By: Chris Afekolu (Bishop)
There is distress in the Land because of the current plague that has brought the world to a standstill. i) mental suffering, caused by grief, anxiety or unhappiness ii) Hardship or problems caused by a lack of basic necessities iii) Physical pain or discomfort iv) Great danger or difficulty, with a need for immediate assistance. Some have lost loved ones.
Distress is common to all men but how we handle it makes the difference. Yet man is born to trouble, As the sparks fly upward. “But as for me, I would seek God, And to God I would commit my cause- (Job 5:7-8 NKJV).
HOW DO I COPE WITH CURRENT LIFE CHALLENGE?
When you are overwhelmed, God is there with mercy and comfort. Alone, you are downcast, with God, you are uplifted. The LORD upholds all who fall, And raises up all who are bowed down. (Psalms 145:14 NKJV)
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. (Isaiah 43:2 NKJV)
When you are overwhelmed,
- God is there with power to help you. Alone, you are down in deep waters of difficulty; with God, you will prevail
- Go to God in prayer. When the whole world seems to ignore you, God listens. When you are overwhelmed, trust God to care for you.
- Hope in God and praise Him. Have confidence that you will recover with the Lord’s help. With God, even the bitter seeds of tears, grief and mourning may yield a harvest of joy and blessing. ( 61:2 & Psalms 30:11-12 )
Some life demand may be so challenging and seems impossible to fulfil. Remember what seems impossible for you is never impossible for God.
But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26 NKJV)
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13 NKJV)
HOW SHOULD I RESPOND TO LIFE’S SOMETIMES TROUBLING CIRCUMSTANCES?
Focus more on the joy, the peace, and the future that come from a relationship with God and less on your troubles. You can always respond joyfully to the God who offers you the eternal gift of salvation. The more you wallow in unpleasant circumstances, the more they may drag you under. The more you reach out to God, the more He can lift you up.
For though the fig-tree has no flowers, and there is no fruit on the vine, and work on the olive comes to nothing, and the fields give no food; and the flock is cut off from its resting-place, and there is no herd in the cattle-house: Still, I will be glad in the Lord, my joy will be in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, and he makes my feet like roes’ feet, guiding me on my high places. (Habakkuk 3:17-19 BBE)
In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV).
Accept life circumstances with thanksgiving to God, as well as trust in him for His constant presence and comfort. Whether you are currently living in sunshine or rain, God never changes and His Love for you never changes. God is always eager to teach you something from both the good and the bad. [great learning from convid 19; Man has seen how vulnerable they are without the Creator…..}
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; (Philippians 4:6 NKJV)
The entire world is facing serious difficulties. Convid-19 pandemic and post pandemic poses indications of great economic challenges ahead. Nations will be going into recessions, many businesses will go bankrupt, there will be job loses, financial insecurity, famine…..
As God’s children we should not lose sleep because of this. Our Lord is still on the throne. He admonished us to be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let our requests be made known to God; (Philippians 4:6 NKJV)
Refuse to worry. One of the hardest lessons of life is to turn worry into confident prayer when bad circumstances come your way. Come to God with your needs, giving thanks for what He has done for you, and trusting that He will bring good out of the difficult.
“Whether it is pleasing or displeasing, we will obey the voice of the LORD our God to whom we send you that it may be well with us when we obey the voice of the LORD our God.” (Jeremiah 42:6 NKJV)
HOW CAN I MAKE THE MOST OF MY CIRCUMSTANCES?
Trust in the Lord; He is worthy of your hope and confidence. Those who trust in the Lord understand the secret of life’s sustaining power. God can use you as you are. Start with who you are and what you have, not who you wish you were and what you don’t have. Seek to obey God in your current circumstances. God may have you there for “such a time as this”
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, And whose hope is the LORD. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit. (Jeremiah 17:7-8 NKJV)
You can experience joy and growth in difficult circumstances. Plants continue to grow even on cloudy days. Life can continue to flourish despite cloudy circumstances. You can glorify God even in the most difficult of circumstance. When you do, two wonderful things happen: you learn to rely on God and not yourself, and others are blessed by seeing your faith and hope in action. Respond in obedience to God in every circumstance. He sees the large picture and the future.
God listens and cares about you, so never stop talking to Him through prayer. God gives a hope-filled future. Depend on Him. Throw the whole of your anxiety upon Him, because He Himself cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7 WNT) God has said. “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” Heb. 13:5.
Many reasons had been adjudged for the current pandemic. Many false prophets of the world did not see it coming. Some of these prophets caught off guard had said its from the pit of hell. There is nothing that happens in our world without the approval from God. Millions of persons have been affected and hundreds of thousand have died and more are still being impacted daily. The entire world system was put to a halt. Looking at the scripture carefully its obvious inhabitants of the earth had provoked the Lord.
Many, pre the convid-19 relies on their power, wealth, economy, knowledge, development and technology. Some even questioned the existence of God. The Pandemic has clearly shown the limitations of man without His Maker. To children of God we are admonished to be patient and prayerful.
Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; Hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment, Until the indignation is past. For behold, the LORD comes out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; The earth will also disclose her blood, and will no more cover her slain. (Isaiah 26:20-21 NKJV)
We should look onto the cross for deliverance! When the children of Israel sinned coupled with their unbelief., the Lord set up a symbol for those that believed to look onto in order to be healed of the poisonous snake bites.
Therefore, the people came to Moses, and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD and against you; pray to the LORD that He take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. Then the LORD said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live.” So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived. (Numbers 21:7-9 NKJV)
If God went to such great trouble to create us and a world for us to live in, send His Son to die for our sins, and prepare an eternal home for us in heaven, why would he abandon us in our day to-day circumstances or challenges? Why will he abandon us because of Corona Virus? Pray for His intervention and deliverance and then watch closely for God’s presence and His power in your life.
I have put the Lord before me at all times; because he is at my right hand, I will not be moved. (Psalms 16:8 BBE)