The writer of the book of Proverbs says, “If you faint in the day of adversity, Your strength is small” (Proverbs 24:10 NKJV). This means that inner strength is necessary to go through any crisis, like the one we face now. The Message Bible puts it more pictorially, “If you fall to pieces in a crisis, there wasn’t much to you in the first place” (Proverbs 24:10 MSG).
There is no doubt that the news of the death of our dear sister, Pastor Mojisola Jooji, came as a surprise to all of us. Many of us are still in shock. It is a big shock because of the amount of prayers and fasting we made on her behalf, and the faith we exercised. We had believed that she would recover from this deadly sickness to testify of God’s healing, but It turned out otherwise. Our faith must now submit to the sovereign will of God. God’s sovereign will reigns supreme over all our convictions even in death. We must know that God is as concerned as we are over our sister Pastor Moji Jooji, and understands our pains and sorrows. As Psalm 116:15 says, “The Lord cares deeply when his loved ones die” (Psalms 116:15 NLT).
In times like this, many questions are bound to arise in our minds. “Why would God allow this to happen?” “Couldn’t the Lord have healed her?” “Is the Lord not all powerful to heal her? “Does the Lord not answer prayers.” These questions are natural, but not necessary at this point in time.
Some may think that our faith and prayers have failed us in the matter of our sister, and may not want to pray and confess faith any more. But we must remember what Hebrews 11:13-16 says, , “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them” (Hebrews 11:13-16 NKJV). We must never abandon prayer and confessing faith because of what has happened to our sister. Prayer and Faith must continue to be our way of living.
What is necessary now for us as a Church is to pull ourselves together and remain strong and never yield to despair. We all must remember that we are a people of hope. We should rather focus our thoughts on the love of God for her and for us. A believer’s death, no matter how tragic and painful, is a transition into the rest and presence of God. Our joy is that though our sister is absent in body from us, she is alive and present with the LORD, her Creator. She is absent from the body but present with the Lord (2 Cor 5:8). Someday, she will resurrect in Christ Jesus.
Adversity like this one comes to test our faith, our resolve and commitment in Christ as believers. So, we must remain resolute in our faith, in our obedience and trust in God. Whether in death or in pain, we must remain strong, resolute and United.
Job remained hopeful in adversity. In pain he made this confession, “For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth; And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, That in my flesh I shall see God,” (Job 19:25-26 NKJV). Such should be our attitude at this time of adversity.
May the God of all comfort, encourage and strengthen everyone of us, especially the Jooji family, in this trying period. May God give all of us the grace to pull through this situation. Amen.
General Overseer, HAC