You might have often heard the following expressions: It gets worse before it gets better; or the night is darkest just before the dawn. Both expressions could be interpreted the same way which simply means that when situations appear to be at their most difficult, we should not give up because things are hardest right before they get better.

Over the weekend, I attended a sixtieth birthday thanksgiving service. The celebrant was asked to come forth and give her reason for thanking God. Her summary was that God had seen her through very many trials and tribulations but He never left her in them and that He always held her by the hand. And then she said something which to me was very profound, that when her struggles and battles were at their fiercest, shortly after she obtained her victory. God never failed her and always made her victorious.

I bring you a word of encouragement today. We cannot and we must not allow any trial we are presently facing to bow down our heads or get the better of us. We are the ones that will definitely see the end of any such situations because they will surely come to an end. “For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!” 2 Corinthians 4:17 NLT This is music to my ears and I am dancing.

As a nation today, Nigeria is going through some of her fiercest battles ever. Just when we thought it could not get any worse it keeps sinking lower. I am not here to repeat most of the horror stories that are making the rounds. That is not necessary at all. I am here to plead with us to take our minds and eyes off all the depressing news because honestly they will just mess with our minds. And we need our minds to be very alert now more than ever before. As bad as things are right now there are opportunities all around us to be a blessing to others. We can be the proverbial light at the end of someone’s dark tunnel.  Share a kind word with a dear one; letting them know that God makes all things (even this horrendous chaotic situation) work together for our good, rather than reviewing with them, the current non-performance of our leaders. Tell them about God’s unfailing love, tell them how much Jesus loved Mary and Martha and yet delayed going to help their brother Lazarus until Lazarus was already dead for four days.  Not because Jesus wanted them to suffer but because God was going to be glorified. “When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.” John 11: 4 KJV

I believe, and very strongly too, that Jesus will soon be glorified in our country Nigeria. Regardless of how terrible it is now. “For, in just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay. And but my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back. But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.” Hebrews 10: 37–39 NIV We must take God at His word. He has said it and I trust that He will make it good. Please my dear friends, let us not fret now. Let us stand firm in faith. DO NOT SHRINK BACK NOW!(in cynicism or doubt) God has already settled the matter of Nigeria and very soon we will have the physical evidence. God further encourages us thus: “Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away.” Psalm 37: 1-2 NIV

At this time in our nation, I am reminded of Pharaoh the Egyptian king who kept hardening his heart towards the children of Israel as they pleaded with him to let them go. The more they pleaded the harder his heart grew. It was his hardened heart that eventually led him and his host to perish in the Red Sea. It might appear that the cries and pleas of the Nigerian people to our leaders are falling on deaf ears. Though it seems that the noose is being tightened further each day, trust God. He has got this. He will fix it. He will set us free. He will save us. “In a very short while we will see and remember our task masters no more forever.”(Paraphrased from Exodus 14:13)  

Hold on and do not let go; this dark night will not last forever.