HOLD ON TO YOUR FAITH
Have you prayed and believed God for something and it appears He didn’t answer or His answer is different from your requests? This post brings you some encouragement. It addresses the devastation that many are feeling from the results of last week’s presidential elections in Nigeria that saw the incumbent declared winner. Many have described it as the biggest electoral heist in modern Nigerian history. But the message of this post is relevant to all who are feeling disappointed or confused by God’s seeming silence to their prayers or the answer He has given which doesn’t match their expectations.
This week has been a nightmare for many Nigerians. Almost four years of suffering under the present government that has seen Nigeria become a flaming dictatorship and the poverty capital of the world seem set to be doubled following the electoral ‘results’ that have been announced. The implication is that tyranny is digging in but it is well. People are asking, “What was the use of praying? Why did we go to so much trouble to vote?” My dear, prayer is never wasted and doing the right thing should never be regretted even if it doesn’t yield immediate dividends. When you have done your part, you leave the rest to God.
Do not lose your faith when the situation you prayed for remains unchanged. Trust that God knows what He’s doing.
There’s a sense of déjà vu in all this. This horror or one close to it has happened before. Many are washing their hands off our perverted system. Many are exhausted from believing so hard that a positive change can come through the ballot box and working towards it. But we shouldn’t let the seeming triumph of the present evil, so brazenly orchestrated, overwhelm us.
(Related: Be Patient When God Delays)
We should remain committed to holding onto God for peace and progress in this country. We should keep looking up to Him for safety. If we lose our faith in Him, what else do we have, where shall we run to? So, keep praying, even if all you can do now is vent your anger. When David was persecuted, He ran to God and complained bitterly as recorded in the Psalms. Never believe the lie that He doesn’t care or isn’t working.It is okay to vent your frustrations in prayer. David, Habakkuk and others did. Click To Tweet
Habakkuk the prophet was tired of the evil/injustice that prevailed in Judah even after much prayer and asked God some hard questions about it.
“2. O LORD, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear? Or cry to you ‘Violence’ and you will not save? 3. Why do you make me see iniquity, and why do you idly look at wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise. 4. So the law is paralyzed, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; so justice goes forth perverted.” – Habakkuk 1:2-4 (ESV)
He could have taken the words from many a mouth in Nigeria right now!
God did answer Habakkuk but it wasn’t the answer he expected. God said He was sending the Babylonians to punish Judah. What? Habakkuk was bewildered. How do you punish Judah through an even more evil nation? How is that justice?
“How can you, whose eyes are too pure to see evil, who can’t look at wrong, stand by and watch silently while the wicked consume those who are more righteous than they?” – Habakkuk 1:13 (paraphrased).
God assured Habakkuk that Babylon will later be punished and that the good things He purposed for Judah will yet come to pass. In Habakkuk 2:3, He averred that,
“the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”
And in verse 4, He stated that “the just shall live by his faith.”
(Related: Noah And The Flood: A Lesson In Patience)
Habakkuk came out of that conversation strengthened and glorifying the Lord. God had not forsaken His people, He was still in control. Although He allowed certain things to happen which contradicted their prayers, He would ultimately deliver them. See the level of confidence and joy with which Habakkuk ended his report:
“17 Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, 18. yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. 19. The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.” – Habakkuk 3:17-19 (NIV)
The same God is our God! So, pour your complaints to Him. I’m certain He will tell you something that will comfort you and lift up your spirits. Also pray for wisdom and courage for the leaders of the Nigerian opposition. They are caught between a rock and a hard place. What will be the benefit of a legal challenge or any form of protest in the face of the incumbent’s ruthlessness and disregard for the rule of law?
Do not let yourself unravel as a result of what we’re seeing now or any challenge you face in life. Do not give in to despair. Let us see what God will do for us as individuals, as families and as a nation. He alone is God. And He is good; His mercies endure for ever.
Remember, the mills of God grind slowly, an English proverb says. But they do grind and you get the best flour afterwards.
“For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers” – 1 Peter 3:12.
“Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” – Psalm 55:22
“I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.” – Psalm 16:8
Almighty God, You are forever faithful and those who trust in You can have the confidence that You work everything out for their good. Prevent a breakdown of law and order in Nigeria. Save us from systematic and state-assisted killings of Christians in the North and different ethnic groups in the South. Ambush those who cling to power to pillage the country and reduce her to destitution, dear Father. Frustrate every Islamic agenda and land grabbing by the ruling Fulani. Grant us justice, peace and progress, O Lord, and let the things we have suffered lately lead to a massive spread of the gospel in Nigeria. This I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Hi! Would love to read your reactions to this post. And kindly drop a prayer for Nigeria in the comments.
The scriptures in this post are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible except where otherwise stated.
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission.
New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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If you ever feel down or burdened, I’d like you to vist my second blog, Aunty Edith’s Blog (An Encouragement Café). Come, eat and drink from the word of God for free. The posts are crisp, refreshing and uplifting and I believe God will restore hope and joy to you through them.