August 13, 2023

Upholding Your Integrity in Difficult Times

Upholding Your Integrity in Difficult Times




13th of August, 2023

Topic:                         Upholding your Integrity in Difficult Times

Preacher:                   Pastor Timothy Adeyemi

Text:                           Job 2:1 – 10



If we are asked to define difficult times, I think, in one word, we will just say, ‘Nigeria’. May God help us! Amen. If anybody claims to have the Spirit of God, claims to be a prophet or whatever title and says to you that, ‘You will never be in difficult times,’ excuse me, the person does not know the scripture. If anybody says to you that difficult times will not come and that life will be a bed of roses; that when you give your life to Christ, it is going to be jolly all the days, may I tell you that that person has not spoken the mind of Christ? Even the Scripture says, ‘Weeping may endure for a night,’ that implies that there is a difficult time in the life of every man. Difficult times is a time when the faith of people are shaken and people want to lose their personality and identity because they are persecuted on all sides. It is a time when people are tempted to say, ‘I think at this point, I can turn back.’ But I have brought the Word of God to you this morning that God wants you to uphold your faith and integrity even in difficult times. Real gold is made in difficult situations; you are a gold in the making. God is fashioning something out of your life. The Bible says eyes have not seen…, that is, it has not yet been revealed what we shall be like. It has not been revealed to every man what you shall yet become. There is still a beautiful life, a life of abundance ahead of you but gold has to go through the fire before its beauty comes out. So, that difficult situation is like a fire purifying the gold but when the gold comes out, it won’t be like what it has gone through.

Thus, whether you win or lose in life is largely dependent on how you handle your difficult times. Whether you succeed in life or otherwise is dependent on how you handle the difficult situations. Difficult times can come in different ways; it can be financial difficulties, loss of a loved one, ill-health or any situation that is difficult. How you handle that situation will determine whether you succeed or lose in life.

1 Samuel 17:34 – 36 talks about a phase in the life of one young boy. When I look through the Old Testament, my favourite character has to be David; I love the man so much and have learned a lot from him. For us to understand what really happened in these verses: this was a boy of about 17 years giving an account of his experience. You know, when you want to get a job, they ask for your years of experience, so this boy was reading his CV to show everyone he is qualified for the next job. He said there was a time he was taking care of his father’s sheep and a lion appeared to him. The question is: This was a young boy and God loves children, right? So, why does God not stop the lion from coming? This is to tell you that God may not stop difficult times. Recently, I was speaking to some young ladies who have gone through a phase in their lives and one of them said, ‘We prayed. Is it that God does not answer prayers?’ It is not every time that God will stop the lion. In fact, the coming of the lion is to prepare you for a greater foe. Goliath is more than the lion, you know, but if you don’t qualify from the experience of the lion and the bear, you are not qualified to face Goliath. So, when God does not stop the lion, it’s because there is a greater phase ahead of you but in all of these, God will make a way of escape. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, ‘No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.’ This means that difficult situation will not consume you. It says, ‘God will not allow any temptation that is more than what you can bear.’ If trouble comes, know that it is part of the script God has written to prepare you for what is ahead of you. So, this boy said the lion came and it grabbed the lamb. God was only looking all this while. I was thinking, if the lion already grabbed the lamb, it is not likely that the lamb will survive; the chances of its survival are very slim. Now, look at it, the boy dragged with the lion and rescued the lamb. He remembered that he was given the lamp to keep and he would give account. The situation may be so scary, he must have said to himself, ‘I was given an assignment of tending this flock and I will give an account of everything, even if it is to carry the dead body home.’ So, he fought with the lion.

In the case of Job, it was God himself reading the CV of Job. Satan was going up and down, we don’t look what he is looking for. God then told him that in all his roaming around, has he considered his son, Job? I can permit you to change the name, Job there to your own name. So, God is saying concerning you, ‘Have you considered my son, Timothy, the one that will uphold his integrity in every situation? The one that in every situation, financial difficulty, he will still give his tithe?’ Satan said, ‘God, you don’t understand. It is because you have not touched him where it would pain him. In the most difficult situation, a man will give everything he has, even his integrity, just to save his life.’ But Jesus said, he who tries to save his life will lose it. God permitted Satan and you know, it is very interesting, Job was not there, does not know the transaction going over his destiny but God said He trusted him. Then, Satan said, ‘Let me do external exam for Job.’ The exam of Satan is difficult but with God on your side, you are able to conquer. The experience of Job is not the experience anybody wishes, not even for their enemies. It got so bad to the level that even his wife thought about it and advised him to curse God and die. Job looked at her and wondered that she didn’t take any training that he has been giving her. So, he told his wife, ‘Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?’ (v. 10). In all situation, God remains ever faithful. Job told his wife that doesn’t she understand? ‘I am not serving God because of what He has given to me, because I have good health, because things are going fine; I am serving God because He is God, whether he heals me or not, answers my prayers or not, he is still my God.’

Romans 8:19 says, ‘For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.’ They wait to see whether you will pass that exam or not. They are earnestly and seriously waiting, ‘This person is going through this, will he succeed? Will he uphold his integrity? Because if he doesn’t, we that our destinies depend on him, what will become of us?’ Without examination, there is no manifestation. You do prize giving day in schools; how do you know the best student if you haven’t examined them? They are waiting for the day of your manifestation. They are waiting for the day you will be crowned. They are waiting, so, you must pass that exam. Keep on holding on and the Lord will help you in Jesus name.

I will speak on some three factors that can help you to uphold your integrity in difficult times:

  1. If you must uphold your integrity in difficult times, you must learn to see the victory ahead (Rom. 8:18): Paul was speaking in this very verse, that ‘For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.’ That situation in your body, that problem in your business, remember, there is a glory ahead of you and because of it, you must not give up. If you see what God has ahead of you, you will not give up. The reason why God asked the children of Israel to first go and see the land is because when they (you) see the land ahead, they (you) won’t be afraid to face anything. Unfortunately, the children of Israel failed that test. The Bible speaks about Jesus in Hebrews 12:2, that because of the joy ahead of him, he endured… you don’t need endurance in good time, which means it was a difficult situation even for Jesus. He looked at the joy set ahead of him, that it is too beautiful than the pain he was feeling. Because of the joy, he endured the cross and despised the shame. What have you gone through that is as hard as what Jesus and Job went through? But in all of these, He despised the shame and ‘has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.’

Like a woman who is pregnant for nine months… even we that are not pregnant, it is not easy for us, not to talk of the one carrying it. Yet during the naming ceremony, we forget the pain. You are going to give birth. That situation is just a period of pregnancy and you know, when you are close to giving birth, the pain becomes harder – labour pain. Hold on! There is a joy and victory ahead of you. Let your focus be on that joy and that will motivate you to endure the pain. They have said behind you in your workplace that of all the people in this company, you are the only one that stands out. They have said it behind you that you won’t agree to their evil schemes and someone has proposed that everyone has a price and that when they call you, you will give in to it. So, when they call you and you give in, what will happen? Remember, there was a time when Daddy told us about a family that wanted to give him a certain amount of money and the wife had already said, Daddy will not collect it. This man went ahead to ask Daddy to send his account number but Daddy sent that of the church. The man then went to Daddy to tell him that his wife already said so. Excuse me, what if he had collected it? Know this: They have said it behind you that you are truthful in business, but the Devil is waiting to make you say, ‘The situation of Nigeria requires wisdom, so let’s falsify figures.’

For the joy set ahead of him, seeing the victory ahead of him, he endured the cross and despised the shame. After he had done all of this, God was proud to say that indeed, this is my Son. Now, He is seated at the right hand of God. He would have missed the position if He didn’t endure the cross.

So, your perception of difficult times will determine how you deal with it. If you see it as a training ground, a preparation for the times ahead, you will hold on. The value of any situation is what you make of it. The same situation is what another person is going through but how you deal with it is what will make the difference. We heard the story of a family – the father was a drunkard and had two sons. One of the sons turned out to be successful but the other became a drunkard. When they asked them independently what motivated their actions, the successful one said he saw his father while growing up and saw what he shouldn’t be, the drunkard said he saw his father and decided to follow in his footstep. No matter the difficult times, see the victory ahead.

  1. Trust Him: By Him, I mean Jesus. Trust Him. So happy this morning because God has just confirmed his Word at different sessions. The hymn we sang, ‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus; Just to hold him at His Word.’ He says that when you go through the fire, He will be there with you. When you go through waters, He will be there with you… in fact, for you to know the kind of water, He said, ‘deep waters’. Sometimes, I don’t know which is much difficult between water and fire; if fire is burning, you can quench it with water, but if it is water, what would you do? The only anchor you must have is that ‘Jesus is with me.’ It is so sweet to trust Him and hold Him at His Word. Just hold on to the Word He has said. That debt you have making your BP go up and making you consider some cunning ways, Jesus knows about it and He said, ‘In this, I will help you, you will not be put to shame and disgrace’ but because you are thinking about it with your own wisdom you are now considering different ways. Jesus wants you to trust Him even in difficult situations. Don’t trust yourself, rather trust God to help you.

In Proverbs 3:5 – 7, the Bible says, ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.’ The best of your wisdom will still fail you. At your best, without the help of God, may I tell you that you will still fail? Your understanding is limited, but trust the One whose foolishness is better than the wisdom of men. ‘In all your ways, acknowledge Him.’ In that your career, acknowledge him; in that your business, academic, etc. acknowledge him. Verse 7 says, ‘Do not be wise in your own eyes.’ What men call wisdom, ‘je ki a d’ogbon si’ (let’s manipulate things), fear the Lord and depart from evil. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Peter depended on his own ability; Jesus said, ‘Before the cock crows you will deny me three times’ but Peter boasted in his own ability to stay with Jesus. Your ability cannot help you in times of trouble. God designed it in a way that it was a small girl who first approached Peter. What will a small girl even do to Peter? But Peter denied Jesus. Little challenge, but by your own wisdom, you will fail. So, Jesus prayed for Peter. In your wisdom, you will fail. So, trust the Lord and He will help you. God can be trusted and that’s why the Scripture says, ‘He is a present help in times of trouble.’

There is one beautiful hymn that says, ‘Will your anchor hold? Will your anchor hold in the storms of life, when the clouds unfold their wings of strife? When the strong tides lift, and the cables strain, will your anchor drift or firm remain?’ It says, ‘We have an anchor that keeps the soul, and that is Jesus.’ The only One that can keep your soul in times of trouble and help you is Jesus. ‘Steadfast and sure while the billows roll,’ when the storms rage and it looks like Jesus is sleeping, I tell you that wind hear His voice, not the voice of men. Jesus is the rock that cannot shake, so hold on to him so that your anchor will remain firm.

  1. Choose your advisers or companion: In difficult times, choose your advisers or companions. Surround yourself with faith builders, those who will help you to uphold your integrity. The best of us have times of doubts. To know it is not a sin to consider it, even Jesus considered it. There are points it will be too dark and look like morning will not come, in such situation, the people you listen to should not be those who will tell you ‘Keferi la fi i waomo, igbagbo l’a fi i wo’, or those that say, ‘All what these pastors are saying, once you bring your tithe to church, they will forget about it’. Your chances of surviving may be slim but if the people around you are those who will lift you even when you have given up, you have a high advantage. You were here during Unusual Encounter when Bishop Idris was saying how God used his own son to build up his faith. There are times when you don’t have faith and you need faith builders to build your faith. If all the people you surround yourself with are people you gossip together, in times of trouble, that gossiping will not help you.

In Daniel 3, the King tells the three Hebrews to bow down to the golden image or he kills them. I want to believe that the voice of the devil might have been speaking to one of them, ‘Won’t you die like this?’ but because they are all faith builders, they are able to speak boldly, ‘that even if God doesn’t deliver us’… I am sure one of them would be doubting at this point but they all continued to trust God. So, while one may be weary, the words of faith of the others were building him. Surround yourself with faith builders. That is why we enjoin you to come to bible study and not miss service, because here you hear the Word of faith. We are not moved by what we see and what is happening in the society. The only thing we know is what God has said in the Scriptures and that’s what we hold on to. This church is a church of faith, don’t joke with the words that come out from here. It may be those words that you will hold on to at the time of troubles.

You cannot be a champion of faith without your faith being tested (Job 42:10). I give you this guarantee that your faith will be tested but your ability to stay true to your faith and character will determine what you will get. It was a long, difficult, arduous journey for Job; from chapter 2 to chapter 42, forty chapters, to write about the affliction of a man yet in all of these, Job did not curse God. Verse 10 says, ‘and the Lord restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.’ Endure the cross, what you stand to gain is double. There is a double blessing and glory ahead of you if you keep holding on, so, don’t break down in the night time for the day will soon break. Psalm 30:5, ‘For His anger is but for a moment…’ If you want to interpret this, it doesn’t mean anger of God against you, sometimes, it means that difficult time, that terrible situation is but for a moment because He is faithful. ‘…Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning.’ The morning is almost here, so, hold on. Don’t give up on your faith and character. God has boasted concerning you, don’t compromise your faith. Hold on to that righteous living and may the good Lord sustain you in Jesus Name.


Tell God that you need His grace. Tell Him to uphold you in times of trouble. Say, in the most difficult times, I trust in you, O Lord. Please, give me the grace to hold on in the name of Jesus.

Call to Salvation

If we depend on our ability and wisdom, we will fail. So, if you are here this morning and have been directing the affairs of your life by yourself; you have been trying to use your own wisdom, no wonder you are frustrated and depressed because your best wisdom will fail you. Jesus is telling you this morning to allow Him into your life so that He can help you. Therefore, if you want to receive Jesus into your life so that He can help you, say this prayer: Lord Jesus, I surrender to your Lordship. Today, I receive you as my Lord and Saviour. Please, wash me clean and let your redemption promises be evident in my life. Thank you for saving me. In Jesus Name I prayed. Amen.

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