It will not remain dark

This morning I was reminded of my year’s motto for 2020. Every New Year’s Eve I pick a verse for the new year. Before that I pray that God will guide it so that the right verse will be chosen. To be honest I could not make sense of my verse until today. But now I realised that it fits perfectly into the current situation:

Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever. Isaiah 9:1

The world is currently sinking into fear and terror because of a spreading virus. Yes, it is a dark time, but it won’t last. This attack will pass. The whole world is waiting for a glimmer of hope, for the light at the end of the tunnel. And we believers have the answer: Jesus is the light! And because we are in Jesus, we too are the light in this world.

Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. Luke 9:1

If you believe in Jesus, you are also his disciple. Therefore this verse applies to every believer. Jesus gave us His authority and power. We have the right to use the name of Jesus.

Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth. Philippians 2:9-10

The name of Jesus stands above all other names. So the name of Jesus is also above the name of this virus. When we speak the name of Jesus, every knee must bow. Everything that has a name must bow to the name of Jesus. So let us speak the name of Jesus!

So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. Luke 17:6

If you have even the slightest hope that something will change when you speak the name of Jesus, you have faith like a mustard seed. The Bible says that faith is the substance of things hoped for (Hebrews 11:1). We all hope that this virus attack will pass. But unlike the world, we have a living hope. We know who holds our lives in his hand and we know who is more powerful than anything else: Jesus! Instead of cowering fearfully in our homes and waiting with everyone else, let us stand up courageously and together as the body of Christ use our authority and power. As believers in Christ we have the right to speak the name of Jesus and God himself has promised us that every knee must bow to this name. The world is at its wits‘ end, but we have Jesus, we have the answer. Let us carry out our mission and declare together: “In the name of Jesus Christ I command this coronavirus to be stopped. I say stop, no further, in Jesus‘ name. Coronavirus be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea in Jesus‘ name.”

A simple prayer, yet so effective. By speaking the name of Jesus and stopping this virus in his name, we put all our trust in the one who causes real change: Jesus Christ!

Say Amen to God’s promises

Did you ever ask yourself if a certain promise is for you too? Maybe you have read something good in the bible and thought how nice it would be, if this were like this in your life also. There is good news for you: You can claim every promise of God for you and expect it to be fulfilled in your life.

For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me, Silvanus, and Timothy—was not Yes and No, but in Him was Yes. For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. 2 Corinthians 1,19-20

The promises of God are always fulfilled. It is not so, that God sometimes says yes and sometimes no. In Jesus is yes, this means the fulfillment of all promises. In the German New Geneva translation it even says that the promises of God all find their fulfillment in the person of Jesus. You can be sure that God says yes to each promise. Now, however, the question arises, if we are entitled to every promise. The answer is a clear yes, because of Jesus. For it says that in Jesus ALL promises are yes. All really means all, so even the promises of the Old Testament.
In response to God’s promise we say Amen. The remark of the German Elberfelder translation of the word Amen reads as follows: Assurance and confirmation formula for the truthfulness of what has been said. With Amen you confirm something and claim something for yourself. For Amen comes from the Hebrew word aman and means to confirm. When you say Amen to a promise, you thereby say: So be it in my life. For example, you read or hear: By his stripes we are healed. When you say Amen to it, you say: So be it in my life, my body shall be healed. Now it is also easy to express your faith. Because Amen has to do with faith.

And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness. Genesis 15,6

The word for believed in Hebrew is the same as for Amen. So, when you say Amen to God’s promises, you express your faith. You believe that God’s word is true, this promise is for you and that it will be fulfilled in your life, therefore you say Amen. Because of Jesus’ work on the cross, you have a right to every promise of God. It has nothing to do with you but everything with Jesus and his work on the cross. It is not about what you do or don’t do, but solely about what Jesus has done. With Amen you express that very thing: It is Jesus who fulfills the promise in my life, not my own work.
Begin to claim the promises of God for yourself and say Amen to it. Your part is to say Amen, Jesus’ part is to fulfill the promises in your life.

Isaiah 53 – Believe the message

Isaiah 53 is probably one of the most famous passages in the bible. Isaiah lived long before Jesus, but he prophesied what Jesus would do for you and me at the cross. This chapter reveals lots of wonderful things about healing.

Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Isaiah 53,1-3

Isaiah 53 begins with the question: “Who has believed our message?” The bible is full of wonderful promises of God. But for you to have a benefit off it, you need to believe what God says.

For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed. Hebrews 4,2

“They” refers to Israel. They didn’t believe what God said and therefore the message they heard was of no value to them. It is your decision if you want to believe God or not. Faith begins with a decision. You can decide whom or what you believe, and you can decide whom or what you believe more. The doctor may have given you a negative report, but Jesus says that he is the doctor who heals you. Now the question arises whom you believe more: The negative report of the doctor or Jesus, your doctor that never fails?

Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. Romans 10,17

Faith comes by hearing the word of God. Actually, it is expressed even more precisely, namely by hearing the word of Christ. You live under the new covenant. Engage in what Jesus did for you on the cross. See Jesus in his beauty and grace and depend on him having paid the full price for your salvation. After the cross it is no longer about what you have to do, but rather what Jesus has done. Fix your sight on Jesus and feed your faith by hearing good messages of grace. Fill you heart and your thoughts with God’s thoughts about you, how much Jesus loves you, how completely you are forgiven, how highly favoured you are in Jesus, the beloved, and how much Jesus wants to bless you. You are God’s beloved child and he whishes for you to believe him. To believe is essentially nothing else than accepting God’s word as true. The basis for your faith must never be experiences, but solely God’s word. His word is the unshakable basis that withstands and won’t waver in the storms of life. Today, decide to believe Jesus more than anything else.

It is written

It’s important to know, how you can handle challenges and problems in life so that you will be victorious. Jesus showed us how it’s done. When Jesus was in the desert he was tempted by the devil. First the devil told him to command the stones to become bread, then he prompted him to throw himself down from the temple and at last he wanted Jesus to worship him. Jesus’ answer to all these temptations was the same:

Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’” Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him. Matthew 4,10-11

Jesus‘ answer was always: It is written! He didn’t argue with the devil, but used the one instrument that would silence the devil: the word of God. The same way we should handle problems, challenges, doubts and fears in our life. Counter these things with the word of God and circumstances must bow to the word of God, just as the devil left Jesus because he can’t counter anything against God’s word. Jesus used the word of God, was victorious and angels were ministering to him. This raises the question what is so special about the word of God that drives all adversities including the devil himself back.

Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. John 17,17

Here we find the key: The word of God is truth! Wow, do you know what this means? We are so often concentrated on what we see, hear or feel. All these things may be real, but the truth is the word of God. This means there is more than the visible world. If God’s word is truth and you don’t see this truth in your life yet, it doesn’t mean bad luck for you and it’s not working for you. It only means you stand on God’s word and counter your circumstances with: It is written! Don’t let adversities scare you off but use the word of God boldly.

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4,12

God’s word is living and powerful. It is so mighty that nothing can stand against it. Swing your sword and see how Jesus leads you to victory! The bible calls the word of God the sword of the Spirit and this is part of the armor of God which God gave you so you are victorious in life (Ephesians 6,17). Whatever your challenge is, look up bible verses that suit your situation and use them. Maybe your bank account is in the red. Use the word of God: It is written: And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4,19). If a sickness is ailing you, use the word of God: It is written, with his wounds we are healed (Isaiah 53,5). Maybe you long for a spouse, use the word of God: It is written, it is not good that the man should be alone (Genesis 2,18). Whatever it is, counter your problems with the word of God and live victorious. For Jesus always leads you to victory!

Be strong and courageous

Have you ever wished to be strong and courageous? Is it even possible to be strong and courageous in a world full of challenges?

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31,6

God spoke these words to the people of Israel when Moses appointed Joshua as his successor. The entering into the promised land has not yet happened. Maybe you are in a position, where your promised land lies before you. It could be your financial breakthrough, the healing you long for, the restoration of your marriage or a spouse, because you don’t want to go through life alone anylonger. Whatever it is, these words are for you today: be strong and courageous! But how do we do that? You find the answer in the second part of the verse: God himself will go with you! You don’t rely on your abilities to be strong and courageous, you rely on Jesus abilities. It’s the grace of God, that lets you be strong and courageous. Grace is personified in Jesus and he is the foundation you stand on as a believer.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1,9

Grace is the reason, why you don’t have to panic when you are confronted with challenges. The foundation of grace is not a shaky ground, it’s a solid and strong rock, it’s Jesus. The right perspective will let you be strong and courageous, you won’t be afraid and you won’t be discouraged. Jesus is your hero who fights the battles for you, changes situations and manifests Gods promises in your life.

You don’t get strong and courageous by trying hard to be strong and courageous. It needs you to admit, that you can’t do it on your own and you are dependent on the help of Jesus. Stop doing it on your own and let Jesus create his masterpiece. To do nothing and let Jesus take over might be more challenging than constantly trying to do something on your own. But it’s the way how the blessings of God will manifest in your life. To do nothing is to let go of your own effort and let Jesus do what he needs to do. You do that, by throwing Jesus into the problems you face, by speaking out Gods truth. Do it whenever you are reminded of the problem. Position yourself on the foundation of grace and see how Jesus calms the storms in your life.