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THE FAITH OF THE SHUNAMMITE WOMAN

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Faith to provoke divine intervention

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THE FAITH OF THE SHUNAMMITE WOMAN "Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings." Isaiah 3:10. In the middle of this chapter, which predicts the destruction of Jerusalem and the going into captivity of the Jews, is found this verse promising God’s faithfulness to those who are righteous and have placed their trust in Him. To these people, God promises fruitfulness. And we can count on it because His promises are reliable. "18 And the child grew. Now it happened one day that he went out to his father, to the reapers. 19 And he said to his father, “My head, my head!” So he said to a servant, “Carry him to his mother.” 20 When he had taken him and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and then died. 21 And she went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God, shut the door upon him, and went out. 22 Then she called to her husband, and said, “Please send me one of the young men and one of the donkeys, that I may run to the man of God and come back.” 23 So he said, “Why are you going to him today? It is neither the New Moon nor the Sabbath. And she said, “It is well.” 2 Kings 4:18-23. The Shunammite woman had no child and by her act of kindness to Prophet Elisha, she received God’s favour and was blessed with a miracle son. He was a child of prophecy and the manifestation of the unspoken desire of his parents. The coming of the baby brought great joy to the woman and her husband, for he was the son of their old age. But at a young age the boy died and the woman was devastated. How could this be? It would be natural for anyone to give a long, loud, piercing cry seeing her joy is no more. Instead, the unnamed woman replied every question and comment on the condition of her son by saying, "It is well." How could she have said that when it wasn’t? We don’t really know why, but in her reply we see faith and hope. She even refused to tell her husband about the death of their son, for fear that her faith would be discouraged. Although her son was lying dead at home, and she was greatly troubled, she said it is well to every enquiries. Not that she was in denial about her situation but this woman had faith that God could raise him from the dead. At no time did she change her positive declaration of faith; and because of her persistent faith, God restored her child back to life. "Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him from them all." Psalm 34:19. No one is exempted from pain. Everybody has challenges. The fact that you love God and living a godly life does not mean there won’t be trials. People of faith have experienced troubles and trials throughout history! Problems are part and parcel of life, both for Christians and non Christian. "It rains on the just and the unjust too." Matthew 5:45. Trials and difficulties doesn't mean you're a bad or an evil person. The difference is that when a child of God experiences trials, we already have God on our side. No matter what we face in life we can be rest assured we are safe in the hands of the Lord. Just like the Shunammite woman, your story will end well in Jesus name. "Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him:" Ecclesiastes 8:12. You may be going through a tough right time now but God will see you through. You may not always feel His presence, but He is always closer than it appears, and always at work in your life. You're never alone. IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD: The presence of God is an awesome place to be. Problems that are like mountains will melt away when you're in God's presence. In His Presence we receive God’s counsel and enjoy divine blessings. God's presence brings peace, guidance, and security. In His presence we enjoy uncommon favour and success. The presence of God is a place of rest. It is a place of refuge and protection. Psalm 27:5. The presence of God is a pavilion of comfort and safety. Psalm 91:1. It is a place where God’s covering is certain. The storms in this world may be raging but as soon as we come into God's presence we have the assurance of deliverance and protection. “And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation.” Psalms 107:7. We need to create time in the course of our busy schedule to seek the Lord's presence. The Bible says, "Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10. To seek the presence of God: Engage in deep and genuine repentance. Learn to be intimate with the Holy Spirit. Be serious with your quiet time. Sing songs of praise and worship because God inhabits the praises of His people. Psalm 22:3. Develop a spirit of thanksgiving and praise. Read and meditate on the Word of God over and over again. Confess the promises in the Bible daily. Pray that He should show you His way. Share with Him your fears and your joys. Add fasting to your prayer. Live holy. Do not neglect the assembly of the righteous. Always hunger and thirst for God. He'll never let you down. God's promises are revealed in His presence. Stand on the promises of God that cannot fail. The promises may take some time but it will certainly come to pass. Just hold onto the Word of God. GOD'S PROMISES ARE RELIABLE "God is not a man that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? Or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?" Numbers 23:19. Whereas human beings can go back on what they have said, God will never leave a promise unfulfilled. The Bible is sure and dependable. All the promises in the Scriptures are true. If the Lord has said it, He'll surely do it. God’s faithfulness will never falter. Deuteronomy 31:6. So no matter what you're going through, it shall be well. God's working behind the scenes to turn your situation around and test into testimonies. Appreciate His faithfulness and start developing a growing faith in the Lord who cannot and would not lie. HOW TO DEVELOP A GROWING FAITH? 1. Hunger and thirst after righteousness. The righteous is a person that is in right standing with God. The righteous is a believer in Christ. The righteous person is solid and deeply planted in the Word of God. The righteous person is not a compromiser. A righteous person do not harbour secret sin because God hates it. 2 Timothy 2:19-21. Sin is like a quicksand. The righteous person is set apart for God. A righteous person is one who obey God fully. The righteous person is of great faith. Habakkuk 2:4. A righteous person trust God, no matter how hopeless a situation looks like. The best decision you can make today is to ask Jesus to become the Lord and Saviour of your life. Mathew 11:28. Come to Him with your troubles. Christ Himself has become our righteousness! The righteousness of Jesus is by faith imparted to us and sanctifies us, making us righteous, and we can now come to God at any time because Christ lives forever. "Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered." Romans 4:7. It shall be well with the righteous because their sins are taken away and forgiven. 2. Walk by faith and not by sight. Hebrews 10:35. In times of trouble, the devil is a convincing preacher. If you listen to him, your faith will come under attack. Faith is living in a thankful way even before we see the promises. When you're always giving thanks to God, your faith grows. The Bible says, “We walk by faith and not by sight.” But once you allow what you are thinking, feeling or seeing physically to affect you, your faith suffers. So look beyond the facts; your situation is not final. Your difficulty may not be encouraging but still have faith in God. Faith does not make negative declaration! That's why you must speak good things regardless of the prevailing situations. Despite the death of her only child, the Shunammite woman was still hopeful; she expressed her faith in God by declaring hope in the face of hopelessness. Faith is continually hopeful. Faith persevere; it does not stop believing in God. Faith does not entertain wrong thoughts. It does not give up! Faith must be resistant to discouragement and fear. Faith must be rooted in the Word of God. Grow your faith. Avoid sin; don't let it quenched your faith. 3. Cast out fear. Fear is a spirit. 2 Timothy 1:7. It thrives in the ignorance of God’s love. Fear is an attack to steal your peace and joy. You must overcome every kind of fear in your life. Fear activates the enemy; faith activates God. Focus on God and not your problems. Trust in God’s timing. Believe God irrespective of your situations. Pray against the spirit of fear. Learn to obey God one step at a time. God has blessings for you; conquer your fears. 4. Don't stop praying. The Bible says, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” 1 Peter 5:7. What is your challenge? What is it that is giving you sleepless nights? Are you seeking the face of God in prayer concerning it? Jude 20. Prayer is one of the ways we show our total dependence on God and the Word. It is the expression of our lack. Prayer is asking for help. It is in the place of prayer that we recognize and confirm our needs to God. God answers prayer; but He doesn’t always answer “yes.” to every request or demand. Sometimes, God says “no” or “wait.” To wait is to trust that God is at work in you. Pray today; with God, all things are possible. "The prayer of a righteous person is effective and powerful." James 5:16. 4. Watch your tongue and keep your heart pure. Proverbs 18:21 says "death and life are in the power of the tongue." Proverbs 6:2 says "your mouth can become a snare unto you." Also in Mark 11:23-24, Jesus says, "if you believe and you doubt not, you will say to the mountain, be thou remove, be thou cast into the sea and it shall be so, he said whatever you say when you pray, believe that you will receive and you shall have it." No matter what you may be going through today, learn to declare that it is well. Say this loud and clear: it is well with me and family, in the name of Jesus. 5. Don't stop following. 2 Kings 4:30 tells us that when she reached prophet Elisha, the Shunammite woman said, “As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you.” Will you leave God because of your trials? Your prayers may not all be answered or your desires granted, but keep following. Following Jesus is to be like Him. Its to be focused on God; you don’t look back, turn around, or quit. Following Jesus is seeking His Kingdom and righteousness. Following Jesus is trusting that better things are on the way, even in the darkest nights. Psalm 30:5. 6. Read and meditate on the Bible. Feed and meditate on the Bible. Psalm 119:29; Isaiah 55:10-11. Romans 10:17 reminds us that “faith comes from hearing, and hearing from the Word of God” God builds our faith as we spend time in the Word. Feed on the Word by reading and learning what's written. Meditating is spending time pondering on the Word and then applying it to your situation. You can’t have faith in the Scriptures if you don’t know what it says. The Scripture is tested and proven, those who rest upon it daily cannot be troubled. Be addicted to the Word. 7. Be grateful and praise God always. Its quite easy to give thanks and engage in spirit-filled praises to God when things are going well. But the true test of our faithfulness is whether we can still find the strength to praise Him in hopeless and difficult situations. Thanksgiving is appreciating God in anticipation of what He's yet to do. Many wait until the answer has manifested before they give thanks. But Lazarus was still in the grave when Jesus gave thanks. John 11:41. Thanking God pleases the Father. Every time we give thanks to God our faith increases. Praise opened the prison doors for Paul and Silas. Acts 16:22-27. It is a powerful force that causes one to stand strong in faith even when circumstances are hopeless. When you're declaring the goodness of the Lord its hard to be negative. Praise brought down the walls of Jericho. As you praise and give thanks to God, you’ll be empowered to move forward in victory. As you give thanks or praise to God, He will give you peace in the midst of the storms. "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you." Isaiah 43:2. The fire here represents overwhelming circumstances that we might find ourselves in. It symbolizes affliction, hardship, trouble, adversity, distress, and trials. The reason the fire does not burn the righteous is because God is with them. Yes, we'll face difficulties but we're not alone! God is with us in whatever we might face. You may be experiencing hardship in your neighbourhood, home, business, ministry and career, but its for a season. You may be in a raging storm affecting your health, but its temporary! It shall pass! Your struggle will not last forever. Every problem has an expiry day; your pain is not permanent. What God began in you He'll finish. Philippians 1:6. There is nothing too hard for God. If He said it, He'll do it. If He began it, He'll be faithful to complete it. It may take some days, weeks, months or years, but He's faithful to do it. Psalm 30:5. Hold on; don't give up! That trial may be big in your eyes, but its a small thing before God. Stand firm! Your breakthroughs may seem unlikely, but God will do it. Stand strong and see the fulfillment of the promises He has in store for you! Stay hopeful. Every glorious prophecy declared about you shall come to pass, in the mighty name of Jesus. Keep living upright, keep praying, keep believing, and keep confessing the Word. If you are willing to start anew with Jesus Christ, then pray this prayer: Father, I believe You love me. The Bible says I can love You because You first loved me. I thank you for Your love. I come to You today, fill my heart in a greater way that You ever have before. Fill me with the Holy Spirit and love. Help me to grow in Your love and let me show Your love to people all around me. Thank You, Father, in Jesus name. Amen. PRAYER POINTS: 1. Father, help me to experience Your peace always, in Jesus name. 2. Lord, let my submission to you be total, in Jesus name. 3. Father, let my victory be total, in Jesus name. 4. O Lord, take control of my tongue; don’t let me ever say something negative about my life, in Jesus name. 5. Father, let this be my best year thus far, in Jesus name. 6. O Lord, take me from it shall be well to all is well, in Jesus name. 7. Father, please give me the grace to live in Your righteousness daily, in Jesus’ name. 8. O God, thank You for keeping Your promises, help me to trust You more and more, in Jesus name. 9. Thank God for answering your prayer. IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL by Horatio Spafford When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, It is well, it is well, with my soul.
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