Is there a problem you have been dealing with for a long time? Maybe it’s an open secret that causes you shame and despair, or a closely guarded one that has been eating away at you. You don’t accept the way things are, but you feel that there is nothing you can do about the situation. Your life seems to be stuck, with no way of moving forward, the shame and humiliation persist – day in, day out.
Whatever your problem – have you had enough of it yet? Is it time to fight back, or are you able to take the pain a tiny bit longer?
The Israelites in the time of the prophet Samuel were caused much suffering by the Philistines’ constant raiding and pillaging of their cities. This went on for many years until they could not take it anymore. They cried out to God, Who used the prophet Samuel to instruct them on what to do. The first thing he told the people to do was to let go of all foreign gods and idols and return to God with all their hearts so that He might deliver them from the hands of the Philistines.
“Then Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, “If you return to the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths from among you, and prepare your hearts for the Lord, and serve Him only; and He will deliver you from the hand of the Philistines.” (1 Samuel 7:3)
The people obeyed, as well as poured water before God in the desert, fasted and confessed their sin to God. But it was not enough because when the Philistines went up against them once again, they were still afraid and pleaded Samuel to cry out to the Lord. The prophet then offered a burnt offering of a lamb, as a sacrifice to God, Who then struck and confused the invaders so that Israel could overcome them, drive them back and consequently pursue them. The Israelites’ victory over the Philistines was so great that they were never again invaded by them. The problem that seemed to have no end finally disappeared, there and then. To mark this victory, Samuel set a stone on the border between the two nations, which he named “Ebenezer”, which means “Thus far the Lord has helped us”.
“Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.” So the Philistines were subdued, and they did not come anymore into the territory of Israel. And the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel.” (1 Samuel 7:12-13)
The people had to listen to the prophet, let go of the things that ruined their relationship with God, commit to serving Him only and the answer came after all these things were followed by a great sacrifice to God. Only then did Israel provoke the answer from God that they were longing for. The Israelites were finally free from the harassment that had plagued them for so long.
Bringing this story into your day-to-day life – what are you going to do about that problem that has been plaguing you? The first step is admitting to yourself that you have had enough. The next step is to use your faith to put an end to the problem because only through it will you have the strength to do what is required.
We would like to invite you to use your faith in seeking God’s help to tackle your problems once and for all. Only your faith can put an end to such situations, whether they relate to your marriage, your family, your finances, or simply that emptiness you feel inside. It’s time to decide that you will face your problems and fight them with all your strength and faith. It’s time to place a stone between you and them, to say “Never again.” The actions you take will determine whether your problem is ended now or not.
Don’t just try – PUT A STONE ON IT. It’s time to say, “NEVER AGAIN!”
Event: The Day of Never Again
Date: Sunday, 17 March
Location: Your local UCKG HelpCentre