"Don't give up yet; there is hope for you" by Pastor Gabriel Ogunbayeje

“For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth” Job 19:25

“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stall s, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my saviour. The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to tread on the heights.” Habakkuk 3:17-19

We are living in the period of crisis all over the world, especially this time of pandemic when it seems the whole world will collapse and nothing good can ever happen again. Looking at the circumstances of life can make the heart weary and make all hope of a brighter day elusive. But this is only when one looks at just one side of the coin. On the other hand, there is always a brighter line  that can brighten the day; there is always a ray of light, no matter how small it may be, even in the thick darkness which can cause a bright light to shine for the upright. At the scent of water, there is hope for a tree that has been cut down this means that it is not yet over irrespective of how bad the situation may be because God is still on the throne. Therefore, there is no point losing hope and living as if our problems are bigger than God or as if He is no more powerful There is still a bright future and good reasons to live irrespective of whatever is happening in the world.

Some facts about crisis

* Crisis can happen to individual e.g the man born blind John 9:1-3, the woman with issue of blood Luke 8:43-47.

*.Crisis can happen to a family or in a family. e.g Elizabeth and Zechariah did not have children till their old age Luke 1:11-16

Mary and Martha when Lazarus died John: 11:20.

*Crisis can happen to a city e.g Samaria was besieged 2 Samaria 6: 24-33

*Crisis can happen to a nation e.g the nation of Israel was under the oppression of Pharaoh Exodus 2: 23-24.

* Crisis can happen to the whole world e.g there was famine during the time of Pharaoh Genesis 47:13-27

*Crisis can take different shape e.g Pandemic, natural disaster, famine, drought, flood, fire, war e.g world war 1 and 2.

*Crisis can happen to anyone at any stage of life e.g Miphiboseth was not born a lame but suddenly became lame when he accidently fall while the nurse took and ran with him in panic, Daniel was among the satrap but he suddenly became an outcast thrown into the Den of lions, Hezekiah suddenly became a target of harassment by Senacherib and  David had to pretend to be mad  when he was before achish King of Gath  1 Samuel 21.

*Crisis can come suddenly and have a very great impact on people beyond what one can imagine e.g Covid 19.

* Crisis can impact the next generation- The children of the wife of the prophet would have been seized and taken away by her husband's creditors 2 Kings 4:1-6 etc

Lack-factors can cause crisis such as:

*Sin – Sin is one of the causes of crisis because human beings are under the dominion of sin and can cause problem for others by the way they live e.g Achan Joshua 7, David 2 Samuel 11,

*Mistakes/ Carelessness and negligent - We can make unwise decisions that can put us in trouble. These decisions may affect us and those close to us and the effect can be long- lasting. Samson lived very carelessly without consideration for the anointing of God in his life until he was set up by the Philistines and sold out by Delilah Judges 16.

*Satan- Satan is in the world Revelation 12:10; he is the architect of all evils. He desires nothing but to steal, to destroy and to kill John 10:10. His prayers are always negative e.g. If not, that Jesus prayed for Peter, Satan asked to sift him like a shaft. Luke 22:31-34. What a wicked demand?

* God- Not all crisis is demon orchestrated, some are allowed by God so that He can showcase His greatness in the lives of His children e.g Job in Job 1

* Other people's actions -The consequences of the actions of others out of wickedness, envy, pride can cause untold hardship and pain.  Athaliah killed the king's son 2 Kings 11. It is possible to be hurt by people, even those we do not expect to hurt us e.g Joseph and his brothers; we may even be hurt for no reason; we may also be hurt for our faith or for our right standing for God e.g Paul and we may be hurt beyond measure 2 Corinthians 1:8

*Societal Structure-  Every society has a structure but the trouble is that some structures are so oppressive and sometimes the system put some people at a disadvantage position, even those that this structure is meant to help are marginalised tactically by the oppressors who use the loopholes in the system to perpetrate their selfish desires etc.

Crisis time is not a pleasant time or a time that one looks forwards to rather a time that one prays off or does not want to happen but crisis is part of life and sometimes things happen without seeking our permission and affect us in a way that we never expected and sometimes these impacts leave indelible mark on us or never leave us the same. Some of the effects of crisis are:

*Confusion- Crisis time can be a time of confusion not knowing what to do, where to go and who to go e.g when the axhead fell into the water 2 Kings 6:5

•Crying or weeping-Crisis can lead to crying or weeping e.g the widow who lost her son Luke 7:11-17

* Lack- lack of different sorts e.g Money, food, job, health, friends. There was no food in the world during Joseph's time in Egypt and his brothers had to travel to Egypt to buy food. Genesis 47:13-27.

* Rejection- Being deserted by loved ones Proverbs 19:7

* Oppression - the children of Israel were under the oppression of Pharaoh in Egypt

* Loss of freedom - Joseph was thrown into the prison and demoted Genesis 39:20

* Wrong actions - e.g They sold bird's dropping and killed their children 2 Kings 6:24-7:20

* Depression and desire for death-. The consequences of crisis can be so much that one desires to die and think it is of no good to live again 1 Kings 19:14

Irrespective of whatever crisis one may find him/herself, the best thing is still not to desire death because death is never a solution to the problem of life. Death does not terminate everything; it is just a pathway to exit the earth. Living in gloom is also not the answer because no one can change things by being gloomy instead, this makes the bone, the body and the heart dry. Rather than being negative, there are some things that can be done, some of these are:

* Do a heart search- This will help us to know the heart of God regarding our situation and prevent us from rash judgement 2 Chronicle 7:14

* Trust God- Cast your care on God and do not quickly reach the conclusion that it is over but trust God that He is in control 1 Peter 5:7

* Pray e.g What worry cannot achieve prayer can e.g Esther and Mordecai. Jeremiah 33:3; Psalm 50:15

* Be positive- Look beyond the crisis.

* Seek help- From the right and good source e.g Naaman went to Elisha

* Obedience- Sometimes, complex situation only needs simple solution, and this is possible when we are obedient to God. Isaac obeyed God and stayed in Gerar despite the fact that there was a famine. He sowed and prospered greatly. Genesis 26: 1-12

* Hold on to the word of God- Success comes by the word of God, standing on it and believing it to come through irrespective of challenges Joshua 1: 8.

•Be patient- Still hope in God in the midst of crisis of life. Have a positive mindset, a mindset of a victor because in all things we are more than conquerors. Wait patiently till the end because God is still God. „Be still and know that I am God “Psalm 46:10

To keep our hope alive, we must not:

* Panic- why? It is natural to panic because we do not know what to do or the know what the future holds but panicking can lead us to taking wrong actions which can make things worse or which can lead to regret later on. But resting calm we help us to view things from God's perspective and He actually wants us to be calm and wait for His action. Psalm 46:10

* Worry- Why? By worrying we cannot solve our problems. If worry solves problems, many problems would have been solved by it and unfortunately no problem gets solved by worrying about it. Luke 12: 25

* Become intimidated- Why? Becoming intimidated can make one paralyse and run out of ideas. The children of Israel were rendered useless and rubbished by Goliath for forty days 1 Samuel 17

* Deny God- God is God all the time, the trouble of life does not change Him so there is no point doubting Him or letting go to the enemies or circumstances of life  

•Cut corner/Compromise- Why? Cutting corner may help for the time being but the solution is just for a while. Joseph ran away from Potiphar’s wife, he suffered for a while but God vindicated him, if he had compromised with  her , his destiny would have probably ended in Potiphar’s house and there would have been problem for him when  Potiphar discovers about his affair with his wife, afterall, nothing is hidden under the heavens and if at all for man not form God.

Did you know that?

*God is with you and for you Isaiah 43:1-3  

* There is always a future beyond the momentary problem Romans 8:18.

* Tough time never lasts but tough people and God rewards tough people Ecclesiastes 3:1

•God knows that there will be trouble time on earth and knows how to guide His children through John 16:33

* The just shall live by faith Romans 1:17

Therefore, if God is for you and with you, if he nothing on earth is for ever, including the time of crisis  and if Jesus has overcome the world for you and God is the same foe everlasting then there is nothing to worry about but wait and hope for the salvation that He will bring for you  irrespective of the nature, the shape and the size of what may be happening to you and around you because there is hope for you   “For there is hope for tree, if it is cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its tender shoots will not ceasen. Though its root may grow old in the earth, and its stump may die in the ground, yet at the scent of water it will bud and bring forth branches like a plant.” Job 14:7-9

Pastor Gabriel Ogunbayeje

Christ Apostolic Church

United Kingdom

email: gabbytoyin @gmail.com

Tel: +44-7988672933.


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