Johnathan Nelson – Finish Strong


By Pastor Kwesi Oginga

Oginga- a_group_in_prayerThe picture: Pastor Kwesi Oginga (center) with a Group of Prayer Warriors at New Life Ministries, Silver Spring MD, U.S.A.

It’s another time of thanks. It’s another time to celebrate.

The history of thanksgiving is rooted in the fact that God allowed the Pilgrims to overcome a season of trials and tribulations that threatened their lives. What a signal to the nation. What a signal to the world. What a testimony of what can happen when God is in our lives. He always comes true. We can place our faith and confidence in Him in every situation that confronts us.

As a Guyanese living in the United States, even though the historic narrative on which thanksgiving is premised does not relate to my culture, I must observe that thanksgiving has always been a part of the collective Guyanese reality. It has always been customary for us to give thanks for our victories small or large. We give thanks for the birth of babies. We give thanks for the union of souls in Holy Matrimony. We give thanks when we overcome health issues, academic pursuits, and all forms of family challenges.

I can recall some families making their thanksgiving events into elaborate spreads. From simple home parties, they would open up the spirit of hospitality and gratitude in village fetes where Little Jones Band would play unto wee hours in the morn. I can still hear the joyful melodies they played and sang in celebration of their freedom.

Pretty little butterfly
What you do all do
Nothing do but pay meh darling
Nothing do but play
Fly butterfly
Fly butterfly
Don’t waste your time away

In this song the butterfly is a metaphor for the human spirit as it dances joyfully in the blessing of its freedom. There is a caution here, however. Freedom should be used wisely. It should inspire thoughtfulness and good works, so that the joy it brings can be maintained.

Regardless of how we gave thanks, the focus of our gratitude would be centered on the Almighty. We openly recognized Him for being Jehovah Jireh, the provider whose promises come true in our time of need.

Today, more than ever, considering the social, economic and political condition of our country, we need to extend our faith in God. We need to thank Him in advance for a change in our nation’s circumstances. When we trust in God, we can thank Him for things that we want to manifest in our lives. The Bible tells us, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see,” (Hebrews 11: 1; NIV). We need to extend our faith in God by offering Him thanks for our survival of the tribulations and the times Guyana is presently going through. Evidently, the land itself is crying out for change.

Change is not an investment. We must not treat it as though it is ours to control. Change is deeper than the way the human mind perceives it. It is evitable. Change is the manifestation of supernatural decisions to advance the people of God into the higher echelons of peace, joy and prosperity that we deserve. Let us thank God for it. We should not hamper its process whenever and wherever it appears. We should not suffocate it with human pride and the greed for power to thwart what God intends. We should use our wisdom to guide it gently into our reality. Allow it to live so that we can live along with it.
People who put themselves in the way of change injure the peace and hope that are at the nucleus of its nature. We must thank God for change. It takes the pressure off our human limitations. Appreciate the positives it brings. Those who fear change seldom trust in God. It is the fear of progress and their own promotion that they resist. The fear for change is a symptom of a lack of faith.

Let us offer a collective prayer of thanks. Let us thank God for removing the planks and beams that distort our vision, that destabilize our hope, that distract us from having the faith that God knows best for our country. There are some things that man must concede that he cannot do. We must interpret the signs of our inadequacy and step out of the way so that God’s peace will come.

This thanksgiving, as we thank God for our personal blessings, our families, our abilities to be fruitful and to shine our light into the dark situations that are threatening to overwhelm the land, let us also thank God for the privilege of prayer that He has given to us. God has given us this supernatural empowerment power as equipment for the fulfillment of our purpose. The Bible counsels, “1 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior…” (1 Timothy 2:1-3).

God has placed this power in the hands of the people. It’s power that can change the course of our nation when our politicians run bankrupt or are falling into error. Let’s thank God for allowing us to recognize it. Let’s thank God for allowing us to use it in a timely and righteous manner.
Sometimes it is necessary for thanksgiving to be centered on our spiritual gifts.

Please accept my resounding prayer for a happy thanksgiving to everyone. Allow me to add this very powerful scripture through which self control, lasting joy and the fires of hope can forever burn within our spirits, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him (Colossians 3: 17).

Jonathan Butler – No woman no cry

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