Jesus is With Us in Our Troubles

Read: Daniel 3:28

The book of Daniel records how King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon made a towering golden statue and commanded all in his kingdom to bow down before it and worship it. Three young men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, whom the king had appointed to oversee the province of Babylon, refused to do so. Humiliated by their defiance, the king was livid. He gave them one more chance to bow down and worship his golden statue or be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace.

Without flinching, they said, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t…we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up” (Dan. 3:16–18, NLT). The king commanded that the furnace be heated seven times hotter than usual, and ordered some of his strongest soldiers to bind them and throw them into the furnace. The furnace was so hot that the flames killed the soldiers as they threw the three men into the roaring flames, securely bound.

Suddenly, the king jumped up in amazement and exclaimed to his officials, “Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.” “Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God” (Dan. 3:24–25). Nebuchadnezzar called out, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!” The three men stepped out of the fire and all the officials and advisers crowded around them and “saw that the fire had not touched them. Not a hair on their heads was singed, and their clothing was not scorched” (Dan. 3:26–27, NLT). In fact, the flames only served to loose them from their bonds.

Amazed at how their God had protected them, Nebuchadnezzar began praising God himself. The king then issued a decree stating that if any person spoke a word against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, they would be cut in pieces and their houses would be turned into ash heaps “because there is no other God who can deliver like this” (Dan. 3:29). Then, the king promoted the three men to even higher positions in the province of Babylon.

Beloved, this is your God.

God Wants You to Draw From Him

For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

~ Mark 10:45

Did you know that giving to you actually brings joy to God’s heart? When you place a demand on Him—like look to Him to heal you—you let Him be God. When you draw from His fullness—His abundance of life, health and blessing—you delight Him!

That’s why God wants you to come expectantly to Him for your healing today. See Him ready to pour His abundance out for you. See Him rejoicing when you call upon Him. As you see His heart of love that always wants to give to you, you will see your healing manifest!

Faith is Not a Struggle

Have you ever felt like you needed more faith? Have you ever looked at yourself and told yourself that if you just had more faith, you would see your financial breakthrough or healing?

My friend, I have good news for you today: faith is not a struggle. The Scriptures show us that the hearing of faith and the works of the law are total opposites (see Gal. 3:2, 5). And since the works of the law are about our self-efforts, there is no self-effort in faith.

For years, my own ministry was a ministry that disqualified people. I would tell my congregation, “There’s nothing wrong with God, nothing wrong with His Word, so there must be something wrong with you!” But one day, I heard the Lord speaking to me on the inside. He said, “Stop disqualifying My people! My blood has already qualified them. Stop disqualifying them!”

Now, I know that faith is the opposite of the law, and that the more people become self-conscious, and the more they look at their self-efforts to receive from the Lord, the more faith is depleted from them. So when the Lord opened my eyes to grace, I changed what I was preaching entirely and began to declare, “There’s nothing wrong with God, nothing wrong with His Word, and guess what? Through the blood of Jesus, there’s nothing wrong with you! Receive your miracle!”

Hallelujah! Once I stopped pointing the people to what was wrong with them and pointed instead to what was right with them because of Jesus, faith was imparted, and we began to experience an explosion of healing miracles like never before. Cancers were healed, tumors were supernaturally removed, and lives were transformed. That is what happens when believers know that they have been made righteous by the blood of Jesus. They begin to understand that they have the blood-bought right to be healed, to experience financial breakthroughs, and to enjoy restoration in their marriages!

When people begin to see more of Jesus, when they begin to become more and more conscious of Jesus having been crucified on their behalf, faith no longer is a barrier to receiving God’s promises. Why? Because the more they see what Jesus has done for them, the more they see what Jesus has qualified them for, the more faith springs up within them and miracles break forth. Hallelujah!

Beloved, you don’t have to wish that you had more faith for whatever miracle you are asking God for right now. You don’t have to try to conjure up more faith. Simply see Jesus on the cross for you, and the faith you need to face any situation or challenge will come into your life. Just look to Jesus and His grace toward you! He is the author and finisher of faith (Heb. 12:2). Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ. The more of Jesus and His love you hear, the more faith rises in your heart. Get hold of teachings that preach all about Jesus and His finished work. Make it your priority to listen to the good news preached. There is power in the gospel of Jesus Christ! Reach out and receive your miracle from your loving Savior today!

God is Satisfied With You

When I was a teenager, I used to belong to a Christian fellowship group. We would sing this song which you may be familiar with. It went like this: “Is He satisfied, is He satisfied, is He satisfied with me? Have I done my best? Have I stood the test? Is He satisfied with me?” Let me just say that 10 out of 10 times when we sang this song, I would always believe that God was not satisfied with me. When we look to ourselves, all there is to see is the inadequacy and futility of our ability and performance. In and of ourselves, we will never meet God’s standard for Him to be satisfied with us. We will always fall short!

You can imagine how condemned we felt each time we sang this song. After all, we had never been taught that God was satisfied with His Son’s sacrifice at the cross, and we did not understand what the new covenant of grace was all about. We were young and zealous for God, but defeated by our lack of knowledge.

With all due respect to the songwriter, whom I believe had the best intentions when he wrote the song, this song is not based on the new covenant of God’s unmerited favor. It negates the cross and places the emphasis back on you—what you must do, what you must perform and what you must achieve for God to be satisfied with you. But the question to ask today is not if God is satisfied with you. The question that we need to ask is this: Is God satisfied with the cross of Jesus? And the answer is this: He is completely satisfied!

At the cross, our acceptance is found. There, Jesus cried out with His last breath, “It is finished!” (John 19:30) The work is complete. The full punishment for all our sins was exacted on Jesus at the cross. God will not punish the believer again, not because He has gone soft on sin, but because all our sins have already been punished in the body of Jesus. God’s holiness and His justice are now on your side! Today, God is not assessing you based on what you have or have not done. He is assessing you based on what Jesus has done. Is God satisfied with Jesus today? Yes, of course He is! Then, to the same extent that God is satisfied with Jesus, He is satisfied with you.

God’s own Son had to be crushed at Calvary for this blessing to become a reality in your life. The gift of His unmerited favor and His righteousness is only a free gift for you today because the full payment for this gift was exacted upon Jesus’ body. The cross made all the difference! Don’t let anyone hoodwink you into thinking that you need to pay for your own sins. Don’t let anyone deceive you with the lie that your eternal salvation in Christ is uncertain and shakable!

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!