today is because of His grace; this very life that we own belongs to Him (Jeremiah 29:11). Knowledge must be put into practice to be experienced, we must live it out in our daily living.
2. WE NEED TO TRUST
We have to trust and hold on to that knowledge – that God has a reason, and to keep trusting His Word. During a time of trial and testing, having specific and a concrete knowledge of God’s plan, promises and purpose will see us through the period.
3. WE NEED PERSISTENCE
We need to exercise persistence and cling on to the Word of God. Never give up. Joseph remained faithful to God despite the challenges he faced during the “little while” of his life.
Our experience and the outcome of this time of waiting depends on how we enter into this period -
1. Whether we sense the meaning and purpose of this waiting,
2. Or we just suffer through them.
GOD USES THE LITTLE WHILE’S OF LIFE TO
1. Shift our focus from the present time to God’s vision of the future.
2. Shift our focus from our own resources to His unlimited resources.
3. Shift our focus from light and momentary troubles to eternal glory.
These “little whiles” of life are not going to last forever – place our faith in the LORD and He will see us through. Only God and we ourselves know the trying times of our life – following Jesus is not only for His blessings. Trying times are the opportunity to us to declare our loyalty to Christ. What is our trying time of life today? As fragile as a human being, run to the arms of God, go down to the narrow path. Falling away or turning away from God to pursue our own solution will put our eternal salvation at risk.
The gates to heaven are narrow, and as we walk through there will be hardships, trials and dark moments in our journey of faith. Never give up on Jesus; instead allow this period of time to build our life upon the rock – God is creating an authentic testimony of our own. Persevere all the way to the end, consider it all joy when we encounter various trials. God will see us through no matter what we are going through.