Thu | Sep 24, 2020

Step aside, Devil! - Pastor urges persons to trust God even when things seem impossible

Published:Sunday | August 9, 2020 | 12:12 AMTamara Bailey - Sunday Gleaner writer

MANDEVILLE, Manchester:

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:35 & 39

Difficult times are inevitable, and now more than ever, people are experiencing hardships that are testing their faith and forcing them to reflect on who they are.

Man of God Selvin Stewart, in a sermon at the Campbell’s Castle Seventh-day Adventist Church, said that we must fortify our faith even in the hardest of times so that God can show up for us like He did for his servant Job.

“During the process of God working on you, there are always discouragements and disappointments. While God works on you, the Devil works on you just the same. Somehow when we decide to go all the way with God, the Devil steps up the pressure.”

He added: “Everyone is a target of the Devil. The deacons and the elders are not excluded from it. The pastor is not precluded from it. Everybody experiences discouragement. If you stand for principle, they say you act more righteous than everybody else. If you don’t allow people to walk all over you, they say you are feisty, if you speak your mind, they say you are out of order, If you dress nice and have a pep in your step, they say you act like you are better than anybody else.”

Stewart highlighted the story of Job, who was tested by the Devil, who wanted to prove that people turn away from God when they face hardships. But Job’s faith never waned, even after losing his wealth, his cattle, and sores covered his body, and God rewarded his faith.

“Step aside now, Devil. The Big Man is large and in charge. You don’t represent everyone on this Earth. God values a servant much more than the position you have. Faithful servants of God, no pastor, no employer, no nosey neighbour can separate you from the love of God.”

Stewart said that some of us are too concerned with what people have to say about us and that should never be the case as God is the only one who can validate us.

“If I want to be called a servant like Job, I must be able to take the trials of Job. But when the test of a servant comes, be not dismayed whatever the tide. God will take care of you.”

PROACTIVE WORSHIP

The evangelist said that it was easy for the Devil to propose that he test Job to see if he would turn from God because people lose faith once things get difficult. However, Stewart said that people of God need to be proactive worshippers.

“Praise God in the good time and in bad time. Praise him for what he has done and for what He will do. I praise Him for who He is. You have some people, when things are bad, you don’t see them in church for the next three weeks. When the elder says something to them they don’t like, you don’t see them in church for the next four months. But if you think you are spiting the elder or God, you are making a mistake.”

Stewart said that God, in His good grace and judgement, causes unfavourable circumstances to befall us so that we understand who He is and what He has called us to do.

“God is giving you the opportunity to take you to another level. The Devil tempts us to fail, but God tests us to pass and move to another level. But because of our lack of faith, we remain stuck for years. God is still God, and he is still merciful and just towards us. He is still large and in charge.”

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