Hope in God strengthens us, says Joel Alex, who learnt total surrender to God’s Will during his full-timership in Uganda.

As scheduled the New Year has arrived. Like a lot of people, we tend to set new goals or resolutions to improve ourselves. I too have done so. Though in my life, for the most part, the resolutions fell through after the first few weeks. This, I later realised, was because of an unrealistic commitment I had made or that I was doing something I was not really passionate about. Or simply because I was not ready to make that commitment.

In the past year, the impact of Covid-19 was felt by one and all. It left the whole world wondering whether there was any light at the end of the tunnel. At some point, you probably would have felt hopeless, depressed, lost or angry – as though you were clinging to the last straw. And like many, you would have asked God, ‘Why are you letting this happen to me?’

I was an international full-timer and was placed in Uganda. Being raised in a western society, all possible luxury was at one’s fingertips. It also meant my faith was based on the securities I was around – my earnings, friends, education, family, and other worldly achievements. It was not until I was exposed to a life where all these things were scarce that I realised, my faith was based on worldly achievements. Experiencing total surrender to God is what rejuvenated my faith. When everything was going well, I overlooked God’s mercy and failed to see the genuine love of God.

It was only when I was put in a spot of helplessness that I realised my lukewarm faith rested on my own comforts. Because I had no choice but to put my trust in God, I was able to experience his grace. I was able to understand true love. It was only because of the hardship I experienced in Uganda that I was able to surrender to God’s will.

As the New Year is here, I encourage everyone to put their hope in God, especially when going through turmoil, because he has already suffered and died for us. There is nothing greater than that. Regardless of what you are going through today, just know that you have overcome all your struggles till now. With my personal witness, I can guarantee that the problem that we are facing today is only temporary and all Jesus is asking us to do is surrender that to him and walk with him. Hope in God strengthens us.

Let this New Year be a year where we truly welcome Jesus into our hearts. So that his love overpowers the struggles we face. Also, when we pray, let us pray with conviction. Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11:24


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