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Exhortation for Today, Sunday April 5, 2020 

Topic: Hope Amidst Blues
Text: Job 14: 7-14

Introduction: This is a message of hope in the face of the current global disaster called COVID-19. The word blues means a state or feeling of sadness or depression accompanied with despondency or hopelessness. Despondency sets in when there is no improvement in an unpalatable situation and one cannot really predict or see an end in sight. The atmosphere across the globe currently is both dark and sad due to COVID-19 that is infecting and killing people in large number and the real drug for its cure has not been fully discovered by many countries. Opportunity for testing to know the number of people who have been infected is also limited. In the midst of blues however, children of God are not without hope. This week in the Christian calendar is called Passion Week, a commemoration of what Jesus passionately went through to rescue and secure our salvation. We must hang our hope in Christ to see the end of COVID-19.

JOB AND PLAGUEJob 1:13-22; 2:7-10

The book of Job is born out of plague and pains, hence a book to be read when going through pain and trials. Job lost wealth, children and was infected with disease that defied medical healing. Job however remained faithful and God brought him through the tragedy.

WHY THE SUFFERING OF JOB?Job 1:9-12; 2:4-6

Job’s tragedy arose from Satan’s continual challenge to the government of God which he raised at the meeting God had with His angels. He insinuated that the reason most people (whom Job represent)worship God is due to the good things He does or showers on them. This made God to say he (Satan) should try Job His faithful servant. Can God trust you at all? Do you challenge God’s authority like Satan did here? Yes you do each time you reject the truth of God’s word to do your own wish. The insinuation also points to the fact that Satan desires that we turn away from God to worship him. He tried it with Adam and Eve and he succeeded but failed when he made the same attempt with Jesus. Jesus came to correct the failure of Adam and to establish the fact that we must allow the kingdom and rulership of God. We are to worship God alone. Thus He made the kingdom God as the key subject of His teachings. He made it an important element of the prayer He taught His disciples. Satan desires our worship but as people who have covenant with God ,no matter the circumstance that may arise ,we must not stop to worship and honor our creator. COVID-19 must not take our faith in God away.

SELF INTEREST IS HUMANITY’S MOTIVATOR
Satan said that self interest is humanity’s motivator for worshipping and anyone who claims to be motivated in some other way is a liar. Satan’s insinuation has become a reality in our time. Self interest is today the major reason why many people worship, serve or run ministries and what they claim to do in the name of the Lord. Self interest is the cause of trouble in some families, church, nation and the world at Large. If there will be peace we must put others into consideration in all we do.

THERE IS HOPE FROM THE TREE OF THE CROSSJob 14:7-14; Col. 2:14
Job sat down among ashes depressed (Job 2:8). He however saw a stump of a tree nearby which refused to die but bringing new shoots from its deadness. He also wished for new shoot. The tree that Job saw pointed to the Cross of Christ as the solution to any tragedy of life including COVID-19. No hope from the tree, but from the One who died on it. It is also painted in the tree that Moses raised in the wilderness that brought an end to the plague the Israelites suffered then. The Cross of Christ is the solution to the tragedy of sin, sickness, broken home, business failure etc. Those infected by corona virus can hang their hope on the One that died on the Cross for healing. We can also hope for our protection and exemption from the ravaging plague. The Cross is our hope amidst blues.

TIME OF PERSONAL REVIVAL/INTIMACY WITH GOD
In all the series of assault Satan launched, Job did not lose his faith. Job never let go of God and never let go of Him. Let us also make the time of lockdown or challenge thrown by the pandemic as a time and opportunity for revival. God never permit a challenge in the lives of His children without at least a lesson to teach them. It takes a wise person to learn in a tragic situation. Let’s put ourselves in a position to learn and receive from God so we can come out strong when the pandemic is over. If we do, we will receive revelations, answers to questions and solution to unresolved issues.

Written By: REV. J.A ABEGUNDE

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