About this time last year, precisely on Easter Sunday, I wrote about how difficult and strange the times were. I did not know at that time that it was going to get a lot more difficult and stranger. I do not believe I have witnessed or ever heard about so many deaths as I have heard in the past year. I had thought not having the opportunity to worship at the Sanctuary on Easter Sunday was one of the most difficult experiences I have had, not knowing that we were just at the tip of the iceberg then. This past year, beginning from April 2020 for most of us, has taught us that the ability to control our situation does not perfectly rest with us. This past year has changed our lives in ways we never deemed hitherto possible. We social distanced, we physical distanced, we wore masks, and washed our hands many more times than our previous years on earth put together. And, despite all of these, this raging virus wrought more death in the world than we could have ever imagined. Every time we think we see a ray of light at the end of this dark tunnel, something happens, and we are back where we started. This has left many of us wondering about what tomorrow will bring.
My brothers and sisters, I want to encourage us with the words of the song by Larry Ford, “I know Who Holds Tomorrow”. “I don’t know about tomorrow; I just live from day to day; I don’t borrow from its sunshine; For its skies may turn to grey; I don’t worry o’er the future; For I know what Jesus said, And today I’ll walk beside Him; For He knows what is ahead. Many things about tomorrow; I don’t seem to understand; But I know who holds tomorrow; And I know who holds my hand.” We may never know what the future holds for us in these very uncertain times, but we sure know the one that holds the future, and we know He lives forever. The greatest threat that the virus has brought upon us is death, but Christ Jesus Himself defeated death and won a victory for those who would believe His name. Often, at times when seriously bad things happen to us, we always think and believe that our life has come to an end. All throughout His ministry Jesus Christ promised life-everlasting to those of us who believe in him.
So, while certain circumstances of life, like this corona virus may be capable of ending physical life, and make us think that our life has ended, Jesus says because He lives, we also will always have a life. He said it so very clearly in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full”. So next time you think life has ended for you because of its uncertainty remember that you already have abundant life in Jesus Christ and as believers we must daily hope for and anticipate that abundant life.
My brothers and sisters, in times like this, we should not act as people who do not have a life. It does not matter how much damage the virus has done within a year. Of course, we do not know how much longer this nightmare is going to last, but we still have life. This circumstance does not change our abundant life. This circumstance is time-limited, but the abundant life Jesus offers us is forever. Many people today hope for a long and happy life, but Jesus offers so much more. He offers forever—eternity, life without end! The promise of life everlasting is the heartbeat of hope. And the resurrection of Jesus ensures that we too will be resurrected. Because He lives, we too can live, and we can face tomorrow because we have so much to live for.
God gives us the strength to go through circumstances, which comes from knowing Jesus Christ in our relationship with Him. The same power that resurrected Jesus from the dead enables us to have the strength we need to overcome whatever trials come our way. There are times things happen such that we begin to think God may be angry with us, while our experiences are just to build us up. And even if God were angry with us, “His anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night but rejoicing comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5). We are on our Friday before resurrection, our Sunday cometh soon. Only those who are Christian can look at the Fridays of their lives and face the future with the kind of certainty that will allow them to say, “It is Friday, but Sunday is coming!”. It may look very dark now. The valley may seem very deep now. But I assure you, light comes in the morning and the God we serve on the mountain is the same God in our valley. Let us celebrate our risen Lord with hope for tomorrow. Happy Resurrection and may the power of resurrection continue to work with each and every one of us now and always!
April 4, 2021 – Pastor Simbo Odunaiya