President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Samson Ayokunle, has assured Nigeria will overcome the coronavirus pandemic.
He cautioned against fear, saying the nation will emerge stronger from the outbreak.
Ayokunle, who doubles as the President of the Nigerian Baptist Convention (NBC), also narrated how he escaped plane crash recently while in the United States on his way back home to buttress his homily.
The cleric made these disclosures in his online Sunday sermon titled “Conquer your fear” with text from Matthew 14: 22- 33
His words: “Our Lord Jesus Christ walked on the raging water to show that the raging water is under His control. God rides on storms as His horses.
“At times whenever I was travelling by air and there was a storm, I would say, ‘Father, thank You for demonstrating your power here again! You are riding on this wind. I know You are there. I worship You. I worship your majesty”.
He added: “That was what happened in February when I was flying from Washington DC to Atlanta to catch my flight coming to Nigeria.
“After boarding, the flight was delayed on the runway for about half an hour and later the 30 minutes became one hour.
“And eventually when we took off we were welcomed by a very strong storm. I was hearing gba, gbu, gba,gbu and I said ‘the Almighty God, I can see You at work. I know you are in the storm manifesting your power and glory. I worship your majesty. We your children are here, continue watching over us’.
“The storm was raging for a long time and it prolonged the journey from one hour, twenty minutes to almost three hours.
“Even when we got to Atlanta, our plane couldn’t find a place to land but I kept on praising and glorifying the Almighty.
“Our God is always at work on our behalf and we should not be afraid.
“The more we worship him, the more of Him we see and the more of hope is built in us.
“Though it is good to listen to news and obey the rules of hygiene for your own good, they are not the only things you can do.
“The way for you to conquer your fear is in His worship. It is then you can see Him highly lifted up.
“It is then you will see Him take over your present and your future.
“It is then that you see your future in His hands and not in the hands of Coronavirus,” Ayokunle admonished.
Speaking further, he said: “When a storm like coronavirus comes and many unpleasant things are happening around us, it is more likely to hear the negative reports from the news media and the records which people send to us than to hear the Lord say ‘fear not’.
“Exercising faith at a time like this appears naive and unreasonable. However, faith is the reality that would get us to where we are going safely”.
The cleric, in a statement in Abuja by his Special Assistant (Media and Communications, Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, asked people to have an assurance of divine presence whenever they are experiencing storm in any facet of life.
“When the storm comes raging, remember that the Lord knows and He is near.
“Many times we think we are alone or abandoned at a difficult time like this when Coronavirus is raging with its fury. Businesses are down and our currency is losing its value more and more.
“Nothing hopeful humanly speaking is around. In the midst of all these, I need to remind somebody listening that the Lord knows what we are passing through and he is near,” he pointed out.
On the possible lockdown of the country, the CAN President asked the Federal and state governments to provide palliatives to cushion the effects of the directive as it is being done all over the world.
“I call on our governments to provide palliatives for the people who cannot provide their daily needs as a result of the lockdown order.
“People cannot be lockdown in hunger for a long time. You are not the only government that gave such an order but governments all over the world are providing relief assistance to the people.
According to reports: “The US government has approved a whooping 2 trillion dollars as the palliatives.
“Both the Democrats and the Republicans in the Congress have buried their political differences and they are now working together.
“This is what governance is all about. I appeal to our governments to do likewise. This will make us to trust them more as they are managing our commonwealth”.
He also reiterated the directive given to the local churches by CAN nationwide to provide palliatives for the worshippers with a view to reducing the burden of the lockdown period.