Sunday service, dr Albu van Eeden, 26 Nov 2017
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
Faith is important as we seek to serve the Lord. God can be the hammer and we can be the nails. The hammer can hit very hard and for it to be a success the nail must be straight. If the nail bends, the exercise is a waste. What keeps us straight when the blows of God rain on our heads? It is our faith. If we lose our faith, then the nail bends. What hammer blows are you exposed to? Maybe it is sickness or difficult circumstances. If you develop a grudge, you are bending and God will not be able to use you.
The first blow came to Joseph when his brothers hated him. If you have grudges then know you have bent and God cannot use you. The second blow was when he was sold as a slave. Joseph didn’t lose hope. If he had lost his faith the nail would have bent. The third blow came in the form of Potiphar’s wife. It was a blow from the side and God can also allow that. Satan may come with a smile or a frown. His frown is what Christians are experiencing in Muslim countries. His smile is in the West with consumerism. The fourth blow was when he went to prison. Joseph could have thought, “I have done everything but now I am in prison” but Joseph stayed on the right path, and God could use him to save nations.
In Hebrews 11:8, and Genesis 15:1-4 we read of God’s promises to Abraham and Abraham’s faith. Abraham had nothing to show concerning what God had said to him. We also read in Hebrews 11:4 concerning Cain and Abel. It was because of faith that God didn’t accept Cain’s sacrifice. Cain became jealous. He killed his brother and God said the earth would be cursed and he would be a vagabond. How did Cain react? He was offended by God. He said anyone could kill him. When a person is offended, that is a sign that things are wrong. David also sinned grievously. God also put a curse on him. God said, “The sword will never leave your house. You slept with another man’s wife, men will sleep with your wives.” Did David leave God’s presence? Cain left God’s presence but David said, “I have sinned against You,” and he prayed Psalm 51 and he said, “Please don’t leave me. Please don’t take Your Holy Spirit from me.” That is the reaction of faith. “Restore to me the joy of your salvation.” What do you do? Do you get angry and leave the Lord’s presence? Even if you are punished, always seek the presence of the Lord.
Whether people think something of you or not, remain faithful. If you are willing to come to Calvary with your bent nail, God can help you. But don’t hide your sin. Expose it. Everyone knew the sin of the thief on the cross. He said, “Lord remember me when you come in your kingdom,” and God straightened the nail on the cross.