WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JULY 25, 2023
TOPIC: NEXT YEAR AT THIS TIME!
BY T. O. BANSO
“Next year at this time you will be holding a son in your arms!” (2 Kings 4:16a New Living Translation).
Every day is an anniversary of something, which only those who keep records will be able to remember. About this time next year, you will remember today for something if you keep records. I pray that whatever is your current situation, you will experience a positive change before this time next year in Jesus’ name.
Sometimes when people have been in a negative situation for a long time with the hopes of solutions dashed, they could become despondent or hopeless. They might not expect anything to change again. They could come to a point where they are ready for the worst. But the Almighty God can turn around any bad situation. Nothing is beyond His power. There is nothing He cannot do.
I pray that next year at this time, you’ll be sharing the testimonies of deliverance, employment, promotion, marriage, marital peace, success in business, healing, health, completed projects, ministerial breakthrough, etc. You will not be in your present unsatisfactory condition. You will say, “This time last year, I was…but this is what God has done.” You have secured employment, gained promotion, passed your exams, become pregnant and given birth to a child, gotten engaged or married, or have been healed. Daniel 2:21a says God changes times and seasons; He sets up kings and deposes them. God will change your season for the better.
The Prophet Elisha said to the Shunammite woman, who had no child, “About this time next year you shall embrace a son” (2 Kings 4:16a New King James Version). The New Living Translation says, “Next year at this time you will be holding a son in your arms!” Note the phrase “Next year at this time.”
But there was nothing like that on the mind of this woman. She was a wealthy woman and had gotten used to her barrenness. She must have been hopeful in the past but her hope didn’t yield any fruit. So she wasn’t excited at the prophecy of Elisha who really wanted to do something for this woman who had shown him much hospitality.
The Shunammite woman replied, “No, my lord. Man of God, do not lie to your maidservant!” (2 Kings 4:16b New King James Version). This woman had earlier told her husband that she perceived that Elisha was a holy man of God (verse 9). That was before she and her husband, at her instance, provided Elisha with regular meals and accommodation whenever she came to Shunem. But when Elisha prophesied to her about having a child about that time the following year, she told him not to lie to her. The prophecy seemed to her impossible. That would mean that Elisha was lying! But he wasn’t a false prophet.
The New International Version puts the woman’s reply to Elisha this way: “‘No, my lord,’ she objected. ‘Don’t mislead your servant, O man of God!’” Indeed, some prophecies could be misleading. Many have been misled by false prophecies but Elisha didn’t belong to the class of prophets who gave misleading prophecies. This woman had regard for Elisha as a holy man of God but she must have been through a lot, hence she reacted the way she did.
Nevertheless, God confirmed the prophecy of His servant. About that time the following year, she had a child. “But the woman conceived, and bore a son when the appointed time had come, of which Elisha had told her” (2 Kings 4:17 New King James Version). What appeared impossible became possible. Before this time next year, that thing that appears impossible in your life would have become a possibility in Jesus’ name. What you thought you could not achieve, you would have achieved it before this time next year.
Abraham laughed when God said, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. And I will bless her and also give you a son by her; then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be from her” (Genesis 17:15-16 New King James Version).
This is how the Bible puts Abraham’s reaction: “Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, ‘Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?’And Abraham said to God, ‘Oh, that Ishmael might live before You!’” (Genesis 17:17-18 New King James Version). If you were Abraham, you wouldn’t have done better! Abraham and his wife had waited for a child for many years. Both of them were old. At that time, Abraham was more concerned about Ishmael than a promise that had taken too long to become a reality. He appeared to be saying, “A bird in the hand was worth two in the bush.”
However, God answered Abraham, “No—Sarah, your wife, will give birth to a son for you. You will name him Isaac, and I will confirm my covenant with him and his descendants as an everlasting covenant. As for Ishmael, I will bless him also, just as you have asked. I will make him extremely fruitful and multiply his descendants. He will become the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. But my covenant will be confirmed with Isaac, who will be born to you and Sarah about this time next year” (Genesis 17:19-21 New Living Translation). Note the phrase “about this time next year.”
Like husband, like wife. Sarah also laughed in reaction to God’s promise to her through one of the three men that visited them. He said she would have a child. “Then one of them said, ‘I will return to you about this time next year, and your wife, Sarah, will have a son!’” (Genesis 18:10 New Living Translation). Again, note the phrase “about this time next year.” In reaction, Sarah laughed silently and said, “How could a worn-out woman like me enjoy such pleasure, especially when my master—my husband—is also so old?” (Genesis 18:12b New Living Translation).
Nevertheless, God was determined to fulfil His promise. “Then the Lord said to Abraham, ‘Why did Sarah laugh? Why did she say, ‘Can an old woman like me have a baby?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return about this time next year, and Sarah will have a son’” (verses 13-14 New Living Translation). Sarah denied that she laughed but God insisted that she did.
As the case of the Shunammite woman was, so was Sarah’s case, whose story is recorded in the Bible long before that of the Shunammite woman. Genesis 21:1-2 says, “The Lord kept his word and did for Sarah exactly what he had promised. She became pregnant, and she gave birth to a son for Abraham in his old age. This happened at just the time God had said it would” (New Living Translation). Verse 6 says, “And Sarah said, ‘God has made me laugh, and all who hear will laugh with me’” (New King James Version).
My prayer is that this time next year you will also say that God has made you laugh. He will make you laugh. You will laugh over whatever is currently making you cry, sigh, worry, or be afraid. People will join you in your laughter of victory and joy. You will not be in the same situation. God asked Abraham, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” Jeremiah 32:27 says, “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?” (New King James Version). Nothing is too difficult or hard for God to do. Next year at this time, you will share testimonies of the marvelous things God has done for you within a year.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, change my story for the better. Change my season to a glorious one. Next year at this time, let me have great testimonies to share.
(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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