By Leon Hartwell

Cleveland, Ga. (TMNews) – Dr. Hayes Wicker, Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Naples, Fla., encouraged Truett-McConnell students during a September 24 chapel service that “God is able.”

Reading from Jude verses 24 and 25, he said, “I cannot change myself apart from the power of Him, who is able to keep me from stumbling.” Entitling his message, “Able,” Wicker shared “We are unable, but He is able.”

Reminding the students of God’s faithfulness and ability to deliver, Wicker referenced a student’s possible past trials and tribulations: “That was then, this is now. It’s not where you’ve come from, it’s where you’re going. I know that you’ve been discouraged. You live in a culture where we have fluctuating stock markets, an eighteen trillion dollar national debt, increasing government intrusion and lessening government protection.”

“With social media, we have more social interaction and less social connection,” Wicker said. “You were told you could have it all, but you discovered you can’t.”

Although there is much to be concerned and worried about in the present, Wicker explained God desires His people to confidently walk beside Him, trusting that He will provide for the benefit of all.

Barring all discouragement, Wicker added, “I want you to know, God is able.” Citing a verse from John 10, he reminded his listeners of Jesus’ promise of God’s power.

“God is your lifeline, guarding your destiny as well as your identity,” Wicker said. “He is able.” Jesus Christ, as revealed in Scripture, provides eternal life for his faithful followers, he added.

Sharing part of his own testimony while in college, Wicker said: “Very few people knew how much of a fog I was in. God will help you as long as you are weak,” he said. This is why Paul struggled with the thorn in his flesh; because when God’s people are admittedly weak, it is then that they are able to be made strong through God’s strength, he added.

Wicker proceeded to speak about God’s promises, saying, “Some of you have unresolved guilt. You have unrealized dreams, unfulfilled expectations, and the stress, the sin, and the strain of being in school. All you can think is that you blew it again. He is able to uphold [you] with His hand.”

“He loves you,” Wicker shared while explaining this is all that really matters in the big picture. Through every difficult struggle in life, God is there and able to forgive and encourage, he said.

“Do you ever feel like you’re on the verge of stumbling and falling?” Wicker asked. “Are you remaining steadfast?” If you became physically sick and incapacitated, would you still seek to mature spiritually? If you lost the love of your life, your husband or your wife, would you still love Jesus? If you prayed and you didn’t see visible answers, would you still keep on praying? Would you love the bride of the church even if she is flawed and her dress is dirty?”

“You can take one giant leap for Him today,” Wicker said, reminding students with God’s power and strength, the answers to those questions can be answered affirmatively.


Leon is a senior English major and freelance writer for Truett-McConnell.

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