By Funmi Komolafe
Brethren, let’s welcome one another to the beginning of another week. A week of a turn around. A week of an end to weeping in the mighty name of Jesus Christ.
These are not the best of times for many people in our country. Many are jobless, several others are losing their jobs, homes are no longer as peaceful as they should be because of financial inability to meet needs and several other reasons which, of course, include, delay in childbearing, awaiting a marriage partner, delayed promotion, etc.
Although these challenges are real, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
How do I know? Psalm 30vs 5 “ For his anger endureth, but a moment; in His favour is life: weeping may endure for a night , but joy cometh in the morning”.
Our emphasis is on the later part of that verse “ weeping may endure for a night but joy cometh in the morning”.
For joy to come in the morning, the one who has a challenge must be hopeful. To be hopeful is to be expectant. Your thoughts must be along the line of receiving. One who is expectant cannot and must not commit suicide. Suicide is becoming so common place these days . People take their own lives once an expectation is not met. Recently, in Ibadan, a man committed suicide because his former employers were yet to pay his entitlements and his car that he sold fell short of meeting his financial expectation.
Suicide is sinful and those who commit suicide are certainly not candidates of Paradise.
What is it that you are going through? You must bear in mind that the challenge did not begin with you and will not end with you. You must begin to see yourself overcome that challenge. No pastor can do this for you. You must do it yourself.
There is hope for you- Let me cheer you up with this testimony I read in one of the Pentecostal churches in Lagos. A young man wrote: “God has moved me from a jobless undergraduate to a comfortable man that can travel out of the country anytime I want”.
The problem many of us have is that we imagine how God will do it. For instance , a woman who has been praying to have just one child for years, begins to think: Oh! May be if I had over a million Naira, I would be able to pay for IVF. If I had money, I would have gone abroad for the best treatment.
Such are the thoughts of a person who limits God but our God is UNLIMITED. His ways are so numerous that what we think is the sure way to overcome the challenge in most cases, isn’t the way God would provide the solution.
I’ll share with you, a sermon titled “There is hope for you”. It was at a prayer meeting organized by Women On Their Knees held at the Chapel of Resurrection, RCCG, Ikeja Lagos.
The initiator of Women on Their Knees, Pastor Tinu Odugbemi said, “Every believer must be hopeful”. Hope, she said, translates to faith .
She made reference to Psalm 77 verses 7 – 9. To imagine what goes on in the mind of a person who is not hopeful “ Will the Lord cast off for ever? And will He be favourable no more? Is His mercy gone forever? Doth is promise fail for evermore? Hath God forgotten to be gracious….”.
The answer is simple. God has not forgotten anyone and will never forget anyone. Take this in confidently.
It is written, Christ in us the hope of Glory … With Christ in you, brethren, you can never be put to shame.
Let’s bear in mind, 1st Colossians 1 vs. 27 “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you the hope of Glory”.
Pastor Odugbemi told the women, “ Don’t give up. All is not lost . The situation may look hopeless . Whatever has gone dead in your marriage, your life, your business, the Lord will bring alive in the name of Jesus.
God’s exceptional Favour- I’ll narrate the story of a lady, Iyabo who was brought up by her father’s relations because the marriage with the mother had broken up. These relations indeed, her aunt; refused to send her to school and this was at a time that public schools were not only free but of good quality. Iyabo was sent to hawk for her aunt while the aunt’s children went to school.
She had primary education though . By the time she wanted to proceed to secondary school, her aunt stopped her. I’ll cut the story short. Iyabo therefore grew up, married into a polygamous home and became a food vendor – the mama-put stuff.
Then the daughter of a family friend gave birth in the United States and they needed someone to help with the care of the baby. For some reasons, the girl’s mum could not travel. Iyabo was asked to obtain a passport. She did and eventually made it to the United States. There, she re-married because her marriage had collapsed and today, she has a permanent stay in the United States. She was there when she began to hear news that two daughters of her aunt who went to school when she was denied, were not doing well. One was hooked on drugs and the other in jail for some reasons in the U.K.
What’s the lesson here? God fought for Iyabo. Human beings delayed her destiny but God favoured her at the right time.
Steps to be taken – To demonstrate that you are hopeful you must take certain steps. Pastor Odugbemi enunciated these steps:
First, she said “ You have to be violent in the Spirit”. Remember the Gospel according to Matthew 11 vs.12 “ And from the days of John the Baptist, until now, the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and only the violent take it by force”.
She reiterated what we have always said in this column. “Tears don’t intimidate Satan”. I share her views completely.
Tears only make you vulnerable to the forces of darkness. Your tears give your enemies joy. Your mockers are usually the first to say, look at how she dresses, her inability to have a child or a husband has made her look so miserable.
Lose hope, lose sight- Pastor Odugbemi said: “When you lose hope, you lose sight and you lose your sense of hearing”. In other words, the one who is hopeless will be so blind and deaf, spiritually, that he or she will not even be aware of the solution which may just be so near. More importantly, the one who has lost hope will stop praying and the one who stops praying may never receive from God. She reminded us that Hannah did not give up. Had Hannah given up, she would have simply taken in her husband’s words, as recorded in Ist Samuel vs.8 “ Then said Elkanah, her husband to her. Hannah why weepest thou? and why eatest thou not? and why is thy heart grieved? am not I better to thee than ten sons?
She chose to remain hopeful and consistent with prayers and God remembered her.
Pastor Odugbemi also mentioned the Woman with the issue of Blood. Had she not been hopeful, she would not have touched the hem of the Lord’s garment.
She said with hope, “You can recover all”.
Benefits of a hopeful believer – According to Pastor Tinu Odugbemi , “ Hope will remove shame. Hope will silence your mockers. With hope, you can face the future with confidence.
She said we can hold on to hope by settling for violent prayers.
It is also important that you list out your focus with the determination to get an answer.
Pastor Odugbemi also reiterated our suggestion in this column, which is fasting. Fasting is a form of self-denial which quickens answers to our prayers.
Brethren, lets end on this note “ Get serious with your prayer life and God will not only take your petitions seriously, He will answer you speedily”.
With these steps taken, you can be sure, your testimony is around the imminent in Jesus name.
I’m waiting to share your testimony.