top of page

Maranatha Messenger 

  • Writer's pictureLaverne Ramsey

Long-suffering – Endurance/Triumph

As I reflected on the fruit of the Spirit, I remembered a few weeks ago while I was out grocery shopping, I observed people as they purchased fruits. Apples, oranges, and bananas were the top selections, no one purchased prunes, it seemed like the unwanted fruit. As I thought about it, that scene was a good picture of our desires for spiritual gifts, because most of us desire gifts like prophecy or healing. However, if the truth be told and each of us was given the opportunity to choose one of the nine fruit (Galatians 5:22-23), none of us would choose long-suffering.

Nobody likes to suffer, and nobody wants to be good at doing that for a long time. When we imagine our lives, most of us are filled with hopes and dreams of what the future would look like. But what if your plan was different from God’s plan? In fact, it's probably safe to say that God’s plan will be different from your plan and God’s plan, many times does include suffering. When describing what it is like to follow him, “Jesus says one must deny himself, take up his cross and follow him” (Luke 9:23). For many of us, following Jesus means walking down a road that includes longsuffering sometimes, but the good news is, we are guaranteed ultimate victory through Jesus Christ who causes us to triumph (2Corinthians 2:14).

Long-suffering reveals itself in various ways, some of which are: a failed marriage, sickness, loss of a job, financial hardship, betrayal by a loved one, rejection, persecution, trials, temptation, loss of child or a spouse, and the list goes on. Our response to long-suffering will determine the outcome, whether we will triumph with a testimony or fail in the agony of defeat.

The real question is, how do we navigate life during seasons of long-suffering? In the old testament, there is a great example of how to suffer well and it's the story of a man named Job, who went through a season of life that you could say was the epitome of long-suffering.

The Bible tells us that Job was rich, a man of integrity, who had bountiful possessions, was blessed with ten children and he feared God. Job did everything that was right but in one moment his life spiraled out of control, he lost all his possessions, his children died, and his body became afflicted. To make matters worse, Job’s friends who he looked to for comfort weren’t as loyal as he expected them to be, even his wife became discouraged because of his condition.

What a predicament Job found himself in! No doubt he had many sleepless night as physically his body endured extreme pain, and emotionally he grieved for his children, and what looked to be a very bleak future. In response to his suffering, Job made the three important decisions that helped him endured the long suffering and ultimately saw his season changed.

The first decision Job made was to Worship. When he realized that he had lost everything including his children, Job worshipped and declared “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away: blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21). Job did not allow his dismal circumstances to obstruct his response in worship.

He recognized that God desires us to worship Him in every season, so he responded accordingly. Worship does not change our predicament but it does change our perspective. When we worship, we focus on our Big God instead of our problem.

Next, Job kept his focus—Even though his circumstances seemed dismal, Job remained steadfast in his faith. He shut his ears to the negative voice echoing, “curse God and die”, and dismissed the insinuation that he must have done something wrong to cause such suffering. In maintaining his focus during suffering, Job affirmed, “Thou He slay me, yet will I trust Him” (Job 13:15). During the season of suffering we must maintain our focus on what God is doing in us rather than what is happening to us.

Finally, Job kept Hope alive. He refused to give up on God. Yes, Job had moments of discouragement. At one point, Job cursed the day he was born, yet he looked towards the future with the expectation that a change would come. Surely God did not disappoint Job, he got double for his troubles. “So, the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning …”, (Job 42:12). Job’s endurance of longsuffering was rewarded and he triumphed with a testimony.

Dear God, I pray for someone who is dealing with difficulty, help them to endure well. Give them the gift of long suffering so they can make it through this season. Give them the strength to cultivate an atmosphere of Worship, to Focus on the right things and to keep Hope alive. In Jesus name, Amen

Submitted by Pearl Huggins

4 views0 comments
  • Writer's pictureLaverne Ramsey

Updated: Sep 11, 2020

God created millions of celestial bodies. One of these bodies is the planet called earth. It is absolutely amazing how God placed the billions of people on earth who are an image of Himself, that there are those who feel extremely unimportant and inconsequential.

According to God’s word however, just the opposite is true. Our great God who measured the waters in the hallow of his hand (Isaiah 40:12) has singled out every person on this planet as supremely important because we are made in his image. Psalm 139 says he knows what we are thinking we can’t escape his presence.

God has not only made us to look like him, he created everything for us to enjoy (I Timothy 6:17) God has also given purpose to everyone who trust in Jesus as Savior (Ephesians 2:10) and despite the vastness of this world, God cares for each individual in a special way . Our Heavenly Father gives us an example of our value to Him in (Luke 12:6-7) “Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.”

God planned our earthly existence even before we were born. If the God who created the universe is so interested in us then there is no need for us to feel unimportant. The fact that God cares so deeply and is so concerned about us should give us great assurance and courage to go on living our lives in spite of the challenges and the difficulties we face.

When we are faced with circumstances that make us question our strength to overcome we should remember Paul’s encouragement to Timothy, “ For God has not givens us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (II Timothy 1:7).

Paul also reminds young Timothy that he remembers him in his prayers night and day ( II Timothy 1:3). It is encouraging to know that others are praying for us in times when we are fearful and troubled.

The end purpose of our journey is what gives us courage. We know that God will prevail. Ours is a God who triumphs, he destroyed death ( II Timothy 1:10), even the grave could not conquer our Lord and Savior. His victory gives us great courage.

We do not need to be fearful even in the face of the grave. ( II Timothy 1:12) has been set to music as a hymn “I know whom I believed, and am convinced that he is able to keep that which I have entrusted to him for that day.”

We can put our complete trust in God because he has fearfully and wonderfully made us and he has given us the faith and courage we need to finish victoriously.

Submitted by Pastor Shelia Lyons

3 views0 comments
  • Writer's pictureLaverne Ramsey

Updated: Sep 11, 2020

For the last few days, as I worked at my desk and sat for hours at my computer, I had a pleasant distraction outside of my window.  Two blue jays were flying and playing and enjoying each other's company. One would feed the other while tweeting and making bird calls. They would flutter around without a care in the world...... no knowledge of a pandemic..... no concerns about COVID-19…. No need for personal protective equipment, yet they had everything they needed. 

As I enjoyed watching them frolic & fly,  I was reminded of a scripture that my parents shared with me as a child. A scripture that the Lord brought back to my remembrance. This passage in God’s Word talks about the provision of God.... "..... stop being perpetually uneasy (anxious and worried) about your life, ..... Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they?"  Matthew 6:25-26 (AMPC version)  Watching those two blue jays really crystalized and clarified the true meaning of Matthew 6:25 – 26. Two little birds outside my window helped me understand what that scripture is trying to convey to believers.  Watching those two birds helped me to realize the futility of worry and the freedom of trusting.  At that very moment, I purposed in my mind to be more like the blue jays.

Trusting our Heavenly Father to provide for our needs, now and after this is over, will decrease anxiety and increase peace of mind.  Knowing Him as Jehovah Yirei – The Lord my Provider, gives me the peace that passes all human understanding (Philippians 4:7). So, when you're tempted to worry, remember the blue jays! Remember, Faith over Fear.”

Submitted by Rev. Sonia Dinnall

4 views0 comments
bottom of page