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!

Isaiah 53 – Healing is forever

Did you ever hear that healing and miracles have stopped with the last apostle? The end of the book of Acts is also the end of healing, signs and miracles. But this is not what the bible teaches. Isaiah 53 is the great chapter about healing and talks about how Jesus at the cross carried sin and sickness. Isaiah lived many years before Jesus and what he wrote in Isaiah 53 was a foresight into the future. Isaiah prophesied what would happen in the future.

Now when Jesus had come into Peter’s house, He saw his wife’s mother lying sick with a fever. So He touched her hand, and the fever left her. And she arose and served them. When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: “He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.” Matthew 8,14-17

Matthew was a disciple of Jesus and experienced in the present how Jesus healed people. Matthew refers to Isaiah 53 and therefore these verses are the proof that Isaiah 53 talks about physical healing (the salvation work of Jesus also includes mental healing of course). Peter, also a disciple of Jesus, was present also and saw how Jesus healed people. And it is he who wrote the following after Jesus’ death and resurrection:

“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2,24

Peter looks back at the cross, where Jesus has purchased healing. By Jesus’ wounds we have been healed. This is an irrevocable fact. Healing is not extinct at some point, but is still the same as it was then. Isaiah looked ahead to the future, Matthew describes the present and Peter looks back to the past. Healing is therefore confirmed by past, present and future.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13,8

Jesus has not changed! He healed people then and he heals people today. Healing is forever and that will never change. So you can be sure that healing is just as relevant to you today as it was to Peter’s mother-in-law then. It does not matter if it is a cold or a life-threatening disease. Jesus purchased healing at the cross for everything and everybody. It is a lie that healings and miracles have stopped. The truth is, you have a right to receive healing because Jesus paid for it. Healing is forever!

Isaiah 53 – Healing is God’s will

Prayers for healing are often finished with the sentence: If it is your will. Is it even necessary to include this sentence in the prayer? How can you be sure that God will answer your prayers if you do not even know if what you ask for corresponds with his will? God wants you to have certainty and not to go through life plagued by doubts never knowing if your prayer will be answered or not.

Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand. Isaiah 53,10

How could it please God to bruise Jesus and let him suffer? Would that not mean that God finds pleasure in sickness? One thing is absolutely clear: God does not find pleasure in sickness, suffering and pain. But God knew that if all sicknesses, suffering and pain was laid on Jesus, you and I would thereby be free forever. God saw the effect of what Jesus did on the cross and that pleased him. It pleased him that you and I would be free from sickness for good. If we know that it pleased God that Jesus bore sickness for us, we also know that it is never God’s will for us to be sick. He wants you healed and well! If he would not want that, Jesus would not have had to bear sickness, suffering and pain at the cross.

The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” Numbers 21,8

When the people of Israel were bitten by snakes whose bites lead to death, God said to Moses to make a brazen snake and put it up on a pole. If the Israelites would look at the snake, they would live. God did not want the Israelites to die, but he wanted them to be healthy and alive. The brazen snake on the pole is a picture of Jesus at the cross. Just as the Israelites had to put their sight away from the bites and to the snake on the pole to stay alive, we should put our sight to Jesus. Jesus at the cross is the payment for every sickness, any suffering and every pain. God’s will is your healing! For that, Jesus went to the cross.

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. 1 John 5,14-15

We know now that healing is God’s will. If you know what God’s will is, you do not have to finish your prayers with “If it is your will”. You can come boldly to God ask for what you need and then you know that God heard you and you get what you have asked for. If you are sick, you know that healing is God’s will. Change your prayer based on this knowledge and say for example: “Dear Father, thank you that healing is your will. I ask you for healing for this sickness (say what bothers you and for what you need healing). Jesus paid the price for my healing on the cross. By his stripes I am healed. Thank you, that you hear me. I receive complete healing and restoration for my body. Amen.”
And now you just thank God for your healing. Healing is a gift which is given to you based on grace alone and not something you can earn. Gifts are received by saying thank you. Healing is always God’s will for every person at any place. Also for you!

Isaiah 53 – Jesus remained silent so that you can speak

Sometimes you have to endure sickness patiently and you should not complain about it. That’s life, sickness exists and is a part of life. Make the best out of it. Really? Do you think this is encouraging? No? Very good, Jesus does not think so either. That is why he has created a solution for sickness.

He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
Isaiah 53,7

When Jesus was beaten, mistreated and eventually nailed to the cross, he did not once open his mouth. He just had to say a word and all these torments would have ended immediately. But he did not do it. He remained silent and endured everything and carried all sins and sicknesses on the cross. Jesus remained silent so that you can speak! Jesus at the cross is not our example but our representative. He remained silent in our place so that we no longer have to be silent, but can open our mouth and speak. If you are sick today, do not be silent. You never have to endure sickness or even accept it. Jesus already did it for you. He carried the sickness and he was silent.

For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Mark 11,23

Three times this verse is about what you say, only once it is about faith. Faith is first and foremost a decision. You can decide to believe what Jesus says. And then it is about what you say. Your words have power. So, when you are sick, start speaking healing and health. You can say: “What Jesus bore, I do not have to bear anymore. By Jesus stripes I am healed. Jesus nailed this sickness to the cross. I am free.”

As they stretched him out to flog him, Paul said to the centurion standing there, “Is it legal for you to flog a Roman citizen who hasn’t even been found guilty?”  Acts 22,25

Paul knew that as Roman citizen he had certain rights. One of them was that it was not legal to flog someone without verdict. So, he opened his mouth and said it. As child of God you are a citizen of heaven, heir of God and co-heir with Christ. You also have rights, namely those, which Jesus bought for you at the cross through his blood. He paid a very high price for it. One of these rights is healing and health. Jesus bore every sickness on the cross and with it ransomed you from every sickness. If you are sick, it is your right to get healed. Do it like Paul and invoke your civil rights. As a child of God, as citizen of heaven, healing is your right. Sickness has no right to be in your body. Open your mouth and speak forth healing. You are allowed to do it because Jesus has paid the price. Because Jesus remained silent, you can speak today.

Isaiah 53 – See Jesus as good shepherd

A shepherd takes care of his sheep so that all is well with them and they have everything they need. Haver you ever seen a flock of sheep consisting of sick, mutilated and bleeding sheep? Probably not. What kind of shepherd would it be if his sheep would look like that? Presumably one would take away the sheep and sue him for cruelty to animals. Funny that we see it that way in the natural but when it comes to the true shepherd, Jesus, we suddenly find it totally normal to walk through life sick and suffering.

We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53,6

Jesus is our shepherd and we are his sheep. Sheep need a shepherd who takes care of them as they can not survive on their own. Without Jesus we were lost sheep on the way to destruction. But Jesus redeemed us and made us his sheep.

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. Psalm 23,1

Jesus is your shepherd and you will lack nothing, because he takes care of your needs. This includes your body too. As good shepherd Jesus takes care of your body also, so that you are healthy and well. He does not want a sick, suffering and bleeding flock of sheep, but he wants you well and healthy (3 John 2). Stop believing that sickness sometimes is just a part of life. This is a lie and absolutely not what Jesus wants. At the cross, he paid an enormously high price so that you can be healthy and well today.

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4,19

This verse applies to your financial needs as well as your physical and mental needs. No matter where you are lacking, Jesus came to remedy this deficiency. If you lack health, Jesus wants to fill that need with his healing. See Jesus as your good shepherd who takes care of you so that you truly lack nothing. Jesus, your good shepherd, is also the best doctor ever. There are no hopeless cases for him. Trust your good shepherd and let him take care of you, his sheep, and make sure your body is safe and sound.