by Omolola Oriogun
Let me share this testimony of a child of GOD with you to affirm Romans 8:28-31.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
A woman was on her way to Abuja by road. She would have preferred to fly to Abuja with one of the airlines but she didn’t have enough money for the flight and so she decided to go by night bus. On approaching Lokoja, many of the passengers on the bus wanted to answer the call of nature and begged the driver to find a place to park.
This woman was asleep all this while but woke up when she was discovered that the bus was no longer moving. She opened her eyes to see that many of the passengers were no longer on the bus and so asked the person sitting next to her about their whereabout. He told her that the driver pulled over so some passengers could relieve themselves.
She got down from the bus too but could not make out the direction the people went. She saw a young Mallam and asked him where she could relieve herself, the young Mallam pointed to a tree in a bush – the path way into the bush was so dark. As she was walking towards the dark bush, she heard a voice within which shouted “No, don’t go there” and she jolted to a stand still. On turning back in the direction of the bus, she didn’t see the young Mallam again. She looked around and saw him with two others of his kind under the tree he had directed her to go, machetes in their hands.
Instantly, she raised an alarm and everyone rushed back into the bus and the driver zoomed off. Of course, passengers started talking, telling different stories about one ordeal or another but she just kept thanking GOD for HIS deliverance. She saw that GOD had been there for her.
When Christians are striving to do the very best that they can to live the kind of life that the LORD wants them to, sooner or later they learn that they are going to be confronted with difficulties and challenges that are unique to being a child of GOD. Indeed, there are burdens, trials, death and sufferings we have to bear and face; things that, if we had never become Christians, we would never have to endure or overcome.
Some of the things that the Bible speaks about which we invite into our lives by choosing to follow the LORD are things like: “Ridicule from people who don’t care for anything concerning the LORD; sufferings and death we endure and face because we can’t do what others do; and pains we go through for the cross of CHRIST.”
People of the world don’t care about the values and the allegiance that we pay to our Heavenly Father. Instead, they mock us, rubbish our messages and put us in prisons and to death because we preach to them, 1 Peter 4:4.
We may experience the loss of friends just because we want to stay pure and holy, we want to live a life of purity and righteousness which is acceptable to the LORD; we want to maintain our integrity as children of GOD. Sometimes what happens is that the people who we used to associate with don’t have these kind of values. So consequently, they have the tendency to no longer want to have anything to do with us.
Some of us will lose our jobs, simply because we want to be faithful to the LORD. I know of people, who because of certain commitments that they made, were forced to find different employment. It could be the emotional pains that come from divisions that arise within the family unit because of the gospel of CHRIST, just like JESUS said in Matt. 10:34-35.
All of us can relate to the inward struggle that we have to go through in this life, the fact that there are things that tempt us. Sometimes we give in to the temptation and then what happens is that we feel absolutely horrible (as we should) for betraying our heavenly Father. Every Christian goes through that sooner or later.
When these things happen to us, what actually is occurring is a severe test of our faith. And these challenges and difficulties in our lives are either going to make us, or they are going to break us (as far as our relationship with GOD is concerned).
Through HIS word, GOD has revealed many things that will help us to pass these tests of faith, but perhaps the most simplest and fundamental help is the realization that GOD is on our side. The truth that “we are HIS children and HE is our Father” reminds us that HE is always standing there with us. Just like those of you who are parents understand that the difficulties your children are going through are things that they have to experience in their life in order to grow up; to be people who are profitable, and to learn lessons that are vital to their maturity. But as parents, you are standing behind them, not condoning their mistakes, but helping them through the consequences of those mistakes; you are – for your children! And in a supreme way, GOD is the same. ‘GOD is for us’, and that provides us then with strength that we need to overcome.
GOD created us in HIS image, HE loves us so much HE will protect and vindicate us. What GOD wants us to know is: “If GOD is for us, nobody and nothing can ever be against us”- Rom. 8:31.
In the context of Romans chapter 8, the apostle Paul wants us to think about the things that GOD has done for us and continues to do for us; especially when it comes to the salvation of our souls. And HE wants us to think about these things in comparison to the misfortunes and the difficulties that we may have to go through, to understand that there is NOTHING that can defeat GOD’s purpose for us, if we maintain our faith in HIM. HE has made us more than conquerors through CHRIST JESUS- Rom. 8:37.
Never forget that in all we go through, GOD is always for Us.