It was recorded in 1 Samuel 7:12 that Prophet Samuel set up stones between Mizpeh and Shen and named it “Ebenezer” meaning “hitherto hath the Lord helped us.” He set up those stones as a monument of grateful acknowledgement of the Almighty God, as Israelite’ helper in fighting all the battles waged against them by the Philistines in the time past till that present time and the restoration of Israelite cities taken by the Philistines during his years as a Judge over Israel, 1 Samuel 7: 11-17. What a grateful response from a grateful heart! What a wonderful example for each of us to follow. It is good to always acknowledge and give thanks to God whenever we think of how and where we started from and how far God has taken us. End of each year is one of the best times to consider where and how we started the year and how far God has taken us.
Today is the last Sunday of the year 2019, this means we are in day 363 out of the 365 days of 2019. Seeing the year to this time is worthy of thanksgiving to God for, IT HAS BEEN GOD FROM DAY ONE TO THE PRESENT DAY, AND TO HIM ALONE BE OUR THANKSGIVING AND PRAISES!
There are uncountable reasons to be grateful unto God for at this time, the foremost is our being kept alive from 1st day of 2019 till date. An uncountable number of people, who witnessed 1st of January 2019 as we did, are no more. Our being alive till today is not that we are in any way better than those who are dead but because of God’s faithfulness, loving kindness and mercies upon you and me, Lamentations 3:22-23. He has being our provider, sustainer, preserver, healer, guardian, deliverer, helper in the hour of need, comforter, companion, teacher, reminder, wisdom, defender and shield Psalm 18:2; 144:2. He is the one that teaches you to make profit and guides you in the way you should go. Do you realize that the peace, safety and securities you enjoyed even in the face of deadly pestilence, violent attacks and turmoils around is not because of your smartness or carefulness but because He is with you and He shielded you within and around you? Psalm 4: 8; 91. It was because Jesus interceded for you that made you have answers to your prayers and He still granted you some things you did not even asked for. Remember it was because He girded you by His strength that you were able to do all you did during the year, because in Him we live, move and have our being, psalm 18:32; Acts 17:28; Psalm 18:29,32,47,48. All you achieved this year such as, newly built house, acquired car and properties, newly birthed child, birthday, promotion, new business venture, gained admission, passed exam, written books, and several others were not by your power or might but by His grace alone Psalm 75:6; 127: 1-5. You being able to enjoy your sleep and fruits of your labour is because He gave you the grace, Ecclesiastes 5: 19. It was Him who gave you favor among men that made you find favor and help with all men.
Who has guided you in your unguided hours and prevented you from falling into the snare your enemies had laid secretly for you? psalm 18:47-48. It was God that did not allow the weapons fashioned against you by your enemies not to prosper Isaiah 54:15-17. He has prevented you from being harmed by the strife of the tongues of people through evil spoken words, evil report, gossip, backbiting, that are meant to harm you Psalm 31:20. It was His spirit in you that had prevented you from doing certain things or taking certain actions that would have landed you in great troubles. God was the one that saved you from those close shaves with death. Do you know how many times the enemy has risen against you in battle and failed because God fought on your behalf and gave you victory without you knowing? Are you aware of the number of times the enemy has reported you, judged and condemned you to death but you were released because Jesus defended and acquitted you? Surely, it has being the Lord as the Psalmist confessed:
“If it had not been the Lord who was
on our side when men rose up against us:
Then they had swallowed us up quick,
When their wrath was kindled against us:
Then the waters had overwhelmed us,
The stream had gone over our soul:
Then the proud waters had gone over our soul.
Blessed be the Lord, who hath not given
us as a prey to their teeth.
Our soul is escape as a bird out
of the snare of the fowlers:
The snare is broken, and we are escaped.
Our help is the name of the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 124: 2-8
You probably might have suffered some disappointments and closed doors. Do you know that most times what are considered disappointments, closed doors and road blocks are God’s means of protecting you from paths and places not meant for you? If it happens that some of the things you looked unto God for in 2019 has not been realized, that does not mean you would not have it; delay is not denial. At the appointed time, God would grant you your heart desires and your joy shall be full. So, instead of brooding and being unnecessarily sad for what you don’t have, why not pick your pen and reflect back on all the goodness of God to you from January till now. Like the song writer says “count your blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done!”
Know that, your being alive to this day indicates God is not finished with you yet. Stay positive and keep hope alive. The best is yet to come. MAINTAIN AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE.
As for me, as I think of the goodness of Jesus and all He has done for me in the years past, the most recent being seeing me through the thick and thin of year 2019. For this, I lift up my hands and shout EBENEZER!
I know and I am sure that by His grace, the coming year 2020 is going to be a glorious year for me and my household! My song shall be that of praises of His goodness and mercies to me;
“I have seen the Lord’s goodness, His mercies and compassion,
I have seen the Lords goodness, hallelujah praise the Lord.
Oh Lord you have been so good you are so good to me,
Oh Lord, you are excellent in my family throughout the year,
Oh Lord you have been so good, you are so good to us.
Oh Lord you are excellent in our Lives!”
THANK YOU JESUS FOR BEING MY HELP IN THE AGES PAST AND MY HOPE FOR THE YEARS TO COME.
A HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR 2020 IS MY WISH TO YOU ALL.