The dream that Nigeria will become one of the first 20 economies in the world (vision 2020) seems to have been overturned by the covid-19 pandemic. The effect of the pandemic which is gradually leading to increasing level of hunger and poverty in rural and under-privileged communities is also resulting in movement restrictions, insecurity and economic recession all hitting the world. In the wisdom of God, the 2020 ECWA theme prepares believers to see the need not to rely on the arm of flesh, rather, on the Spirit of God, the divine source of wealth.
The 2021 ECWA theme: Christ in you, the hope of glory taking from Colossian 1:27 reminds us that, for the sake of the great glory which we now see revealed and which has come to us through the merit of Christ, we should not as believers throw ourselves under the feet of hunger, poverty and the economic downturn of the nation(s) but to rather put our faith into action. Our hope in Christ is a sure guarantee that the sufferings of this life cannot be compared with the glory which is to be revealed in us. For the “best is yet to come, the earth has no sorrow which heaven cannot heal” (Thomas Moore).
In line with this reality, I wish to re-echo in our continues effort in demonstrating the Love of God to humanity as a bridge, a means and a consequence of evangelism, POD of ECWA, as a department is enabling our poor and underprivileged communities to enhance food security, socio-economic services, conflict resolution and peace building through effective mobilization and capacity building. Bearing in mind that the situation in our target communities is currently being compounded with suffering of all kinds of diseases, trials, and griefs as a result of the headsmen/bandit attacks, discouragements and high cost of market prices. Apostle Paul in Colossian 1:27 reassured us that God will not let go of us. We WILL share in His glory, because “Christ in you and me – is hope of glory.”
Furthermore, Paul in Romans 5:3-5 advises that we should rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance produces character; character produces hope and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts “Christ in us.” This is an indication that the road to heaven will not always going to be easy. The sufferings we face because of covid-19, kidnapping, herdsmen and banditry attacks are the pressures of a godless hostile world on humanity.
These teach us perseverance that should build up our character. And instead of undermining our confidence in God, these experiences of adversity should strengthen our faith and build up our hope which comes through the resurrected life of Christ in us. Jesus’ death and resurrection shows us the path we must follow i.e we must go through suffering to glory. As Paul in Romans 8:18, told us to consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
Finally, as POD of ECWA continues to reach out to the poor and underprivileged we pray that they be encouraged in heart united in love, so that they may realize the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ in you, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col 2:2-4).
Rev. Ephraim Yoms, PhD.