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Champions of Hope.

Published on

February 26, 2024

“The Christian philosophy rests on two legs, the first being the sovereignty of God and the second being the responsibility of men. The absence of one wouldn’t be made up for by the other.” — Pastor Dami Oguntunde

One just has to take a walk along the streets of any city in Nigeria or turn on the news to see and hear tales of despair all over, from the heart-wrenching tales of kidnapping that arise from the alarming state of the nation’s insecurity to the obvious hardships arising from the nation’s economic woes brought about by both the poor policies of the nation’s past and current administrations and an undying appetite for corruption. This has led many to be given over to a state of despair while many more are tottering on its fringes.

This state of despair has led many to respond in a manner akin to cursing God, just like Job’s wife encouraged him to do (Job 2:9), because many argue that if God is indeed sovereign, why would He allow such hardships and misfortune to befall His creation? Why would He allow despair, sponsored by evil, to reign unchecked?

Hence, since these realities persist, many have given up on Him. In the same vein, the response of others is to fall on their face in the presence of God, perpetually seeking deliverance without engaging the protocols that will catalyze their desired deliverance.

As I observed these realities in my surroundings and the degree of people’s response to them, the quote above spoken by our senior pastor began to take on a new light. Because if the Christian philosophy rests on both the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man, it also means that for the believer to bear fruits consistent with God, he must recognize and acknowledge the sovereignty of God whilst being alive to his responsibility as a man. 1 Corinthians 13:13 shows us how these two can work out effectively. If you expand that portion of scripture, you’ll see that God was telling us that only three virtues remain i.e., have eternal value after all have been stripped off, and these are:

1. Love: This is the fundamental nature and essence of God, hence it is the greatest (1 John 4:16).

2. Faith: This is the vehicle through which humanity can converse with divinity to pro-create both results and essence after the order of the divine (Hebrews 11:6).

3. Hope: This is the act of a proper expectation of that which is sure and certain, and conducting your life and affairs after the order of this expectation (Hebrews 6:19).

Now, having understood this and the realities explained in the opening paragraph, one can easily deduce that the virtue being predominantly attacked is hope. The danger here is if hope is eroded, it will be practically impossible to engage the protocols of faith because the one whose hope has been eroded no longer sees the essence of God’s sovereignty in his affairs, and such a person will be unable to possess God’s nature which is love.

While we observe the state of the nation and the aftermath of the decisions in political places, let us as believers not think that this is just a state of events that is absolutely man-made. Jesus told us that in John 10:10, the enemy is on a steal-kill-destroy mandate, and the Apostle Paul admonishes us not to be ignorant of his devices (2 Corinthians 2:11), whilst letting us in on the fact that we wield a mightier weapon in the warfare against darkness (2 Corinthians 10:4).

Photo by STNGR LLC on Unsplash

As you step into this new week, guard your mind against erosion from the realities we see in our world today by anchoring your hope on the infallible word of God and most especially His eternal promises for us. This is not to say that our day-to-day realities are invalid, nonetheless, our anchor is unshaken.

In times like this, we should remember Daniel and His Hebrew friends, that despite the height they had attained in both the courts of Nebuchadnezzar and Darius and their apparent status in society and what they stood to lose by going against the grain, they didn’t flinch because their hope was firmly anchored on what cannot be shaken (Daniel 3; 6:1–28) and the consistency of this hope is that even when they were nothing, it was still unshaken (Daniel 1:8–15).

This means that while we are channeling all our responses to life’s challenges appropriately, our hope and dependence are firmly on the sovereign God and His promises for us, and even if all fails, He won’t.

Second, we must seek to bring others into this same reality of anchoring our hope in God and His promises; conducting the affairs of our lives from that standpoint. One way of doing this is by exemplifying kindness through thoughtful acts of service, giving, showing compassion, and ultimately mirroring our High Priest by being in touch with the feelings of the infirmity of others (Hebrews 4:15).

While folks are on the edge of despair, our actions shouldn’t push them into it; on the contrary, we should be the reason why they didn’t fall.

Always remember that one of our core mandates on earth is not to be overcome by evil, but instead, we should overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21) because good is far more potent than evil.

Therefore, be a champion of hope to your world this week as we navigate through life!

Nonso Orji

— IG/X: @nonso_orji

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