*Adds that fear and despair must not hold us back as a nation
Remarks by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the 2019 Inter-Denominational Inaugural Service at the National Christain Centre, Abuja.
I am deeply grateful to the Almighty God for enabling us to see this day and this season, and especially for preserving the life of Mr President and myself through the past 4 years and giving us a second opportunity to stir the affairs of our nation. Glory be to His name forever more.
I am also thankful for all of us who are here, many who were here four years ago, about this same time, who are also here again. I thank the Almighty God that you are also able to see this day.
My short message is that the future is bright. The Bible says that the path of the just has a special place. It says in Proverbs 4:18, “But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.”
The same Bible also says that the glory of the latter house shall be greater than the former. Everything that scripture tells us reminds us that because of the love of the Almighty God, especially those of us of the faith, our days will be better and better, brighter and brighter.
This is the reason why I am so confident and the Bible urges us to be confident, and for this special reason, we of faith must be confident because the scriptures say that we are the light of the world.
Where there is darkness and pain, we bring succor and hope, our ministry is a ministry of reconciliation, first with God, through Christ, then with all our fellow men and women, with Muslims, Hindus, and even those who deny the existence of God.
Secondly, we are the salt of the earth. The scripture reminds us that salt has a special quality, the quality of ensuring that things do not go wrong. By our words and actions, we heal even as salt heals and prevents rottenness.
Saint Paul reminds us and reminded the Christians in Colossae of the power that their words had, and that their words had the power to heal or to destroy, depending on how they spoke and what they said.
I would like to remind us also of the same, those of us of the faith. In Colossians 4:6, the scriptures say, “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.”
We must not, as Cardinal Onaiyekan reminded us today, permit anyone to take advantage of the fault lines of tribe and religion in our country.
Again the Word of God has set a standard for us, first as Christians, and then how to build beyond our Christianity. In Galatians 3:28, the scripture says that “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” We are all one in Christ Jesus.
Our country stands today at the threshold of phenomenal greatness. If we look back or permit fear or despair, we will stumble. So we must go forward in the faith and confidence that Christ has given us.
Let me show you the Word of God concerning our nation. In Genesis 1:1-4, the scripture says, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness.”
Just as it was at the beginning of creation, darkness was only the beginning of the story. The end of the story was light and joy and so it is with our nation in the Mighty name of Jesus. We may begin with darkness and confusion, as it was with creation, but the end of our story is light, the end of the story of this nation shall be great indeed in the Mighty name of our Lord Jesus.
Finally, we are men and women of faith, and we must continue to express the hope that we have been given by Christ Jesus. We must lead the nation with the full expectation of the hope we have been given and we have. We cannot afford to despair; we women and men of faith must not even speak words that sound like despair.
It is our duty to show the way, just as the Word of God says in 1st Corinthians 15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labour will not be in vain. We must be steadfast and immovable, we must be confident in all of the promises that God has made concerning our nation.
The future of our nation is bright, your future and the future of generations to come, is very bright indeed.
God bless our nation, God bless you all.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity,
Office of the Vice President
27 May 2019