Last year I didn’t want to give a testimony at the end of year service. I was in a bad place in my life so I thought, what am I thanking God for? At the time all I said was ‘Where there is life, there is hope so I thank God that I’m alive because at least there is a chance things will get better.’ at the time I didn’t see a way out, people often say ‘there is light at the end of the tunnel, but I couldn’t see it.’ I was angry with everything and everyone. I was angry with life. I used to do research at home and I was convinced and was even selling the idea to myself that I had a mental health condition. I cut off a lot of people including good people in my life who gave me good advice. I didn’t want to go to church, when I did I always came late and left early and I listened to the lies of the devil.
I want to thank God that I’ve been delivered. It was a situation that dragged out for a long time, almost a year but I’ve come out of it with deeper faith and I’ve learnt many things from the situation.
1 Peter 1:7 these tests have come to prove your faith and to show that it is good. Gold, which can be destroyed, is tested by fire. Your faith is worth much more than gold and it must be tested also. Then your faith will bring thanks and shining-greatness and honour to Jesus Christ when He comes again.
Psalms 66:12 we went through fire and through water, yet you brought us out into a place of abundance.
One thing I’ve learnt from it is about your mind. The mind is everything. There is a saying ‘your mind can only give back what it was given in the first place’ so listening to gangster rap, being at events which are not edifying, watching bad films, engaging in ungodly conversation etc. all this goes into your subconscious mind and eventually it comes back to you, I started craving going to bad events, always singing bad lyrics at home etc. my dad always says the mind is the devils battleground and I never really knew what that meant but one day that’s all that kept playing over in my mind and I finally got it. When the devil tries it we can’t just allow him to win. That’s why God wants to transform us by the renewing of our mind.
Instead what will help is reading His word, prayer, having good people around you where you can have effective conversations not just gossiping, having people you are accountable to and will pray for you rather than judge you for your wrong. I thank God for the youth leaders being supportive, some of them always used to talk sense into me and I even had to admit that I hated listening to their advice, but when I go home, their words used to come back to me and I saw my wrong. I thank my family for praying for me, I had to ask my parents for prayer and the family did pray and fast and almost that same week all the anger disappeared. I thank God for Chris because he is like blood brother to me. Proverbs 18:24- There are friends who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother. Even his mum always encourages me and checks on me for which I am grateful. God didn’t make any of us to be alone. During my trials my mind-set was ‘I don’t need anybody, I relied on my own strength and my ambition was to get rich and move to an island by myself.’ I read something from Rick Warren saying when you’re on your sickbed about to die; you don’t ask for your money or trophies, you ask for your friends and your family. Eccl. 4:9 – 10- Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labour: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
I learnt about the importance of your own personal Bible study and personal prayer. Obviously it’s great to come to church and hear the word and pray, but it has to be more than once a week. Through this experience, I couldn’t even explain to my friends what was going on, sometimes I’ll be scared to leave my house in case I got into a fight so some of my friends didn’t see me for a while. I was too ashamed to talk to anyone about it for a while but I was able to pray and every time I did it felt like I was releasing the burdens and the weight off my shoulders.
I thank God for His forgiving power and for His faithfulness and love. Word for today said ‘Humans love keeping checklist of our sins and shortcomings, others may give up on you, but not God’ Hebrews 8:12- And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins. Nothing is beyond the scope of His grace.
I thank God for His faithfulness because even though I was unfaithful, He was still faithful. I was reading of Jacob after he stole his Brother Esau’s blessing, even after he messed up God said to him in Genesis 28:15… I will be with you constantly until I have finished giving you everything I have promised. We may leave God but God will never leave us or forsake us.
I thank God for delivering me and healing me and for putting good people in my life that I call my family, friends and my Church.
Don’t look at the bigness of your problem; look at the bigness of your God.
By Daniel Adeleye