The song, “My past is not who I am.” was a melodious tune from a man who though was condemned yet he never gave into his misfortunes. It reminds me of the words of James Fortune in his song, ” The curse is broken.” He wrote, “The enemy is trying to make me believe that my past is who I am. That the mistakes I made from yesterday is all that I would ever be. They told me I would be nothing. Nobody in my family ever was. They said you’re just like your momma, just like your daddy, never amounted to anything…”*
Am I speaking about your situation too? Have you condemned yourself and have resigned to fate, by reason of the failures of the past? Oh, are you finding it hard to let go of the guilt of your past mistakes? Or perhaps, your family, friends or neighbors who knows the history of your parents have told you you will never amount to anything? I will tell you what, you can prove them wrong! However difficult it could be, you can let go of your hurts, disappointment and low self esteem, and renew your hope.
I know a man whose situation was hopeless. Even though he plunged himself into gloom and affliction by his willful disobedience. Yet, he renewed his hope in a seemingly humanly impossible condition, and sang a song of triumph from the belly of the fish. His story should interest you. He testified saying, “In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. From the depths of the grave I called for help and you listened to my cry.” Jonah 1:12.
Jonah, a prophet and messenger of God, lost his intimacy with God when he reluctantly refused to carry out the assignment God gave him. Consequent to his disobedience, he suffered great distress and affliction initiated by his master, who insisted that he should fulfill his assignment.
Even though he made several efforts to escape His presence, he was sought out by the sailors as the evil doer who was responsible for the wild storm that threatened to sink their ship. Accused, embarrassed, and abandoned into the wild sea, he was swallowed by a big fish, and accommodated in its belly, a dungeon of anguish and distress for three days and three nights. Yet, he never lost connection with his creator. The love of his master preserved him, and His presence sustained him even in the belly of the fish.
Like Jonah, you may have turbulent emotions, and the guilt of your wrong-doing may have troubled your soul, and void your life of true peace. Yes, your disobedience to God, or your parents may have taken you far from their affection. Yet, if you can seek God’s mercy, and seek pardon from those you have hurt, as well as forgive those who has maltreated you, you will sure find peace, and your life will find true meaning.
From the belly of the fish comes a passionate, heartfelt chorus of hope from a repentant and helpless man, who though having erred, never gave into dejection and frustration. Rather, he was sincere to himself; he stood firm on God’s promises, and so was preserved to live again to fulfill his destiny. In the same way, you too can still hope even in the pit. Yes, you can still renew your hope even in the valley of the shadow of death. Yes, you can pray even in the belly of the fish!
Prayer is omnipotent: There is no situation that is beyond the power of prayers. Delays in answers to prayer does not mean prayers are useless. Even a dead bone can receive life when our sincere prayers aligns with the will of God. Therefore, in the midst of calamities, and difficult trials, we should still trust in God to preserve and sustain us. We must know that deliverance from the power of guilt and fear only comes from God. Shifting our focus from the adversities of life and turning to God will help us to renew our commitment to Him.
The world we live in is perverse and we constantly suffer from the consequent of our sins and disobedience. The challenges of economic recession, hardship, insecurities, poverty, and man’s inhumanity to man can easily plunge us into depression and hopelessness. However, if we like Jonah would call unto God in our distresses, He will save us from all our troubles, and give us new songs to sing.
You too can sing with absolute confidence in God, even in the face of life-threatening situations. Let’s join James Fortune and Fiya to sing, “The curse is broken. My past can’t hold me. I’m more than a conqueror. That’s what he told me. The curse is broken. My body’s healed. The devil’s a liar. It’s in his will. My past, is not who I am. The abortion, is not who I am
The misfortune, is not who I am. The disease, is not who I am. I’m healed, that’s who I am. I’m free, that’s who I am
I’m a conqueror, that’s who I am. The curse is broken in my life. I’m blessed, I’m delivered, I’m redeemed…” Yes, I’m winning! Yes, we are winning!