Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I Would Have Despaired Unless

Are you feeling stressed out by a difficult situation you are facing? Are you feeling despair because it seems that there is nothing you can do about it? I was, for a little while.

I could do nothing except listen and listen to Pastor Prince's sermons again and again. What's the use of that? In the natural, it seems like a futile thing to do; just listening to an anointed pastor's preaching ... how is that going to change the situation? However, that is the way God works for you - "He sent His word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions." (Psalm 107:20) - God speaks and it is.

Yesterday, I was listening to a sermon which Pastor Prince preached in 2003 (The Key To A Victorious Life – Being Established In Righteousness) but how it spoke to me for my current situation right here right now. In his first sermon of 2011, Pastor Prince said that the theme for this year is Psalm 65:11 - "You crown the year with Your goodness, And Your paths drip with abundance." - which is also the exact same verse Pastor Prince quoted in this 2003 sermon! For me, this is God's now word to me that this is still a year crowned with His goodness despite the bad situation I'm facing. I don't know how God is going to do it but He will turn this evil day into good days for me somehow.

God also showed me how not to despair in the midst of my bad situation when Pastor Prince later quoted Psalm 27:13 - "I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living." This is the key.

Let me quote Pastor Prince:

"In the midst of our challenge, we got to believe in the goodness of God. When you encounter challenges this year, remember Psalms 27:13 ... you don't see it, you don't touch it, you don't experience it yet with your five senses but you believe in the goodness of the Lord ... God says in the midst of your trouble, you believe in His goodness, He will make you see His goodness in the land of the living, while you are still alive on Planet Earth, not in heaven ... in the here and now, we will see God's goodness ... Trust Him, when things go wrong, trust Him ... "
"Turn to Psalm 27:13 one more time ... did he say see to believe or believe to see? I have believed first, to see ... God wants us to believe to see, not see then believe, anyone can do that. The faith that pleases Him is God wants you to believe in His goodness, to see that goodness."

How is God going to make your bad situation good? I don't know but that is His job, not yours. Your job is to just believe; believe in the goodness of the Lord, believe that you would see the goodness of the Lord in the here and now ... then, you would not despair.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Listen Listen To The Good News When You Receive Bad News

What do you do when the first words out of the mouth of the doctor going over your medical report are:  "I'm afraid I don't have great news for you."

Would you cry? I would. I did. But what do you do after that? Do you go about your day and days to come dazed and depressed? Don't do that! You are not without hope! You need to listen listen to the Good News! You have Daddy God on your side! If God is for you, who can be against you?

It seems that right from the first sermon of the year God has been prepping those of us who are going to receive bad news in some form or other this year on how to deal with the bad news. Can you see it? All the sermons Pastor Prince has been preaching so far this year, and even Pastor Mark last Sunday, are that we have to listen listen to the Word of Christ for "faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ" (Rom 10:17, NLT).  

It seems ridiculous, doesn't it? All we have to do is just listen? No, it's not just listen, but listen and listen and listen and listen and listen with a hearing heart ... to the Good News about Christ ... and after that, speak it out for "It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak,"(2 Cor 4:13).

Faith is believing and speaking. Do you believe that Christ has borne all your diseases on his broken body and therefore you are healed? You do? Speak it out!

Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.
Isaiah 53:4–5

But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
Romans 8:11

Do you believe that God is going to lift you up from your pit of debts? You do? Speak it out!

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.
2 Corinthians 8:9

The Lord will command the blessing on you in your storehouses and in all to which you set your hand, and He will bless you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
Deuteronomy 28:8

Don't keep replaying the bad news which the doctor had just told you in your head. Don't keep looking at your bank statement and worrying about where to get the money. Keep listening and listening about the Good News about Christ and then speak it out. Let God move the mountain for you; you just listen, listen, believe and speak.

You know, as you listen listen to a sermon again and again, sometimes you hear something which you did not hear the previous times you listened to it and it is exactly what you need to hear at that moment in time. Sometimes, it is not even the sermon proper which blesses you but something off-topic mentioned by the preacher during the sermon or even a prayer.

I was listening to Pastor Prince's first sermon of 2011 (God has crowned you with glory and honour) quite a number of times, and at the moment when I needed to hear it most, God sent His now Word to me through Pastor Prince's closing prayer:
" ... and we thank you Father that even when what seems like bad things happen to us, because you have crowned this year with Your goodness, all things work together for good ... for good ... we will end up stronger, better, higher ... thank you Father ..."