Peace in the Midst of a Storm

Read Psalm 91: 1,4

I remember reading about an art competition where the theme given was “peace.” The artist who most effectively depicted peace in his artwork would win the competition. The artists gathered their paints, canvases and brushes and started creating their masterpieces. When the time came to judge the artworks, the judges were impressed by the various scenes of tranquility illustrated by the artists. There was a majestic piece capturing the brilliance of the sun setting over lush greenery, one that depicted a serene landscape of moonlit hills and another evocative piece that showed a lone man walking leisurely through a rustic paddy field.

Then, the judges came upon a peculiar piece that looked almost horrifying and perhaps even ugly to some. It was the very antithesis of every other piece that the judges had seen. It was a wild cacophony of violent colors and the aggression with which the artist had lashed his brush against the canvas was obvious. It depicted a raging storm where the ocean waves were swollen to menacing heights and slamming against the craggy edges of a cliff with thunderous force. Lightning zigzagged across the blackened sky and the branches of the single tree that was perched atop the cliff were all swept to the side by the force of the gale. Now, how could this picture be the epitome of peace?

Yet, the judges unanimously awarded the first prize to the artist who painted the turbulent storm. While the results initially appeared to be appalling, the judges’ decision immediately became clear once you give the winning canvas a closer look. Hidden in a crevice in the cliff is a family of eagles snug in their nest. The mother eagle faces the blustering winds, but her young chicks are oblivious to the storm and have dozed off under the shelter of her wings.

Now, that’s the kind of peace that Jesus gives to you and me! He gives us peace, security, covering, and protection even in the midst of a storm. The psalmist describes this beautifully: “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty…. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge.”

There is no safer place than under the protective shelter of your Savior’s wings. It does not matter what circumstances may be raging around you. You can cry to the Lord for His unmerited favor, as David did in Psalm 57:1—”Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; and in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities have passed by.” The New American Standard Bible says, “Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me, for my soul takes refuge in You; and in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge until destruction passes by.” What blessed assurance we can have today, knowing that even if destruction rages around us, we can take refuge in the Lord.

God is Willing and Able

And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

Matthew 8:2–3

All Christians probably believe that God has the power to bless, heal, protect, prosper, and make someone a success. However, we know that not all Christians believe that God is willing to do all that for them. Matthew 8:1–3 records the story of a leper who came to Jesus for healing. He said, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” The leper did not doubt Jesus’ ability to heal him, but he was unsure if Jesus was willing to heal him, a leper who was ostracized by all. In other words, he believed in God’s omnipotence, but was not sure if God’s heart was one of love and unmerited favor toward him. I am sure that you know believers who are like that. They may believe in God’s power, but they are unsure of God’s heart toward them. They know that God can, but they are not sure if He is willing.

My friend, don’t be like that leper who completely misread Jesus! Let’s see how Jesus responded to him. This is important because it would be the same response that Jesus would give you if you approached Him today.

Matthew 8:3 records that “Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, ‘I am willing; be cleansed.'” Can you see how personal Jesus’ ministry is? He did not touch every person that He healed. At times, He simply spoke and the sick were healed. But in this case, Jesus stretched out His hand and touched the leper tenderly. I believe that Jesus did this to heal him not just of his leprosy, but also of the emotional scars that he had received from years of rejection.

Leprosy was a highly contagious disease and the law forbade lepers from coming into contact with anyone. This meant that for years, this leper had been shunned by everyone who saw his condition, even his own family members. He probably stank of decaying flesh and neglect, and his appearance must have been repulsive.

But without flinching, Jesus touched him, giving him the first human touch he had since he contracted the disease. The Bible tells us that immediately, his leprosy was cleansed and the man received his healing.

Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb. 13:8). Whatever breakthrough you are believing Him for, He says to you, “I AM WILLING.” Don’t doubt His heart of love for you any longer. Stop being occupied by your own disqualifications and be completely absorbed in His love and grace (unmerited favor) toward you!

God is on Your Side Today

Romans 8:31 contains a powerful rhetorical question and I encourage you to memorize it. Unfortunately, there are still some believers today wondering, “Is God really for me?” Well, my friend, the Word of God does NOT say “maybe God is for us” or “hopefully, God is for us.” It simply says, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Indeed, when God is for you, what opposition can succeed against you? When God Himself fights for you, defends you and vindicates you, what adversity or adversary can stand against you? There are none! Hallelujah!

“But Pastor Prince, how did God come to be on our side? Even though I am a Christian today, I still fail and fall short of God’s holy standards. I still lose my temper on the road now and then, and from time to time, I still get angry with my wife and kids. Why should God be on my side when I fail? Don’t you know that God’s holy?”

All great questions. Let me tell you why God is on our side. The answer is found at the cross. The blood that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, shed on the cross put God on your side. Today, God can be for you even when you fail because Jesus’ blood has washed you whiter than snow!

Have you seen Cecil DeMille’s movie, The Ten Commandments, or the animation, The Prince Of Egypt? Do you remember what happened on the night of the Passover? The children of Israel put the blood of the lamb on their doorposts. What did the blood do? The blood put God on their side! None of the families who had applied blood on their doorposts had to fear the death of their firstborn children.

Now, think about this for a moment. Were the firstborn children of Israel spared that night because of their perfect behavior and conduct, or were they spared because of the blood of the lamb? Of course, it was because of the blood of the lamb!

In the same way, God does not bless you, as a new covenant believer, based on your perfect behavior and conduct. He is for you today because of the blood of the perfect Lamb—Jesus Christ. That is why as believers today, we don’t have to fight for ourselves. I like to say it this way: “If God is for us, who can come successfully against us?”

Always remember that God is on your side today because of Jesus’ blood. His holiness and righteousness that men are afraid of are now on your side because of Jesus’ blood. His unmerited favor is on your side and all of heaven’s resources are yours because of Jesus’ blood! Now, who can come successfully against you? No sickness, no disease, no creditor, no evil accusation, no gossip—no weapon formed against you, can come successfully against you (Isaiah 54:17)!

Free and Undeserved

And since it is through God’s kindness, then it is not by their good works. For in that case, God’s grace would not be what it really is—free and undeserved.

Romans 11:6, NLT

I love the apostle Paul’s description of God’s grace: free and undeserved! When you truly experience this free and undeserved favor and love from God, you don’t have to worry about performing. His love and unmerited favor within you will flush out all the wrong thinking and wrong believing, and you will produce good works—true fruits of righteousness that are lasting, sustainable, and enduring!

You may have heard a teaching going around where grace is defined as “divine empowerment.” Be careful about defining grace as merely empowerment—that is diluting and reducing what grace truly is.

Grace produces divine empowerment, but in and of itself, the essence of grace is His undeserved, unmerited, and unearned favor. When are you in your most undeserving state? When you have failed. Unmerited favor means that when you have failed and are in your most undeserving state, you can receive Jesus’ favor, blessings, love, and perfect acceptance in your life. Let me tell you, when you understand and receive grace as God’s unmerited favor, not only will you be empowered, you will be healed, and you will be changed from the inside out.

The real danger with defining grace as just divine empowerment is that we can unconsciously flip grace around and instead of seeing it as God’s work in our life, we make it our work. From being centered on what Jesus has done, the erroneous definition of grace as “empowerment” swings it to being about what you must do and how you must perform now that you have received this grace, this “divine empowerment.” Can you see this? With such a definition of grace, the onus to live the Christ life falls back squarely on your shoulders.

My friend, make sure that what you believe in your heart always points you back to Jesus and Jesus alone and not to yourself. Remember, it is all about His work, His doing, His performance, and His love in our lives. It never points back to you. Don’t be hoodwinked by those who move away from the pristine definition of grace as God’s unmerited favor and end up making it all about you and what you need to do. That’s not grace. Grace is God’s doing—from inception and all the way to the end.

Today, receive His abundant grace—see that God has already started a good work in your life and He alone will lead you to and give you the victory in your area of need.

Right Place Right Time

Whatever you need, Jesus knows where you can get it, and whom you can get it from. Jesus can position you at the right place at the right time! 

When Peter wanted to pay the temple tax, Jesus told him to get it from the first fish that he would catch in the sea (see Matt. 17:26–27). Then, when Jesus needed a donkey to ride into Jerusalem, He told two of His disciples which village to get it from (see Matt. 21:1–3). When Jesus needed a place to eat the Passover with His disciples, He gave two of His disciples specific instructions on who to meet and follow, and what to say to the master of the house, who had already furnished and prepared a large upper room (see Mark 14:13–15)! 

My friend, isn’t it wonderful to know that Jesus knows what you need and has already gone ahead into your future and made provision for your good success? As you put your trust and rest in His heart of love, His peace will lead you to do the right thing at the right time, at the right place!

Great Grace, Great Power

People in the church are looking for great power, but where is it found? The book of Acts declares that where there is great grace, there is great power (see today’s Scripture)! When the apostle Paul preached on forgiveness, healing miracles occurred as the people listened. When people hear the good news that all their sins have been forgiven because of the cross of Jesus, something supernatural happens.

Some years ago, a pastor in a church in Bergen, Norway, shared a testimony with me. One of his church members had developed the habit of viewing pornography in his hotel room during his many and frequent business trips. Consumed with shame and condemnation, he tried his best to break the habit, employing all kinds of spiritual methods, but he just could not overcome the habit. Each time he had to leave his family for another business trip, his heart would be filled with dread because he knew what he would end up doing in his hotel room when no one was looking.

Then, one of his business trips brought him to Singapore, and he visited our church and got hold of some of my sermon CDs on the grace of God. After listening to the messages for about three weeks, he found himself completely set free from the unclean habit! Hallelujah!

Today, when this precious brother travels, he does not depend on his willpower to overcome any temptation to indulge in pornography. He just completely rests in the revelation that he is as righteous as Jesus by God’s grace. And the more he is conscious that he is righteous, the more the temptation to sin secretly in his hotel room dissipates. “Awake to righteousness, and do not sin…” (1 Cor. 15:34)! It is the grace of God that gives us true victory!

My dear friend, Pastor Åge Åleskjær, shared with me about another miracle that had happened in Norway. A church member was completely healed of deafness in one ear after listening to recordings of messages that I had preached at a conference in Pastor Åge’s church. As he was listening to one of my messages, his ear just popped open and he was healed! No hands were laid on him. No one prayed for him. He was healed just by hearing the gospel of Christ preached. All glory to Jesus!

That is the power of the gospel, my friend. It is the power of God unto your wholeness (see Rom. 1:16)! You can rely on your self-efforts and willpower all you want, but they can only bring you so far. On the other hand, the more you hear the true gospel that is unadulterated by man’s efforts, the more you will experience miracles and supernatural breakthroughs in your life. It has pleased God to heal, rescue, supply, and deliver those who simply believe the gospel through the foolishness of preaching (see 1 Cor. 1:21). So keep hearing the gospel preached, and as His Word goes forth, when you believe that you are forgiven and righteous through Christ, you will be made whole! I believe that right now, even as you are reading this book that is all about Jesus, you are being healed, being provided for, and being blessed!

Live in the Shadow of His Wings

[Read Psalm 57:1]

While it’s true that we live in dangerous times, I want you to know this: We have our Abba’s promise that we can live safe, secure, and protected no matter what turmoil may be around us. Our heavenly Father does not want His children partaking of the fear that has invaded the hearts of people of the world. In fact, He wants every trace of fear to be expelled from your heart, knowing that He has set you apart, and that He who watches over you never slumbers nor sleeps! When fear comes knocking, let God’s promises of protection fill your heart, mind, and mouth, and the God of peace, our Jehovah Shalom, will come into and move in your situation!

Our Lord Jesus desires to have an intimate relationship with us and He loves it when we acknowledge our need for Him. He loves it when we allow Him to hide us under the shadow of His wings, close to His heart of love. The prayer of protection is not some magical chant or incantation that grants us protection. Our protection in the Lord is all about us being intimate with and close to Him. As you involve Him in your day-to-day life, you will see Him lead you by His wisdom and protect you from making unwise decisions. And I pray that you will see His protection manifested more and more as you grow in your revelation of how deeply loved you are by the Lord, who protects like no other.

I am so grateful to the precious people who took the time to write to me to share the amazing stories you’ve read here. I hope these encounters with real people around the world have encouraged you to believe that whatever weapon the enemy may have fashioned against you, it will not prosper. God is no respecter of persons—as you keep establishing your heart on the word of grace, as you keep hearing testimonies of His goodness, you will also experience miracles of deliverance, protection, and healing in your life.

Today, as you put your trust in the Lord, I pray that you will experience not just His divine protection in a greater measure, but every blessing that the Lord Jesus has purchased for you on the cross of Calvary. Beloved, as we garrison our hearts with the truths and promises of Psalm 91, I pray that we will truly live confidently and fearlessly in these dangerous times.


Know Your Fathers Heart

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
~ 1 John 4:10

Today, I want you to read the parable of the father of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11–32). As you read, keep in mind that this son utterly rejected and completely humiliated and dishonored his father, then only returned home when he remembered that even his father’s hired servants had more food than he did! It was not the son’s love for his father that made him journey home; it was his stomach. In his own self-absorbed pride, he wanted to earn his own keep as a hired servant rather than to receive his father’s provision by grace or unmerited favor.

God wants us to know that even when our motivations are wrong, even when we have a hidden (usually self-centered) agenda and our intentions are not completely pure, He still runs to us in our time of need and showers His unmerited, undeserved, and unearned favor upon us. Oh, how unsearchable are the depths of His love and grace toward us! It will never be about our love for God. It will always be about His magnificent love for us. The Bible makes this clear: “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10 KJV).

Some people think that fellowship with God can only be restored when you are perfectly contrite and have perfectly confessed all your sins. Yet we see in this parable that it was the father who was the initiator, it was the father who had missed his son, who was already looking out for him, and who had already forgiven him. Before the son could utter a single word of his rehearsed apology, the father had already run to him, embraced him, and welcomed him home. Can you see how it’s all about our Father’s heart of grace, forgiveness, and love? Our Father God swallows up all our imperfections, and true repentance comes because of His goodness.

Do I say “sorry” to God and confess my sins when I have fallen short and failed? Of course I do. But I do it not to be forgiven because I know that I am already forgiven through Jesus’ finished work. The confession is out of the overflow of my heart because I have experienced His goodness and grace and because I know that as His son, I am forever righteous through Jesus’ blood. It springs from being righteousness-conscious, not sin-conscious; from being forgiveness-conscious, not judgment-conscious. There is a massive difference.

If you understand this and begin practicing this, you will begin experiencing new dimensions in your love walk with the Father. You will realize that your Daddy God is all about relationship and not religious protocol. He just loves being with you. Under grace, He doesn’t demand perfection from you; He supplies perfection to you through the finished work of His Son, Jesus Christ. So no matter how many mistakes you have made, don’t be afraid of Him. He loves you. Your Father is running toward you to embrace you!


If You Only Knew

John 4 tells the story of a shunned Samaritan woman who encountered Jesus when she came to draw water at a well. When she asked Jesus why He (a Jew) would ask her (a despised Samaritan) for a drink of water, this was His amazing response: that she would ask Him for living water, the only thing that would satisfy her from within and slake her deep thirst for acceptance and love forever.

What an amazing Savior! Although this woman had a past of looking for love in all the wrong places that imprisoned her in shame and self-loathing, Jesus met her at her point of greatest need with the offer of Himself, the living water. He knew all that she had ever done and yet offered her the true intimacy that fully satisfies every aching need. He invited her to discover, taste, and experience His perfect and unconditional love.

Jesus is saying the same thing to you today: If you only knew who it is who comes to you in your darkest and weakest moments. If you only knew this gift of God who will never leave you nor forsake you, who has gone before you and who comes to you in the midst of your storms. If you only knew the One who reaches out to you even when you have failed and who doesn’t hold your past mistakes or present failures against you.

Beloved, if you only knew this gift of God who offers the living water of His unconditional, endless love to you and you drink of that love, you will never thirst again. You won’t need to look for love or acceptance in all the wrong places, have your heart broken and fearful about the future, and have your life derailed. You can wake up with a fresh expectation of good every day.

Jesus was essentially inviting the woman to ask Him for the living water of His love. Will you do that today? Your life will never be the same again when you personally experience His love!