Once again, God has given us another opportunity to start a new year. What a privilege! It is appropriate at this moment to pause and register our thanks and gratitude to our God for the way in which He has led us last year. Despite the unprecedented challenges and setbacks that we have experienced we all can join our voices together in declaring that God has been more than faithful to us. As we venture into this new year let us be determined that whatever may come our way, we shall remain steadfast.

We will undoubtedly encounter some moments or seasons of tremendous challenges. But if we put our trust in the God of our Salvation, we have absolutely nothing to fear. Against this backdrop, Ellen G White in Life Sketches, p. 196 includes: We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our history.

Indeed, when we remember what the lord has done in the past it behooves us to remain steadfast while traversing the stormy seasons of life. Let me share with us three areas that require our steadfastness.

First, let us be steadfast in spending quality time daily with the Lord in the word and prayer. Ellen G White further reminds us in ‘Messages to Young People’, p.249 that “Prayer is the breath of the soul. It is the secret of spiritual power. No other means of grace can be substituted, and the health of the soul be preserved.” This postulation speaks volumes of the necessity of prayer in our lives. So let us be determined that we shall not allow anything to distract us from spending quality time with the Lord.

Secondly, let us be steadfast in service. I believe all of us who have committed ourselves to the Lordship of Jesus Christ has been called to serve. God has endowed every single one of us with tremendous gifts and talents that can be used to advance His work here in this part of the vineyard.

I am sure all of us wish one day to hear these words from the master’s lips: “Well, done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, and I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord,” (Matthew 25:23). Inevitably, there will come times when we feel like giving up or discourage, we need to remind ourselves that the reward is promised to all who shall endure to the end.

Finally, let us remain steadfast in our witnessing. There has been an urgent invitation extended to all of us to go. Hence, the theme “EMPOWERED BY CHRIST, I WILL GO” in a time where many are those who are swimming in the ocean of spiritual darkness and lawlessness, we have been empowered by Christ Himself to go and share the message of hope with our friends, relatives, and neighbors.

The time has come for us as a conference family to galvanize our strength and resources to spread the word of life and truth in our communities. The Lord Jesus is soon to come as such, let us not get weary in well doing. The personal ministries department is committed to engaging in the work of equipping and training the people of God to be more effective in witnessing. As the Lord said to Gideon in Judges 6: 14, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”

We too must go in the strength of the Lord to help men and women, boys and girls come into the knowledge of God’s saving power. It is my prayer that in 2023 we remain steadfast in our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, in service and in our witnessing. 

-Pastor Wilson Isnord, South Bahamas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists