[su_button url=”https://uyotowncoc.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/SUNDAY-SCHOOL-FOR-JULY-2018-BY-BRO.-U.-T.-JIMMY.pdf” background=”#be630a” size=”5″ center=”yes” radius=”round” icon=”icon: arrow-circle-down” icon_color=”#ffffff” text_shadow=”1px 2px 1px #000000″]Download[/su_button]
- Our Lord Jesus in His discourse of comfort and encouragement to His apostles in John 16: 33 said “these things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulations: but be of Good cheer; I have overcome the world”.
Immediately after this He lifted up his eyes to the Father in heaven and offered his recorded longest prayer in the Bible.
At verse 15 of that Chapter (John 17) Jesus said “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil (one).
Jesus knew beforehand that in this world his followers will face challenges of different shades, colours, degrees and intensities, hence, His prayer to His Father.
These challenges that Christians are bound to face are what we are to look into in the course of this study. We will also search to discover how to take on these challenges head-on, overcome them and remain steadfast enough to reap the fruits of steadfastness (being overcomers).
The aim of this study is to bring us to the reality of living in this world and to clothe us sufficiently to be able to tackle the distractions, fight the battle, win the war and wear the crown.
Definition of Terms
- A Christian is expected to be an ardent follower of Christ called out from the world of darkness into the Kingdom of Christ to do service to Christ.
- A challenge could be a difficulty to tackle, a problem to solve, a load to carry, a temptation to overcome or a burden to bear.
- Steadfastness is the quality of being steadfast, firm, resolute or determined.
- A Benefit is an advantage, a gain or a profit.
Every living thing on earth has its fair share of challenges, plants and animals inclusive.
Man, of course, has the greatest degree of challenges on earth because the Maker saddled him with the responsibility of overseeing and managing all other creatures made before he was created.
There are different sets of challenges for the different sets, ages and classes of people at different times.
- New Born: The condition within and outside the womb. How to sit, crawl, toddle, walk and run.
- Adolescent/Teenager: Struggles in his/her maturation, maturing and belonging without being awkward, clumsy and deserted.
- Youth: He/she battles to attain the height of beauty and excellence without losing honour and integrity.
- Spinster searching for the partner of her dream who will meet her taste and satisfy all her wants and needs.
- Bachelor strives to locate a perfect mother of his children who will also help him out of every adversity that would come his way.
- Bride endeavours to be the dream wife to the spouse. To fulfil her promises and justify the labour, stress and strain and the effort exerted by the spouse in winning her to his heart.
She wants to be a good woman, a respectful wife and a responsible and caring mother.
- Groom determines to be a suitable head of the family, a sincere lover of the wife and an approved ruler of the home.
- Servant strives to please the employer without displeasing himself or endangering his career.
- Artisan struggles to meet the taste and specification of his customers with the aim of earning an honest living.
- Business man craves to meet the expectation of his partners and clients and use the proceeds to earn a living.
- Trader: His main challenge centres on how to make much profit without cheating his customer.
OVERCOMING THE CHALLENGES
- CLEAVE TO THE GOD OF ABILITY: Trust in God and be faithful to Him – 1 Cor. 10:13; Heb. 11:6
- Believe that nothing can separate you from the Love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord – 8:35
- Be courageous enough to resist the Devil for he will run away – 4:7
- Accept and utilise the way of escape which the Lord provides us in every temptation – Luke 21:36, 1 Cor. 10:13, Heb. 2:18, Heb. 4:15, Matt. 4:10
- Persevere, be focused, be determined – Luke 5:18-26
EXAMPLES OF MEN WHO FACED THEIR CHALLENGES SUCCESSFULLY
ABRAHAM (Exalted Father)– Heb. 11: 8, Heb. 11: 17 – 19, Jas. 3: 16
Descendant of Shem (Gen. 11: 10 – 32)
Son of Terah who came from Ur of Chaldees in Southern Babylonia called from Ur to become the progenitor of the chosen race (people) in the covenant he was promised LAND, PROPERTY and GREAT BLESSINGS TO ALL PEOPLE OF THE EARTH through the MESSIAH.
He was ordered to sacrifice his only son. He obeyed – Heb. 11: 17 – 19; Heb. 11: 8; James 3: 16. He was an acclaimed friend of God.
JOSEPH (may he add)– Gen. 30: 22 – 24
The eleventh son of Jacob. Rachel second daughter of Laban, was his mother. Envied by brethren and sold into slavery in Egypt. Even in bondage he found favour before God and man.
To please God, he refused to sin.Gen. 39: 9
He was not only a dreamer, but also an interpreter of dreams. He interpreted the dreams of fellow prisoners – the Butler and the Baker.
He interpreted the dreams of Pharaoh and was raised to a stool of rulership in Egypt. His dreams were fulfilled. His brethren who sold him into slavery in Egypt, bowed down to him in Egypt. Joseph saved the lives of his father’s house when there was a devastating famine in the world – Gen. 3: 22 – 24
HANNAH (Grace)– 1 Sam. 1: 1 – 28
Elkanah’s older wife, mother of Samuel. Her husband intimate love aroused the hostility of the other woman who subjected her to constant annoyance. She was childless, but vowed that if she became a mother of a son, she would dedicate him to the Lord’s service. Samuel was born and Hannah kept her vow. Hannah gave birth to many more children. 1 Sam. 1: 1 – 28
JOB – Job 42: 12 – 17
The story of Job’s victory over temptations remains the most exemplary. Satan attributed the steadfastness of Job to the material blessings that God has bestowed on Job – Job 1: 8 – 12…. But God proved Satan wrong and discredited him by permitting him to strip JOB of all the material blessings and children. Job still remained steadfast. Job was crowned winner and blessed more bountifully in the end. Job 42: 12 – 17
PAUL (Little) – Saul of Tarsus– 2 Tim. 4: 7 – 9
A great persecutor of the Church who later became a proclaimer of the gospel he sought to destroy. He was a great apostle to the gentiles. He suffered dearly for the cause of Christ – 1 Cor. 11: 22 – 34 and personally declared that a crown of righteousness has been preserved for him by the Righteous Judge– 2 Tim. 4: 7 – 8
BENEFITS OF STEADFASTNESS
- Will not be tossed about by every wind of doctrine – 4:14
- Will receive a crown – 1:12, 2Tim. 4:7-9
- Their labour in the Lord will not be in vain 1 Cor. 15: 58; Heb. 12: 5 – 11
As sons and daughters of God, let us remain resolute and determined to lay aside all encumbrances, remain steadfast, fight the good fight of faith, finish the course that we may be qualified to wear the crown of life.2 Tim. 4: 7; 1 Cor. 15: 58
UYO TOWN CHURCH OF CHRIST, 20 PAUL BASSEY STREET, UYO
SUNDAY SCHOOL FOR JULY, 2018 BY BRO. U. T. JIMMY