Saturday, July 16, 2016
HOPE IS NOT LOST!
Dearly Beloved, HOPE IS NOT LOST! “The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel.... In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive” (Luke 24:20-23 NIV). When Christiano Ronaldo, the inspirational captain of Portugal national soccer team was taken out of the pitch in a stretcher because of injury in less than twenty-five minutes of play during the final match of the just concluded UEFA EURO 2016, personally, I lost hope in Portugal winning the championship. It seemed the only hope of the team was gone. Christiano Ronaldo was crying as he was taken out of the stadium. Undoubtedly, he was saddened that his hope of winning the tournament with his teammates for his country was dim. However, other members of the team continued the match with determination and resilience. Limping Ronaldo himself came back to the sideline to become an impromptu assistant coach directing and motivating his teammates. The Portuguese team forced the host team to extra time of play. Towards the end of the match, a substitute player scored the only goal of the final match, and today Portugal is the European Soccer Champions. Indeed, hope is not lost! I was greatly inspired by the resilience of the Portuguese team and the determination of Ronaldo that hope was not lost. I was, and am still, encouraged that no matter the setback in my life, hope is not lost. The disciples of Jesus Christ were not like those Portuguese teammates! Their hero - Jesus Christ – was captured and crucified. They lost all hope. Even, when the women came to tell them that Jesus Christ has been raised, they still could not believe. Jesus Christ had to rebuke them and explain the Scriptures to them. Have you also lost hope because your seemingly strength is gone? Do you think you can no longer make it in life because of your present circumstance? Hope is not lost! Do not give up. Be resolute. “There is hope for a tree: If it is cut down, it will sprout again, and its new shoots will not fail. Its roots may grow old in the ground and its stump die in the soil, yet at the scent of water it will bud and put forth shoots like a plant” (Job 14:7-9 NIV). You will triumph! People will soon rejoice with you in Jesus’ name. Amen. In His service, Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor). Prayer Point: Pray that you will not lose hope in spite of your present circumstance.