By Pere Johannes Aniobi


Man can exist for weeks without food and water, but can’t exist without hope. Therefore, man is created to be hopeful. Hope is not only about the future, but is more about the present. Therefore, in every situation one must have hope even when the situation seems hopeless.
In this article, I wish to present my own little contribution which, by the grace of God, could help someone whose hope is challenged to the point of despair by the COVID-19 pandemic.


The year 2020 is a year most people looked upon to have the clearest and most authentic paradigm. We looked forward to a year with a great standard, perspective and hope of ideas that will bring positive change to humanity. It is a year with an over bloated vision, when all expected to receive the goodies that should come with the year. Unfortunately, we were presented with a virus, which was named Coronavirus and known to cause the disease, COVID-19. This situation has become so bad that a lot of lives are being lost by day. It has brought sorrows to the hearts of men. People started living a form of life that is totally unprecedented with “new” appellations. “Sit at home” means that one has to stay in his house in order to significantly reduce the risk of contracting the virus. “Lockdown” means that even if you refuse to sit at home those places you love so much are closed so you cannot have access to them or even loved ones in distant places. “Quarantine” means that if eventually you are suspected to have symptoms of the virus, you must leave your home to a special place where you will stay for some days in order for the medical practitioners to properly check whether you have the virus, and so it continues. Even the churches were closed. Hence, one can ask the question; where lies the hope of the people that are faced with such extreme situations?
During the pandemic there has been all manners of challenges including tensions, economic problems, shattered business, losses, sicknesses and disappointments. More questions remain; where lies our hope? How do we succeed? Will life be the same again? Some people may even question God. Such question like God where are you? This seems to be a daily litany for many. What of those that have lost their loved ones? What can we tell them? How can we present them with the message of hope?


Hope means different things to different people! Hope is the state of mind that believes and desires a positive outcome to situations in life. It is the feeling that things will turn out for the best. It is consistently looking forward to that positive outcome to something planned in our life. Hope in the Christian sense is not optimism. Optimism is psychological, but hope is theological. Optimism is a personal trust in yourself, but hope is a personal trust in God. Man by nature is a being created to be hopeful and not hopeless.


To have hope is to want an outcome that makes your life better in some way. It not only helps one make a tough present situation more bearable, but also can eventually improve our lives because envisioning a better future motivates you to take the steps to make it happen.

In 1 Pet.5 :10, the Scriptures affirm ,”And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast”. What a great message of hope! A message that strengthens us, and a message that convinces us of a better tomorrow.

Emily Dickenson said that hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul – and sings the tunes without the words – and never stops at all. It is in our very nature to be hopeful, even though the message of hope may seems to be difficult to accept, but it no doubt tests our patience.

Anne Frank who was born in the German city of Frankfurt in 1929 died in the most excruciating and dehumanizing situation during the time unemployment was high and poverty was severe in Germany, a period in which Adolf Hitler and his party were gaining more and more supporters. In her secret hiding, she wrote a story titled Het Achterhuis (The Secret Annex). In the story she said, “I simply can’t build my hopes on a foundation of confusion, misery and death… I think… peace and tranquillity will return again”. What a wonderful message of hope! Peace and tranquility is the greatest goal of man. The good news is that we can achieve that, but the bad news for some is that, we cannot achieve that to its fullness in this world. Therefore, to reach a high level of tranquility of the soul, mind and body, one must embrace the message of hope.

Acceptance  in human psychology is a person’s assent to the reality of a situation, recognizing a process or condition (often a negative or uncomfortable situation) without attempting to change it or protest it. The concept is close in meaning to acquiescence, derived from the Latin acquiēscere (to find rest in). Acceptance is not something that can be forced. The story of learning how to accept things always begins with not being able to accept them and then finding a way to do so. It is so important because if you do not accept yourself for who you really are, you will create several problems in your life. With this we can see that we must, in the first place, accept the problems posed by the virus, and knowing that for now we cannot continue living as we used to live. Change of lifestyle is needed if one must survive. Therefore as the mysteries behind this COVID-19 pandemic begins to unfold, we must learn to accept things as they unfold, with greater hope that only change is permanent. When we strengthen our hope, we are also building a formidable personality.

Worrying is a form of thinking about future events in a way that leaves you feel
anxious or apprehensive. Clinically, excessive worry is the primary symptom of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Therefore, it is so dangerous to think and worry over a situation one cannot change. Worry and anxiety is a clear sign of a hopeless person, It does us more harm than good. It is of no value being afraid and anxious of the seeming economic problems facing the world or unemployment that will follow it or any risk or danger it may pose. We only need to be positive and have hope that it will be well, and that even if it gets bad, it will surely get better after.
In Matthews Gospel chapter 6:26 we were admonished: “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. …”
We must fan the power of hope in us with a greater courage and positive spirit.

In Ephesians 1:18, St Paul made a great supplication to God for the Ephesians church thus: “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people”.


I join my prayers with that of the whole world in supplication to God. Teach us to be Your faithful people in this time of global crisis. Help us to follow in the footsteps of our faithful shepherd, Jesus, who laid down His life for the sake of love. Glorify His name as you equip us with everything needed for doing your will. Amen.

Pere Johannes Aniobi

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