Hold on is a phrasal verb used to tell someone to wait for a short time or endure in difficult circumstances. It means to persist; to hang on; to wait; etc.
A bit longer is a phrase that means only a little longer than originally intended; to extend something for a bit of more time; to keep something going on pass a particular time; etc.
As human beings, we always want to obtain anything we desire at the time we want them; holding on to a much longer time is always difficult. So also, it is as believers; there are things we believed God for; there are also other things God has promised us; of which we would think that these will happen now. Most of the time though, it would mean that we would have to hold on till those expectations and promises are fulfilled or delivered.
Holding on a bit longer in such circumstances may not be easy; but it is very necessary in order to obtain the promises and receive our expectations.
After Adam and Eve fell in the Garden of Eden, God promised a way out. The Seed of the Woman will come and crush the head of the Serpent to deliver Mankind (Gen. 3: 15).
There was however a waiting period before that happened. Prophets of God in the Old Testament kept holding on to that promise (Heb. 11: 36-40); until such a time when God felt it was ripe, Jesus the Son of God came in flesh – a period of about 4,000 years (Gal. 4:4).
So, this message is to admonish someone listening to me right now:
Is there something you are believing God for that you have not received?
Is there something God has promised you and it is yet to be fulfilled?
Is there a positive change you desire in your life and have not yet happened?
Is there a negative thing you have been experiencing and you have hoped that it would cease, but it is still continuing?
What the Lord has impressed in my heart to tell you today is to hold on a bit longer. Hang on still, wait, and persist much longer. Your deliverance is certain.
Prayer: Father, help me to hold on till my deliverance comes.
To explain this message better, I will cite examples of bible characters who failed to hold on a bit longer as touching God’s promises for their lives and as such experienced repercussion of their action; I will equally cite examples of those characters who had to hold on a bit longer, and as such obtained God’s promises.
Adam and Eve were created by God and put in the Garden of Eden to tend and keep it. Everything was going on fine until one day Eve and later Adam had to make the most difficult decision of their lives.
In Gen. 3: 1-7, the bible says that the Serpent (Rev. 12:9 – Satan) came to tempt Eve to eat the fruit that God had told them not to eat, he told them that they will not die; but that they would become wise as God Himself. The bible makes us to know that Eve became tempted and ate the fruit; she later gave the fruit to her husband and he ate together with her also.
It must have been a difficult situation for Eve. How did this Serpent know that God had told them something about this tree and its fruit? From what the Serpent said and from what Eve saw, the tree and its fruit does not look ferocious. Rather, it looked appealing and promising. She might have even touched it first and nothing had happened; so, eating of it would probably not be harmful either; Eve might have thought. She was persuaded to eat of its fruit, which was to later have grave repercussion for Mankind.
How one would have wished that Eve held on a bit longer. How we wished that Adam also later held on a bit longer. Supposing Eve had not eating before Adam came. Supposing they both asked the Serpent to come back tomorrow to give them time to ponder on it, especially as it was a matter of life and death. Things would have been different for them; and different for Mankind today. Why?
I believed that God would have showed up for them after such an incidence, which He actually did that same day (Gen. 3: 8). Unfortunately for them, it was a negative visitation as they did not hold on just a little longer.
Every child of God is prone to being tempted by the Serpent.
When he comes to you, you will not give in to him in Jesus name.
Every investment God has put into you will not be tampered with by the enemy in Jesus name.
As touching matters of life and death; you will not fall into error in Jesus name.
Prayers: Father, whenever the tempter comes to deceive me, help me to hold on to your word.
In Gen 12: 1-3, when God called Abraham from the Ur of Chaldeas, he was promised by God that he would be made father of many nations; and that through him nations of the earth will be blessed. Abraham was 75 years at that time. It must have been a difficult time for Abraham; having obeyed God by coming to Canaan; losing his father on the way and yet after few years, no child to show for his obedience; especially as people were calling him ‘father of nations’. It must have been somehow disappointing, depressing, and shameful.
By the time they had been in Canaan for about 10 years; Sarah brought a nice suggestion. That it may be that the child promised by God would come from her slave girl, and not herself. With much pressure from Sarah, Abraham gave in to her request and a male child resulted – Ishmael (Gen. 16:16).
How one would have wished that Abraham held on much longer though; as about 14 years later, Isaac the promised child eventually came through Sarah (Gen. 21:5). The two mothers were not in good times; the two children were not friends either. Abraham had to send Haggai and Ishmael away painfully. The generations of the two children are still enemies till today. The world’s conflict and peace are also linked to them somehow. Only if Father Abraham had just hold on a bit longer, it would have been a different story today.
You have received a human suggestion that will bring something desirable to your life; but there is a slight difference from how that thing was promised to you by God; do not take the advice. Even if it came from a well respectable and loveable source. Do not accept it. Hold on to God’s way a bit longer.
There is someone listening to now, your years of disappointments shall be forgotten. The shame of your past and that of your present shall disappear forever in Jesus name. Your years of unending laughter commence from now.
Prayer: In the name of Jesus, I decree that no advice nor pressure from any entity shall derail me from the plan of God for my life.
The bible makes us to know that Prophet Elisha received the double portion of the power of God upon Prophet Elijah’s life. As Elisha was serving God, he had a servant called Gehazi. One would have thought that Gehazi in turn would inherit at least the exact power of God upon Prophet Elisha’s life, if not double. It was however not to be. Gehazi was to receive leprosy upon himself and the generation after him; because he lacked the willpower to hold on for much longer.
Naaman the Syrian general that came to visit Elisha brought plenty gifts for him; if his leprosy could be healed by the Man of God; which happened. Elisha was however led not to receive the gifts from Naaman.
It must have been a hard experience for Gehazi, who would have thought that some of those gifts would have been rewards for his service to the Man of God; and equally did not know when such an opportunity would arise again. So, he went after the Naaman secretly and took some things from him, in the name of his master. Elisha however told him that the leprosy of Naaman has not gone far away, it was still hanging in the air; and that it would cling on him and his linage forever. Sadly, so it was!
How one would have wish that Gehazi had held on a bit longer in service, or at least asked his master why he did not receive the gifts from Naaman. Elisha would have explained. As he later said, it was not that it was wrong for prophets to receive gifts, but that discernment of what gift to receive was necessary (2 Kings 5: 15-27).
As the Lord lives, you shall not receive gifts of corruption.
Not all gifts are meant for your consumption. There are gifts you eat. There are those you decline politely. There are those you re-give. May God grant you the discernment for each one in Jesus name.
Prayers: Father, grant me the discernment of when to act and when not to do so.
Talking about Naaman, there is a great lesson of holding on for much longer from his life. In 2 Kings 5: 1-14, the bible says he left Syria for Samaria to look for the cure of his leprosy, having been informed that Prophet Elisha was able to heal him. He must have travelled for more than … over … days. He went to the King of Israel first, who became terrified and did not know what to do. Elisha then requested that he be sent to him.
Having got to Elisha’s house; the Man of God did not come out to say hello, neither did he try to use his supernatural power to clear the disease; but asked Naaman to go and dip himself in River Jordan seven times, a river which everyone knew to be muddy.
Anyone in the calibre of Naaman would be annoyed and disappointed. So was Naaman, he turned to go back to Syria in rage. It was his servants that God used to speak to him such that he was able to hold on much longer to do what the Prophet said. His body became restored as that of a little child!
If he had gone back home in that rage; if his servants did not have the courage to speak to him; if he had not listened to them, he would have probably died a leper.
There is someone listening to me, somebody has said or done something to you that made you angry and disappointed, as a result of that, you are considering not following another advise from them that can be beneficial to you. Don’t do so.
There is another person, you are angry at the way you have been treated at a place, and never wanted to have anything to do with them anymore; hold on, better things still await you there.
There is someone else, you have invested a lot into something; but out of annoyance and frustration, you are planning to quit and put an end to it. Wait and hold on for a while, I hear that the frustrating fog will soon clear off.
Prayers: Father, help me to be humble and remain so.
Noah was someone that demonstrated the ability to hold on much longer under pressure. When God asked him to build an ark, he did not murmur nor complain, despite the gigantic nature of the project. The whole world then would have been mocking him as he preached to them and built the ark. It took him and his family 120 years to build the ark, he was able to hold on, working under tough conditions and still believed God till the project was completed and the rain began.
The deeps and the heavens were opened for 40 days and forty nights. After this, the water stayed like that for 110 days and began to recede. In another 74 days, the mountain tops became visible, and after another 40 days, Noah sent a raven out, which never came back.
In another 7 more days, a dove was sent out which returned. After another 7 more days, another dove was sent out which brought back an olive leaf. After another 7 more days, Noah sent the same dove back out, which did not return.
After 29 more days, Noah opened the top of the ark and saw that the ground was visible. He however waited for another 56 days, when God commanded him to come out from the ark. If Noah was an impatient fellow, he would have attempted to go out when the raven sent out first did not return; by this time however, the water had not cleared off; just that the raven was feeding on dead carcasses.
Even when Noah sent the dove out the second time and it did not return; the ground would have still been mushy and dangerous for them to come out. Noah had to hold on for the voice of God which came 85 days after that. Altogether, Noah stayed in the ark for about 370 days! Over a year in a cramp situation. He truly held on.
There is someone listening to me now, I am asked to tell you that it is not yet time to jump out. The ‘ground’ appears to have dried, but it is still mushy and yet dangerous. Wait for the set time of God. You may be feeling cramped and stuffy now; but still hold on. The trial days will soon be spent. God will certainly reveal to you when He wants you to come out.
Prayer: Father, help me to be a patient fellow. Do not allow impatience to mess up my destiny.
In I Sam. 1: 1-20, the bible tells us that Hannah was barren. Harder still, her husband had another wife though (Penninah) who was having children. Prior to this time, it was only 2 women that were recorded in the bible who were barren, but later had child/children (Sarah and Rachel). So, Hannah would have been praying and hoping that her story would also change for better.
Year after year they travel to Shiloh to worship God, which would have been bitter yearly experience for Hannah. As Elkanah would give Peninnah and each of her children one portion of meat each; but to Hannah he would give two portions. Such that Penninah could potentially have eight portions if she had seven children.
Despite Hannah’s predicament, Peninnah always harass and provoke Hannah to embarrass her the more; so, Hannah would weep at times and refused to eat. The good thing about Hannah though is that she kept going to Shiloh. We do not know for how many years this continued. But one day her joy came. Samuel was born! Five other children were to follow.
There is someone listening to me now, you are waiting on God for something precious, hold on a bit longer. Do not allow your waiting time to affect your worship of Yahweh or going to Shiloh to worship and serve God.
I hear that your harassment, provocation, and embarrassment from men will soon end. Your ‘Samuel’ will soon come. The mouth of all your adversaries will soon be silenced in Jesus name.
There is someone listening to me now, you have constantly asked God for just one particular blessing. God says He will grant you multiple blessings instead. Like Solomon, those things you have not mentioned, God will grant unto you in Jesus name.
Prayer: Father, shut the mouth of those who are harassing and provoking me by granting me a miracle that seems unbelievable.
The widow of Zarephath amazes me a lot. What a faith that surely held on she had. In I Kings 17: 8-16, the bible says that Elijah met her gathering sticks to cook her last meal for she and her son; and there was no hope for another meal. So potentially, they were to die in days.
Elijah first requested for water to drink in a time of drought; and then graduated it to bring me a piece of bread too when you are coming with water. The woman said there was no bread; she only had ingredient to make a last meal, which she knew would be their last.
Elijah however asked her to make a small bread for him first and after that she may make one for herself and her son; he then prophesied that the flour barrel and the cruse of oil will not finish until rain began to fail again.
The bible said the woman had to hold on much longer to her own hunger and even set aside the hunger of her son to cater for Elijah first; and to her amazement the flour and oil to cook bread for her family never finished as Elijah had prophesied.
The bring me water was a tester for her, supposing she refused that first request? There would have been no other conversation again. Supposing she refused giving Elijah bread too? Or worse still, rained curses on him? She would have died with her son as she had said.
There is someone listening to me, God has declared His interest to you regarding something that is precious to you. Will you yield to Him or denied Him?
To another person, I am asked to remind you of your financial obligation to God as touching tithing. Bring that first and keep the rest God said. The rest will not finish. Will you obey Him?
Prayer: Father, when I am been tested regarding that which You have given me, help me not to fail.
6 ways to hold on a bit longer?
- Bring to remembrance and relish on your past victories.
2 Cor. 1:10 – God that deliver him from that terrible and deadly situation will yet deliver him again.
I Sam. 17: 32-37 – God that delivered him from lion and bear will deliver him from Goliath of Gath.
- Build up your endurance, stamina, self-control level ahead of time.
Ps. 119: 9-11 – Hide the word of God in your heart.
Mt. 4: 1-10 – forty days of fasting. Dealt with mouth, eyes, flesh and pride: fame spread afterwards.
Mt. 17: 14-21 – This kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.
Phil. 4:12 – learnt to be in need and to have more than enough.
- Look forward to the desired outcome.
Heb. 12:2 – for the joy set before Him, endure cross and despise its shame…
Job 14: 7-14 – There is hope for a tree, if its cut it will sprout again; …If a man die, shall he live again? (Job 19: 25-26 – I know that my Redeemer liveth, stand on earth…after skin destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God). ..All the days of my appointed life I will wait till my change comes.
Job 23:10 – God know the way I take, when He has tried me, I will come out as gold.
- Take your mind off the present pain.
2 Cor. 4: 16-18 – Do not lose heart, though you have physical pains, present trouble are small compared to eternal blessings, fix eyes on what is not seen…
Gen. 29: 18-20 – seemed a few days to him because he loved Rachel…
Acts 7: 54-60 – saw heavens opened and Jesus standing to welcome him, began to stone him while he was praying for them. Are you been stoned at? Jesus will rescue you.
- Recognise and make use of the help that God has sent to you.
2 Kings 5: 1-14 – it was his servants that saved him. Some people don’t listen to anyone talk less of servants…
I Sam. 22: 1-4 – brother and father’s household; those in trouble, debt and angry (400), left parents with King of Moab
- Put your faith and trust in the never failing power and timely help of God.
In 2 Kings 18: 13-37, 19: 1-37, Hezekiah exercise his fain in God. He got victory over…
In 2 Chro. 20: 1-30, Jehoshaphat did the same thing. He got miraculous victory over…
In Ephesian 6: 10-18, believers are encouraged to put on the whole armour of God so that we can withstand in the evil day. Having done all necessary things, the bible encourages us to stand therefore, hold on a bit therefore.
What is that fight/wrestling you are engaged in right now? The fight may still be on, the war may be fierce, will you still stand?
Are you having matrimonial difficulty? Financial struggle? Employment problem? Health issues? Relationship problem? Family squabbles? Children palaver? Fruitfulness challenge? Immigration dilemma? Are you going to hold on a bit longer? May God help you to do so in Jesus name.
Father, no matter the intensity of pressure mounted upon my life; help me to hold on to Your promise for my life.
Father, shorten every of my waiting time by Your special grace.
The sermon was delivered on May 17, 2020