The faith of Christian lawyer HORATIO GATES SPAFFORD, author of “It is well with my soul” is as strong as that of Job who lost all and yet did not forsake God. He was even asked to curse God but he refused in the spirit of God owns “my life and whatsoever he does with it I will neither query Him nor swear against Him.” When his three friends began to blame him, expressing their thought that spoke of Job’s possible hidden sin; he ignored them including his wife’s suggestion that Job should curse God and die apparently because of the serious agony he was experiencing. Job took it stoically but at a time wished he were dead and put an end to the excruciating pain and sorrow. He still anchored his faith in Jehovah.
All is well that ends well. God allowed Satan to lay his hand on Job and got to a point God had to uphold His instruction earlier on, that Job’s life was not to be tampered with. God had Job’s health restored, his loss was replenished many folds more than it was before the test of his faith, and he was commissioned to pray for his friends who had sort of ‘blasphemed’ in the way they judged an innocent man like Job. The chain of disaster and misfortune that HORATIO suffered was enough to make a weak believer or non believer to commit suicide. It was like he hung on to the thread of faith that his redeemer lives. History puts it that so many rich people committed suicide during the Great Depression of the 1930s The millionaires that woke up to find their wealth had literally flown away resorted to ‘end it all’ via suicide. In other words, Trust in God was amongst people of ages gone by and we in our contemporary society find it hard to change our orientation. Can anyone fault the faith the three young Hebrews Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego showed in bluntly refusing to worship the king’s gold image. Even though it incurred them the wrath of King Nebuchadnezzar, but did not bulge and insisted on their stand of not disobeying the God of Israel. In the king’s consternation, he said only three men were thrown into the fiery furnace but he was seeing four people and the forth person looked liked the son of God. WHO TOLD HIM .OR SHOWED HIM THE FOURTH PERSON WAS THE SON OF MAN?
There are more examples of disciples that showed faithfulness during persecution like the records in Acts 5:40-42, Romans 8: 17-18, 2Corinthians 4: 10-11, Hebrew 11: 24-25 (The faith of Moses)
We have seen how prayers of some biblical characters were acceptable to God. Hannah, for instance, prayed with the essential ingredient for answered prayers. It is, essentially, FAITH and more. In spite of Prophet Eli’s innocent insinuation, she showed such an overwhelming faith that the Lord blessed her divinely through the prophetic utterance of Prophet Eli. God granted her request with the birth of a baby boy named Samuel before the next annual journey to Shiloh. 1 Samuel 1: 10-17. Another important aspect of answered prayer is to endeavor to back up prayers with a vow that if God granted the prayer, one would pay ones vow. It does not necessarily need to be money. It can be in form of ones time by serving in the house of God. It can even entail refraining from sinful past life. An alcoholic can pray to be freed from drunkenness with a vow that upon being freed he would help others by example and prayers to quit alcoholism.
Hannah fulfill her vow lending young Samuel to God and backed it up with prayer of praise and worship 1 Samuel 1: 27-28 as recorded : “For this child I prayed and the Lord has granted my petition which I asked of Him. Therefore, I also have lent him to the Lord, as long as he lives, he shall be lent to the Lord” 1 Samuel 2: 1-10. Another prerequisite of answered prayer is eschewing bitterness and not engaging in blame game. Although Hannah felt bad about her barrenness but she never blamed anyone for her predicament even in the face of severe provocation from, Peninnah, the wife with many children. Instead, she constantly focused on asking God to remember her. God opened her womb to conceive a male child that she asked for. She resorted to thanking and exalting the awesomeness of God. Hannah’s prayer for the unborn child, to my mind, laid the foundation for the anointing bestowed on Samuel’s life as a great prophet in the annals of history in Israel.
Waiting upon God prevents spiritual shipwreck
Any form of love that does not line up with the will of God for mankind, is un-arguably non-divine. A situation of professing to be God’s vessel of honor,only to end up engaging in blasphemies against HIM, is a situation of olive leaves of salvation coming to one and one blindfolds self thus refusing and missing the gift of salvation. It may require saints to pray up coupled with the persons confession and heartfelt repentance to be able to get saved. Paul in his epistle in II Timothy 4: 10 said, “For Demas has forsaken me, having loved the present world, and has departed for Thessalonica”. Also Paul said, Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm. may the Lord repay him according to his work” II Timothy 4: 14.
They were just there wasting their time working tirelessly until they turned away from God. Inability to be faithful to the end is a crucial mark of “fig tree syndrome”. Such people abound in homes, at work places, churches, in government business, in politics and in industries. Their general pattern join in fighting the good fight but deserting mid stream and ending in shipwreck of their faith. in other words, they start well but would fail to carry through.The bible warns against this behavior in 1 Timothy 1: 19-20; Luke 12: 35-40; Titus 2: 11-13 and Peter 1: 13-15. Believers need to brace up to changes in their daily life to ensure effectiveness in their physical and spiritual life. Love is persistent and long-suffering.