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  • Writer's pictureHenry Omotayo

Challenging But Thank-Full

Psalm 95:1-6

Message No. 0536 | Twitter @GodandUs |

It all started like a joke, [as we usually do, we greeted one another Happy New Year and prayed those short prayers along with the greetings], many had already made a couple of trips at the start of the year and were preparing for the next trips, some personal, some business and some were mission-based. Then, we started hearing from news channels that an unknown virus was detected in Wuhan, China, and had started spreading. Some of us were like, Humm, whatever. As far as we thought, life would continue as usual while the virus would be addressed.

However, the situation got worse and worse and the conspiracy theorists jumped on it like food, as though they had been so hungry and looking for the next story to distort. They conjured their own ‘origin’ of the virus, pointed to those who were responsible and gave their stories oxygen by adding religious spices and recruiting respected and influential people to broadcast their alternate realities with big megaphones.

Soon, we started noticing that, life would, actually, not go on as usual. Giant cities, regions, states and provinces, and eventually, countries were locked down. Borders were closed, and flights were cancelled. Those who had vacation plans were beginning to reluctantly feel like the trips won’t take place. Business plans and trips were re-worked and a new normal, albeit partially temporary, was becoming apparent. As schools were closed, our homes became our schools and our offices, for those who still had their jobs; many were laid off as businesses were forced to close. People filed for unemployment benefits in millions and food banks that saw only tens and hundreds of people weekly started seeing thousands and tens of thousands, with nice-looking cars in the lines.

Our lives changed this year. As we were forced to wear masks, sometimes we couldn’t even recognize our friends and neighbors without taking a second look. On lighter notes, we saw people trying to eat, drink smell things or blow air to put off candle lights, forgetting that their mouths and noses were covered with masks. Those who hated technology learned by force as meetings and church services became virtual. Little known platforms like Zoom increased their subscribers by hundreds of millions within few months and became household names. We could only meet our friends and relations by phone or via video.

Undoubtedly, the worst of all outcomes were the number of people infected by the virus, and the number of people who have died. The virus became the biggest killer of all times, at least, in our lifetime. The scenes we saw on television became nightmares to some and unbearable to others. To those who have lost loved ones, we pray that our God will comfort their families and keep them strong.

It is an absolute understatement to say that this year has been challenging. Without listing all of the effects on everyone, it is fair to say that most people have had to make changes one way or another, but one thing that has not changed is the faithfulness of God. In the midst of it all, God has spared our lives, shielded and protected us and helped us to overcome the challenges. It is by God’s mercies that we are not consumed. It is by His kindness that we are not counted among the dead. In Deuteronomy 31:6, the Bible says:

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

God promised that He will never leave nor forsake us, and He has delivered on His promises over and over, and this year was not an exception. In spite of the challenges, we are alive, we are healthy, we have homes to live in, clothes to wear and food to eat. We see people in our cities who cannot say the same. Therefore, our mouths must be filled with praises and our hearts filled with thanks. Let us sing with the Psalmist in chapter 95 verses 1 and 2:

Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.

As this year draws to a close, may the faithfulness of our God never cease in our lives and may we never waver in our trust and reliance on Him. May the pains and challenges of this year remain with the year and never have prominence in 2021. May we recover all that have been lost in 2020, with several portions of compensation that will make the difficulties of this year melt away in our memories. Enjoy your week, remain blessed and see you in the new year!

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 If you are yet to give your life to Christ, you do not have a covenant with God and His promises do not apply to you. To come under these promises, please surrender your life to Christ today, by praying this prayer:
 Lord I know that I am a sinner and I am unable to save myself. I am sorry for my sins and I pray that you please forgive me. I am aware that Your Son Jesus died for my sins and I accept Him as my Lord and savior. I surrender my life unto you from this moment. Please take control of my entire being and help me to be obedient to your Word, going forward. Thank you, Lord, for hearing me. I have prayed in Jesus’ name. Amen.
 If you prayed the foregoing prayer, you have just been born again. Please find a Bible believing church in your area and ask to see the pastor. Let him or her know that you have just given your life to Christ and s/he will guide you on next steps in your journey as a child of God. The Lord bless you!
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