Ecclesiastes 3:11

He has made everything beautiful and appropriate in its time. He has also planted eternity [a sense of divine purpose] in the human heart [a mysterious longing which nothing under the sun can satisfy, except God]—yet man cannot find out (comprehend, grasp) what God has done (His overall plan) from the beginning to the end.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) of North America has tecently concluded the yearly championship competition and for the first time in history, the only Canadian team in the league, the Toronto Raptors won the championship. I have learned a few things from the journey of the Raptors that I will like to share with you. Their story is the story of grass to grace, from nobody to somebody and from nonentity to a team to be reckoned with. See:

1. They had been waiting for this win since 1995, they have lost so many games that they could have given up. They did not give up, instead, they reviewed and changed strategies, players and coaches until the right people came in. Let me tell you something, if you are going through a situation, you are thinking that the battle cannot be won since it has been long standing. Goliath terrorized the children of Israel for 40 days and 40 nights, but one day, David took his head off his neck and threw it to the birds! Abraham waited for Isaac for 25 years and he received the promise, the world waited for Jesus for hundreds of years and He came with healing in His wings! I want to encourage you today, don't give up but rather, like the Raptors, review, refocus and renew your trust in God for victory!
If the Raptors had won the championship before now, it would not have been this glorious - the whole world rejoiced with them. Toronto became the most popular city in the world during that time.

2. When it was time for the Raptors to win the championship, things began to happen that made it glaring that it was indeed their time to be show cased. The first thing that I noticed was that their long standing mountain was eliminated: Lebron James (aka King James) and his team. No wonder the bible says in Isaiah 6:1 that "In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple." The Cavaliers and their King James had been the stumbling block against the Raptors for several years, every time they faced the Cavaliers, they were knocked out, they could not advance because of the wall of Lebron and his team
But when it was time, king James and his team had to be out of the way for the Raptors to see and get the glory. I pray for you today that the end has come for everyone and everything that elevates him/her or itself as a king over your joy, breakthrough and glory in Jesus name.

3. Romans 8:19
For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.
It appears to me that there was an earnest expectation and an eager waiting for this team to win. You see, when it is your time to manifest, everything will be put together
The bible says that when the Lord brought back the captivity of Zion, we were like dreamers! That's what happened with Toronto and the nation of Canada.

Lessons I learned:

1. Don't give up, keep pushing, keep trying. If you fail one time, try again.
2. If one way fails, look for another way, after all failure in a way is learning not to do things that way.
3. Trust God's perfect timing and be sensitive to His move. You see, everybody's time is not your time. It may look as if you are lagging behind, keep pushing. When it is your time, it will be glorious. The best time is the time that God has ordained for you.
4. That single win brought glory to the city so much that millions of people attended and watched a parade in their honor. Don't give up, your testimony will bring glory to God in Jesus name. People will line up to see what God has done for you in Jesus name.
5. People spent money to buy Raptors paraphernalia (I also bought a t-shirt ). Why? Because everyone likes to identify with success. Even those who wrote them off (I know a particular person who said there was no way they would win ), the Sanballats and Tobiahs who mocked them identified and celebrated with them after they became victorious. I want to encourage you today, don't be disturbed, because of the testimony of God will do in your life, people will begin to seek your friendship and will want to identify with you in Jesus name!
6. See, nobody argues with result, when people see your success all arguments will cease!
7. Follow the process, don't cut corners. One thing I have learned about champions is the amount of time they put into practice. I read the story of the guy that led the Raptors to this championship, Khawi Leonard, who lost his father to a violent killing when he was a teenager. The interesting thing was that he had a competition the day after his father died, Khawi refused to miss this game, he put himself to training. He would stay back in the gym late at night and early mornings to practice. He worked the process and did not give up. Today, he is a force to reckon with in the NBA!
Many people gave up on Tiger Woods and called him a past tense, after several surgeries and many losses, he came back and won again! Glory to God, you are a winner in Jesus name!

I love you

Pastor D