Wed | Sep 19, 2018

Life is vanity without Christ, says young preacher

Published:Saturday | September 1, 2018 | 12:00 AMTamara Bailey/Gleaner Writer

Manchester, Jamaica:

Just recently, there was a post circulating on social media with the caption, "I couldn't expect God to do what I needed to get to where I want to, so I did what I had to do and then asked Him for forgiveness".

Dangerous ground to tread on, we may say, but truthfully, the only thing separating many of us from this social media user is his candour.

We say that we trust in God and that His words are final, but do we actually wait on him? Or do we instead believe we must conform to the ideals of the world, acquiring that which we must at any cost?

A graduate student in divinity at the Andrews University in Michigan, USA, and officer in the local church Silburn Reid spoke at the Campbell's Castle SDA Church recently and established that anything in this life without Christ at the helm is vanity.

"The world is vanity, and oftentimes life doesn't make sense. These are the facts of life, and when you enter into this world, you cannot escape it. You cannot escape the reality.

"Life is substitutive, and this means that life changes all the time. Life is not always constant. It goes up and it goes down, some things can be big today, and some things can be small tomorrow. Life can flip on you, and the devil can turn everything upside down."

He says the beauty with having an all-powerful Father is that if Satan is not given power to harm you, nothing can touch you.

"He has to go through the filtration system, or he can't touch you. There is a hedge around you. You must understand that while you have some problems, Satan must pass through that hedge. If he isn't granted that permission, nothing can happen because God is in control."

Bad things can happen quickly, he says, with just one drunk driver, the death of a loved one, or being somewhere you shouldn't have been. However, only eyes affixed on Jesus can endure test and trials.

"Bad things not only happen to bad people, but bad things happen to good people as well. You are not invincible. The saying 'God does not put more on you than you can bear' is a lie. If God gives you something you can bear, how will you trust Him? He has to give you more than you can bear so that you can turn to Him, call on His name, and allow Him to help you through it.

"You and I are not in control of our lives. We are not managers, we are mere supervisors, and we must acknowledge that life is substitutive, susceptible and swift. How do we deal with the fact that we are not in control? What do you do when you find yourself between the devil and the deep blue sea? Here is the formula. Trust in the Lord, and lean not on your own understanding. Yes, the bills are piling up; yes, your marriage is failing; yes, you are about to lose your job - but trust God."

He said that a life outside of attributing everything to the Creator will be a difficult life.

"If you look at the world, you will get stressed; if you look at yourself, you will get depressed; but if you look to the hills, at Jesus, then it will put you at rest. You can trust that His promises are true. If God said it, then I believe it, and that settles it," he ended.

familyandreligion@gleanerjm.com