According to NHS data, there has been a 28% increase in the number of hospital admissions for stress and anxiety in the past decade. Between, 2017 and 2018, there were 595,000 cases reported in the UK relating to work-based stress. However, it’s not just in the workplace, everywhere one look’s, people are under pressure. In one of the biggest surveys into the impact of stress; the results showed that three in four Britons have at least on one occasion over the last year (2018), been so stressed that they have felt overwhelmed or unable to cope. Undoubtedly, much of this stress and anxiety I’m sure can be alleviated by slowing down the pace but the fact of the matter is, some of it cannot be helped.
Where pressure increases, there must be an avenue for that pressure to escape; and the God-given means for the child of God, to bear the burdens given us by God is prayer!
It seems that almost every other month, another Christian in the position of leadership, jumps to a social media platform to announce to the world that they’re stepping down from ministry due to some moral failing; or in the case of the last two months, that they’re abandoning the faith altogether! Apostasy has always existed in the ranks of the fold and exhortations abound in the New Testament, calling us as believers to perseverance! What you ask, is the secret of enduring faith and victory? In one word, humility!! “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you” (James 4:6-8).
Indeed, we are charged with the task with taking to arm us for the fight, the whole armour of God; but we must never forget who it is that is on our side, fighting for us. Our Lord instructed us to pray “…lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Mt. 6:13). This petition can so easily be overlooked at times and it is the purpose of this sermon to bring it back into fresh view. Will we not encourage ourselves in the Lord, to know that “God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Cor. 10:13)?
So often in our theology, we begin with man first and forget that the opening words before ever mention is made of man is; “In the beginning God…” God is the great first cause of all things. By Him and through His Word, the whole universe was brought into existence.
How often do we really seek counsel from the Lord for direction at life’s crossroads? How often do we consult Him and enquire of His counsel? In this sermon, we really bring home the need for a Word from God in season. God is faithful and delights in revealing His will! For the soul that seeks Him, standing on His promises; that soul shall never be disappointed. It matters not the mountain that stands before you; if God has spoken into the situation, what He has said, He will do! The question is, will we believe the Word of the Lord?
We come in this teaching to our first interlude since beginning the second section of the Book of Revelation. This is a very quick-paced chapter, full of various visions. A lot of ground is covered in just twenty verses. First, we are met again, with that special group of Jewish men; 144,000 Messianic believers, gathered on Mount Sion with the Lamb. Next, John sees, three heralding angels, proceeding one another, each with a different cry. Finally, we are met with a vision pertaining to the end harvest - the gathering together for the day judgment both of the righteous and the wicked.
May God help us as we study this chapter, to make sense of what is written.
2 Chronicles 14
It seems that the hardest thing to get Christians to do today is to pray, and because there is no individual prayer life there is no corporate prayer life! The prayer closets of the average Christian are perpetually vacant and the Church prayer meeting has long been abandoned. I don’t know about you, but for me, this send’s the strongest possible message. If actions could speak (and they do); they would say in short; “WE DON’T NEED GOD!!”. What is prayer but in its simplest essence, making our requests known unto God. Yet here’s the irony; the man who does not feel his need, will not pray his need. The great urgency of the day is not to convince Christians to pray, but to convince them of their need to pray!!!
This sermon is a clarion call, for the Church to again discover the greatest weapon ever given it…prayer! In this day of great peril, who will be willing again to seek the Lord in prayer? Let us do so, not only individually, but also corporately, that we might see the hand of God again amongst us, doing exploits for His glorious name! We can do ALL things through prayer, and NOTHING without it.