Personal Spiritual Growth

Absence of Hopelessness

Caroline Wandia

My neighbour is Pastor Vushere Gikonyo. I don’t understand how a parent can name a child after greetings and umbilical cord.  He hails from Western Kenya and settled in Nairobi. His wife has a retail shop. His church sits on leased property. Due to COVID -19, the rent is overdue both for his home and the sanctuary. In April he sold his car that had served him for a long while, it had been a resourceful companion in ministry. He knows God has called him to serve. He has sacrificed personal pleasure, happiness, time and money.  Lately he has been struggling, feeling hopeless and weary. I wish to write a letter to encourage him.

Dear Brother in Christ,

Be encouraged because no situation is hopeless. Israel told Joseph that he never expected to see his face again and yet God allowed him to see Joseph’s children. Ezekiel, son of Buzi, a Zadokite, was a priest and a Jewish street preacher. He chose to obey God telling everyone about God’s judgment and salvation, calling people to repent and obey. God gave him some extraordinary instructions that were not easy per human standards: laying on his left side for 390 days, laying on his right side for 40 days, eating one-eighth ounce meal a day cooked over manure and shaving his heard and beard. And further, he was required to show no sorrow for the death of his wife who was the delight of his eyes! All these happened in the midst of the storm of a national defeat that devastated his people. Despite all, he faithfully delivered the message of future restoration and hope for the people.

My dear brother, I know that COVID-19 has put us all in a storm but I pray that you will retrace your journey and recollect a vision of the glory of God. Have a fresh sense of his greatness, his plan for humankind, that as you face the struggles of daily life, hope will be revived in your heart. Hope is to desire something with confident expectation of its fulfilment. I pray that you will be faithful to God not merely for what He can do for you or future benefits but because you love Him.

Tribulations helps us grow in God’s grace that in them, patience and joy will result and not hurt. However, trials can test your sincerity towards God’s calling but still enable us experience hope that does not bring us shame. In them we develop perseverance, which in-turn will strengthen our character and build our hope in God.  Job’s tribulations brought patience and with it came an approbation (Job 2:3). Do not see it strange if you meet troubles. Gold is put in fire for it to be purified!

By God’s grace, I urge you to bear all that God appoints, accept it with humility and rejoice in them with patience. In your suffering, serve the interest of God’s Kingdom and edify the body of Christ.  When patience is complete it will furnish you with what you need for your Christian race and warfare. It will enable you to persevere till the end and be crowned with glory.

When trials come in the line of duty, count it all joy, not feeling sad and weary. This joy proceeds from love and not fury in God. The stronger the trial the more you will grow in grace. I pray that you will glory in tribulations, knowing tribulation produces perseverance, and perseverance brings character, and character yields hope.

Jeremiah is remembered as the “weeping prophet.” He saw a ray of hope in the midst of the sin and sorrow surrounding him. Like him, may you move from mourning personal suffering or loss to mourning because people are rejecting God - the God Who has created them, loved them, and has sought repeatedly to bless them. This I recall to my mind; therefore, I have hope. Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness. The lord is my portion; therefore, I hope in Him. (Lamentations 3:21-26). I pray that your hope in the Lord will be revived, remember His daily new mercies, faithfulness and that they will sail you through this season deterring any hopelessness. Amen.

Your Sister in Christ.

Wandia.

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