First of all, let us give glory to God who has kept us alive to this day.
The Lord has given your family the grace to witness the end of the first quarter of 2017, you need to appreciate Him for His goodness.
Today is the first Sunday in the month of April; the beginning of the second quarter. Brethren reflect for a moment and you will see that there are countless reasons why we all have to thank God.
Many with whom we started this year, are no more.
My focus today is about the challenges that have been manifesting as a result of the economic recession and other related issues.
What do I mean? I mean it has become so common these days for couples to get separated as a result of economic difficulties . Homes are broken and innocent children are the victims.
In some cases, disagreements have led to death. People get so angry that they cannot manage anger . They allow anger to rule their lives and in most cases, the result has been regrets.
What does the Holy Bible say about anger? Ecclesiastes 7 vs. 9 states “ Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.”.
How do you respond to a simple question posed by your spouse or anyone?
Your answer can provoke anger and this could lead to some disastrous consequences.
Proverbs 15 vs. 1 “ A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger”.
Did you hear of the woman who clubbed her husband to death for his inability to provide money for the merry making of Christmas? By now, she would have realized her fatal mistake but she cannot bring her husband back.
Husband or Wife, we must avoid provoking each other. If the resources aren’t available for our immediate needs, we should find consolation in the word of God and be hopeful that what we do not have now, we shall soon have in excess.
Why am I so sure? Philippians 4 vs. 19 gives us this assurance . “ But my God shall supply your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus”.
If we allow these words to have roots in our lives, there would be no need to get violent over lack of money to celebrate Christmas which is at most a two day event.
The worst cases are those who have chosen to commit suicide.
Brethren, there is no excuse for suicide.
What are you going through? Have you been jilted by a lover? Are you waiting on the Lord for children and in-laws are putting pressure on your husband to take another wife, is yours a case of unemployment? Have you been having miscarriages and the doctors have no solution to your problem? Is yours a health challenge? Have you just lost a job ? Challenges come in different forms to different people but we must bear in mind that there is a burden bearer that takes away all our challenges at no cost. Jesus is his name.
Overlook the economic recession, overlook your challenges and look on to God. Spend more time talking to him about the challenge over and over again and within a short time the challenge will vanish.
I like to refer to a sermon by Pastor Gbenga Oso; general overseer of Laughter Foundation Christian ministry titled “ A vote against suicide”
He described suicide as “ an offence against the law of the land and an offence against God”.
Pastor Oso said emphatically that “ God has not given you the permission to take your life”.
He said “ challenges always have an expiry date”. Therefore, we need to focus at the solution and not the challenge.
Making reference to Ecclesiastes 9vs.4 “ For him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for the living dog is better than a dead lion”.
Did you get the message in the verse quoted? When we have hope, our faith is nourished. Only the living can be hopeful, the dead cannot be hopeful.
According to Pastor Oso, people commit suicide because they have lost hope completely.
Remember the commandment of God in Exodus 20 vs. 13 “ Thou shall not kill”.
The command is unambiguous. It means you shall not kill another person or yourself.
I’m sure many of us a familiar with the medical doctor that committed suicide by jumping into the Lagos lagoon and the three women who attempted suicide for inability to meet some financial obligations.
Brethren, even as we remain prayerful and hopeful, these are times that we need to control our taste bud so that it doesn’t get us into trouble. These are times that we have all to manage our resources with more diligence so that we do not fall into the hands of fraudsters.
This isn’t the time to put your hope in those who promise to multiply money without you making an input. It’s time to be extremely cautious.
As Christians, this is the time to be our brother’s keeper. Let’s find time to share each other’s problems and also spend more time sharing the word of God. As an individual, you may not be in a position to provide the solution to your neighbour’s challenge but you have a duty to build up his or her faith with the word of God.
Society seems to be focusing on suicide now because it is becoming more rampant but it has been on for a while. Many of these cases are traceable to the economic recession and that is why we need to pray that the Lord should guide our leaders and give them the solution to the nation’s economic challenges.
Let me remind you of the story of a man in Ibadan; the capital of Oyo state who committed suicide because his terminal benefits were not yet paid. He sold his car but didn’t realize as much money as he thought . He then concluded that the proceeds of his car are so inadequate to meet his needs and he resorted to suicide.
Now that he has committed suicide, will he ever be in a position to benefit from his terminal benefits whenever it is paid? If care is not taken, the children will not benefit from it either since the claimant would be whoever, he documented as his next of kin.
In his case, he is simply a dead lion. When life is lost, all is lost.
I’ll also share this story of a man whose house was completely raised by fire some years ago. It was so bad that he lost everything except life.
Friends and relations provided temporary accommodation for his family. To shorten the story, within a decade, this man who had risen to the post of a director had at least two houses in major cities in the country. What if he had committed suicide? Would he have been able to recover all that is lost? Definitely, not.
A man of God also shared the story of a lady who was jilted. She felt very bad but didn’t think of suicide. She continued to trust God for her own man. Eventually, she met and married an army officer who rose to a very high post that he had other soldiers serving him.
One of those who served her husband was the man who jilted her. He would now open the door of the car for her anytime this lady wanted to step out.
Had she committed suicide, would she have had the last laugh? Not at all.
Finally, there was a couple trusting God for children. The woman contemplated suicide saying “ at least if I am dead no one will ask me for children”.
But thank God for her husband who told her suicide will not bring children.
Today, she is mother of three including a set of twins.
Brethren, let’s share the word of God, it will ultimately bring in the solutions to our problems.
It’s your turn to laugh.