Today is the first day of the second half of the year 2012. It is therefore a most fitting and proper time to reflect upon the happenings in the first half of the year. It is also a time to seek the face of God for the supply of all that we need in the second half of the year. The first half of the year was very eventfull and a period that tried souls of many people, including Christians. I cannot recall any other period of time in our nation when Christians and church buildings had violence unleashed against them while they were gathered to worship.
The year began with an upward review of pump price of petrol which has led to increased economic hardship for majority of Nigerians. A lot of companies folded up and many people lost their jobs during the first half of the year. During this same period, we heard of massive looting of government coffers by those in power, with little or nothing being done to bring them to book. Only last month, precisely on June 3, 2012, we had a plane crash in Lagos that killed more than 153 people. Only God knows the true record of all those who have died this year. I know many people lost relations in this church alone in the first half of this year. There is no statistics concerning the number who died as a result of the Doctors’ strike in Lagos State and other states of the nation. All these, and many more, have led to the sapping of the physical, financial, and spiritual strength of many people.
Many people are weary and tired on account of these challenges and are wondering when God is going to intervene to make things better. As I reflect and pray about these issues, two things became clear to me. The first is that Satan is working extra hard today, with his human agents, to steal, kill and destroy in our land. All the evils being perpetrated are an indication that the enemy is setting the stage for a more serious unrest and destruction of lives and properties in our nation. The second thing that is clear to me is that God is allowing the trials and troubles that Christians are going through to test the faith of His children.
v To deal with the first issue, Christians need to be aware of the plans that Satan has for our land and refuse to cooperate with him in carrying out his plans. This means that we must recommit ourselves to the lordship of Christ over our lives and allow the interest of His kingdom to be uppermost in our mind all the time.
v To deal with the second issue, we need to do a serious review of our relationship to God in order to determine the genuineness or otherwise of our faith in Him. For instance, are we Christians because it is fashionable to claim to be one or because we truly believe in Jesus as our Saviour and Lord?
Do we claim a relationship to God because of the physical and material benefits that it affords us or because of the spiritual benefits, including a place with Him in heaven that the relationship makes possible for us? Is the faith we claim to have in God an excuse for laziness and failure to work or are we ready to do the hard work that God can bless in order to answer the prayer that we offer to Him everyday. True faith is a working faith. Faith without works is not a genuine faith.