Joseph Prince - Expect Good In Times Of Trouble
Hello, church. Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I trust you had a great week and I'm believing God that good days are ahead of you, amen? The Bible does promise that, you know? The Bible says: "For he that will love life and see good days". In fact, that Scripture is mentioned twice, one in the Old Testament and once in the New Testament. And it says that you can love life and see good days. Well, for you to see good days, and "days" there is plural, many days, see good days, that means the days ahead of you are good days that you can believe God for, amen? God wants you to have a robust enjoyment of life. Jesus says, "I come that you might have life, and have it more abundantly".
So, God wants you to enjoy life, amen? Are there moments in your life where you say, "Wow, this is life"? And that happens to me when I embrace my children, when I hold my family close, and sometimes I just feel like, "God, you have blessed me. This is life", amen? Well, those are the kind of things that God is saying you will enjoy life and see good days, plural. In fact, when the Bible mentions an evil day, that's the day of testing, the day when the devil attacks you and a day of trial and trouble, God says, that season, God calls it an evil day. Notice, it's singular. "That you may stand therefore in the evil day", Ephesians 6. So when it comes to good days, it's plural. Good days, see good days.
So, God has more good days for you and it's not his will for you to have even long protracted seasons of trouble and affliction and evil, amen? So believe God. God says it's important what you say. He that will love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue, the very first thing. Let him refrain his tongue from evil, amen. I wanna start off also by sharing a testimony that we have just received from New York, United States:
I am living in New York City, the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. Recently, a relative who stays with my parents developed a cough and fever that refused to go away. He was tested for COVID-19 and days later the results were found to be positive. My parents were scared and panicky when they received the news as my mom has asthma and my dad has a heart condition. When my mother called to update me, I encouraged her to partake of the Holy Communion as often as possible with my dad, as taught by Pastor Prince. That evening, my mother also asked the relative who was not a believer if he would allow them to pray for him and partake of the Holy Communion together. He agreed and everyone in the household partook of the Communion together. The next morning, the relative who was sick woke up, soaked in sweat, and his cough, fever, and congestion in the chest were gone. Since then, it has been more than 14 days and no one else in the household got infected with COVID-19. I believe partaking of the Lord's Supper had healed my relative and delivered the rest of my family from the virus. Glory to God and thank you, Pastor Prince, for your teaching.
Hallelujah, we rejoice with his sister and what God did for her, God can also do for many others, amen? Put your trust in the Lord, during this time especially, of the COVID-19. Like the truth of God's Word stands true, regardless of the situation. God's Word never change. Jesus says, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away". Friends, we've got to remember that God's Word is very clear that all the promises of God... let's look at this in 2 Corinthians chapter 1. "God is faithful, our word to you was not Yes and No".
You know, there is some preaching where you have, like, "Yes, yes, no, sometimes it's yes, sometimes it's no", but Paul is saying, "Our preaching is - God is faithful, and our word to you, our preaching, was not Yes and No. For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you 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", all, my friend. "All the promises of God in him are Yes". Does that include all the promises in the Old Testament, all the promises of Psalms 91, all the promises that we read about in the Old Testament? In fact, from Genesis all the way to Revelation? All means all, right? And the Bible says: "All the promises of God". We cannot say, "Yes for this part, no, yes, no, yes, no".
Now, some things are unique for the nation of Israel. It's obvious. Yes, it's obvious but until we see a difference where God does mention, for example, there was a time that God says, "Go not to the way of Gentiles, but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel", we know it was only for that moment. But Psalms 91 is for all times. In fact, Psalms 91 says in the very first verse: "He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High", and the word there in the Hebrew, yashav, is to sit. He who sits. Now, that's where we are, right now. Confirm the latter part of Psalms 91 says: "I will set him on high". That's where we are, right now, amen, beloved.
You and I are in Christ Most High, amen. We are set most high. "I'll set him high above", amen, and we are far above because we are in Christ who is far above all principality and power and might and dominion, every name that is named. We are also in Christ, far above them all. Far above the COVID-19 virus, amen? And that's our position, even though bodily we're on earth, our position is such and principalities and powers, even the forces of darkness, they know that. The evil spirits and the devil himself knows that, that we are far above. But when we don't realize that, and we give ourselves in to fear and we speak words that are full of unbelief and we negate what our position is, right? We start to experience those things as if we are people of the world, amen?
And I believe with all my heart in the name of Jesus that Psalms 91 happens when we start to believe it, when we start to rest in it, amen? But how can you rest when there are people who are saying, like, this promise in Psalms 91 is not for you. It's meant for the people, the Jewish people in the Old Testament, or this portion is not for you. Who are they to choose this and that as not, but the Bible is very clear. It says: "For all the promises of God in him are Yes", amen? "In him" is in Christ. It has a strong Yes, "and to him, amen, to the glory of God through us", amen? So in other words, the verse says: "For all the promises of God in Christ is Yes". We must say Yes, amen.
Does God want to preserve us from all evil? Yes, amen? The sun shall not smite you by day nor the moon by night. Yes. No evil shall befall you. Yes. With long life I will satisfy him. Yes, amen? When we say Yes, the Bible says, and we say "Amen", amen? When we hear a sermon preached, we say, "Amen". It is not for no purpose we say, "Amen". The word "Amen" is where you get the Hebrew word for faith. The word for faith is emunah, amen. Aman, emunah, amen. Just say, "Amen. Aman, emunah, amen". Faith. That's where you get the word, "Aman", amen? Amen, emunah, it's all the same word. Emunah, amen, yes. And the Bible says: "Jesus is the amen", amen.
So we say, "Amen", we are saying, "I agree, Lord. Be it unto me according to your Word". Just like when Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and said that the Holy Spirit will overshadow you, you conceive in your womb the Son of God. What did she say? "Be it unto me according to your word". In other words, amen. Praise the Lord. Whereas Zechariah, John's father, when the same angel appeared to him and talk about John the Baptist's birth, he says, "How do I know that what you are saying is true"? Now, that's bad to say to someone, amen, through a angel, a heavenly presence from God who is an angel. It was Angel Gabriel, and angels don't lie unless it's a fallen angel. And he says that "how do I know what you're saying is true"? And the angel says, "Because of your unbelief, you will be dumb until the birth of this child". And he was dumb until the birth of the child. But Mary said, "Amen", and it established that. It established the truth of God's promises being fulfilled in her life, and she bore the Messiah. She bore the Son of God, hallelujah.
Now, friend, when we say "Amen", there is something that happens in the spirit world. There is an agreement with God, with what God is saying. That's why we need to be careful about teachings or voices or even preachings and sermons that we hear that move us away from all the promises of God being for us into a place whereby people pick and choose, "Yes, yes, no, no, yes, yes, no, no". No, friend, all the promises of God is yes in Christ. Because of Christ, that means because of Christ God gives a hearty Yes when you ask him for any promise in the Old Testament even, as well as in the New. Praise the Lord. And you can believe God for your children, you can believe God for your family, you can believe God for your husband, for your wife, for your colleagues, for your friends, for your extended family, that they will experience the goodness of God that is promised in his Word, amen?
You've got to say "Amen" into their lives and that's the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray. In fact, it's in the imperative when it says: "Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come", amen? It's a strong "come", amen? It's not just "Your kingdom come, your will be done". It's actually saying, "Let your kingdom come. Let your will be done", amen, amen, praise the Lord. We are saying, "Amen", and God loves it. Don't think for one moment we feel like, you know, how can we command God. We're not commanding God. We're not ordering God around, amen? God loves it because he knows we are in faith. We're actually attesting to the integrity of his Word. We believe him and that's why we say, "God, the same will you want to happen on earth, I say, 'Amen.'" I say, "The will of God be done on earth in my life as it is in heaven", amen?
And you know what, friend, in heaven whatever you can look in heaven that you think whether God wants you to have it or not, look up in heaven, amen? Is it there? Is it? Is any sickness there? None, amen. So when we say, "Your will be done on earth", it cannot be God saying to you, "Yes, in this particular area of sickness, I want you to endure it. It's not my will to heal you". Then how can you pray, "Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven, as it is in heaven". So for us to say, "As it is in heaven", we must know what is in heaven, amen? And the kingdom of heaven is all a reign of prosperity, peace, amen? That doesn't mean we won't have troubles. That doesn't mean we won't have afflictions, we won't have persecutions. In fact, the Bible promised that all that live godly in Christ shall suffer persecution. And that's what I wanna share today. I feel that God has put this word in my spirit.
Many of you are going through troubles and you're wondering, "Can I pray myself out of this trouble? Does God want me to pray out of this trouble? Does God want to deliver me out of this trouble"? And we are beset by, you know, erroneous teachings that tell us... let me tell you something about erroneous teachings. Erroneous teachings are actually teachings that change your belief system, so when you believe wrong, you experience wrong. You will see wrong. In fact, I always say this: when you believe right, you will live right. And not only that, you experience right because you experience things of Scripture. The Holy Spirit is also called the spirit of truth.
Numerous times in the Last Supper in the Upper Room, Jesus addressed the Holy Spirit as, "When the spirit of truth is come". Why? Why address him as spirit of truth? Because, friend, he cannot testify to a lie. For example, if you are acting like you are still full of sin and you have, you know, I'm not saying that we are sinless, no, okay, friend? In our experience, we all know better than that. But I'm saying that in God's eyes, all our sins have been put away by the blood of Jesus.
So instead of attesting to the perfection of the work of Jesus, by rejoicing that all our sins are forgiven, we go around, bowed down, feeling like we are miserable sinner, calling ourselves sinners saved by grace, and still sinners but saved by grace. No, friend, once you are saved by grace, amen, the Lord has transformed you, you are a new creation in Christ and God does not acknowledge the flesh. God sees in the spirit, amen. And that's what you are, in actuality: a new creation. Old things are passed away, all things have become new. And you are the righteousness of God in Christ and, friend, when God looks at you, God says you're holy and blameless.
And the Bible says that if a sacrifice had worked, this is Hebrews 10, verse 1 and 2. If a sacrifice in the Old Testament had worked, worshipers would no longer offer, amen, sin offerings. But the fact is that they continue every year to offer sin offering, amen, to bring a bullock or a lamb, all right, to be sacrificed as a sin offering. Friend, that shows their conscience was never purged. It's a temporal covering, but the blood of Jesus, the Greek word there is, once and for all, ephapax, once and for all, by the sacrifice of himself, once and for all, he removed sins from our life, amen. And I believe in that once and for all. And the Bible says because his sacrifice worked, today worshipers have no more conscience of sins.
Meditate on that: Hebrews chapter 10, verse 1 and 2. Worshipers should have no more conscience of sins, amen. It's as if we go around in this lie that God is still dealing with us based on our sins, God is still treating us or the way he dispense blessings or the lack of it is because of our sins. When we start feeling that way, amen, we are actually living a lie and the Holy Spirit cannot bear witness. In other words, he cannot bring his power to bear on your situation when you believe a lie. For example, when you take the Communion and you believe that if you take it in sin, amen, something bad will happen to you. You can fall sick and all that, which is erroneous teaching. God is not saying unworthy people cannot take, God says don't take it unworthily. The manner in which you take.
In other words, you don't care about the finished work of Jesus, you don't care about what he did at the cross. All you think about, like they did among the Corinthians, they actually partook of it in a way that was like, they make it into a happy hour, you know? A place of feasting and many were drunk. And Paul says, "What is this? You're not even contemplating". And that's the reason they were not able to take advantage of what they were partaking unworthily. So friend, like this sister and her family, they experience healing, amen. Even when they prayed with the unbelieving relative, the unbelieving relative received healing. That tells us that God wants to manifest his goodness to people who are not even saved. And you know what? The goodness of God leads people to repentance. Can I have a good "Amen"? Praise God, hallelujah.
So when we look at the Scriptures and we see this, the Word of God, I ask myself sometimes why is it that people like this that I just read the testimony just now, they can experience protection for the rest of the members of family, and even the one that was afflicted who is an unbeliever can receive. It's because of right believing, amen? Right believing that the Lord's Supper is a place of blessing. The Lord's Supper is a place of thanksgiving for what Christ has already done. The right believing produced right results, amen? Even in behavior in terms of holiness. We've got to focus on right thinking, right believing, because that's where repentance comes in.
The word "repent", "repentance", in the Greek is metanoia, change of mind, amen. It's change of mind. It's not all this physical demonstrations or if you're sorrowful and all that. Hey, Judas was sorrowful but he went out and hanged himself. And it's an act of self-righteousness, instead of coming to Jesus for forgiveness, amen? Peter denied knowing Jesus three times, but he went to Jesus for forgiveness, amen? So crying and all that like Judas did and being sorrowful is not enough. We need to change our minds, amen. Praise God. We need to go to Jesus and just believe what his Word has declared, amen. But when you start hearing voices that tell you otherwise, like you cannot claim all the promises of Psalms 91, amen, they're not for you. God saves some and God doesn't save others, amen? God delivers some and God doesn't deliver others.
Now, sometimes, troubles come because of our own mistakes, amen, our own bad decisions. Sometimes, we are in trouble because of other people's bad decisions. Sometimes, we are in trouble because of the devil's attack. No one is at fault. There's no human involvement in this trouble. It's a direct attack and the Bible talks about it. The Bible also talks about certain trials that God allows to happen, amen, to bring out something in ourselves and I'll talk about this and I hope I have all the time in this particular sermon so that you start to believe right about the troubles that you are in right now and you can ask God with no reservations but in complete faith, amen, that he will deliver you out of this trouble, amen. Whatever it may be. It may be a child, a wayward child. It may be a marriage that's breaking down. It can be a, you know, the doctors have given you a bad diagnosis about your condition and prognosis was - the future doesn't look good and all that.
My friend, God has a promise just for you in his Word and, if you will pray that promise, if you'll believe God, amen, he wants to deliver you even out of this trouble. Are you ready? Praise God. Let's go right now to 2 Corinthians chapter 1. Let's look at this verse: "For we do not want". Actually we are going on the same chapter here but looking back in verse 8 we see what Paul says about the trouble that came to him. Look at the nature of this trouble. "For", Paul says, "we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure", wow, that is some trouble. Troubles where, he says, "we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life", wow. He came to a point where the trouble was so burdensome, it was so bad, that he says he even despaired of life, okay? Now the next verse says: "Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead".
Now, remember this. Christians talk about dying to self, you know, dying to self. But does God just want you to die to self? What is dying to self? Well, it is actually a Hebraism for putting my trust in God and not in myself. That's a sentence of death, amen. Putting my trust in God. So Paul says, "You know, we had the sentence of death in ourselves that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, who delivered us from so great a death", or a deadly peril, one translation says. "Who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that he will still deliver us".
You see, when it comes to one of the troubles that came on Paul, to the point that it was so burdensome, it was so terrible, that he says he despaired even of life. What trouble is that? Paul didn't define it, amen, but he defined it as trouble that was so bad and he says that even then he put his trust in God. And note there's the three dimensions of God's deliverance here: God who has delivered us and obviously Paul was delivered from this trouble, amen, from this deadly trouble. It was a trouble of the nature where it was very deadly. And he says that, "God delivered us". That's past tense, amen? Then the next one: "And does deliver us". That's present tense. "In whom we trust that he will still deliver us". That's future tense.
So, we have, "God who delivered us, God who is, does deliver us", present tense, "and he will still deliver us". So that's the attitude a believer must have. If there's trouble, even the most terrible kind of trouble that you're in, amen, believe that God who has delivered you will deliver you now, amen, will deliver you as well as is delivering you, even as we speak right now. And that's the posture that the apostle had which is the Christian posture towards troubles, amen?
Like I said just now, Jesus taught us, like, people ask the question, you know, "Psalms 91, you know, can we pray that prayer without reservation, that it's meant for us to pray for today"? We've answered that question. But when we look at Psalms 91, it's actually in a sense no different from the Lord's Prayer that Jesus shared with his disciples on that Sermon on the Mount where he says: "Our Father, after this manner, therefore, pray ye: 'Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.'" We covered that. "Give us this day our daily bread". And that's why prayer has gotta be daily.
Notice you can't just pray, "Father, give me this monthly bread, amen", at the first week of the month you pray this prayer. Or you pray at the beginning of the year, "Give me this year my yearly bread". It doesn't work that way. God wants you always to come to him. God wants you to be in a... God loves you. God loves to hear your voice, amen? And Song of Songs it says: "How I love to hear your voice, to see your countenance". The Lord loves you, my friend, and he loves, just like the way I would love to hear my son's voice but, more than that, I wanna have him in my presence, just to look at him, just to embrace him, gives me such joy, especially during this time of staying at home and, you know, having him in home is like heaven on earth, praise God. And I just want you to know that, friend, God longs for you, his sons and daughters, to come to him, amen. He wants to love on you, amen. He want to hear your voice.
So, that's why God make it such a way that, even all the promises we can pray for it daily, amen? Some Christians have this attitude, you know, "Jesus gave us all these promises. There are now fulfillments already. It's done". But, no, there is a place where, I shared last week, about how even when Jeremiah the prophet prophesied that Israel would go into captivity and not just that, he also prophesied that Israel will only be in captivity in Babylon for 70 years. Now, at the end of 70 years, instead of just sitting down there and doing nothing, Daniel actually prayed, "God, the time has come. Now deliver your people", amen? He reminded God of the promise. Not that God needs a reminder. Just like the photos that we have, all right? It reminds us as well as it, you know, love loves to look at, you know, love, the nature of love, is that you love to see your loved ones, you know, and be reminded of them.
God is the same way but God doesn't have a problem with forgetfulness, but he loves to be reminded, amen. Because as you remind him, he knows that you're putting your trust in him, amen? So, Daniel prayed even though the promise is there already, prophesied more than 70 years ago by Jeremiah. Even before they went in captivity, he prophesied their victory. He prophesied their liberty, rather, and that they would be liberated and they to be sent back to the Promised Land and yet he prayed that that would happen. So, friend, the same way, it's God's will for us, amen, to prosper and be in health, even as our souls prosper. We saw that. We established that last week, amen. And if you don't believe that, you know, the thing is this. Just ask yourself, when you read a Scripture, all right, "Is this God's Word", amen? If it's God's Word then we're gonna be true to the integrity of God's Word, amen. Regardless of the abuse we see, amen.
There are abuses. People take this verse and they enrich themselves at the expense of the church, at the expense of people, and all they can think of is money, money, money. I am not for that, but that experience does not negate the truth of 3 John 2, amen? On the other hand, there are people who come against prosperity in all its forms and all that, especially the financial side of things and almost like there's no promise of that this side of heaven and God doesn't want you. No, friend, these are two extremes. You've got to watch it. And even those who are against prosperity, many of them, they have two or three homes, two or three cars. They don't really believe what they're saying, amen? I am not into greed, I'm not into avarice, I'm not into love of money. I'm into serving the Most High God with what we have, amen. We are blessed to be a blessing. We cannot bless unless we are blessed, amen?
And that's why I'm teaching this because I want you to pray without reservation. I want you to pray in faith. I want you to be able to give an answer to anyone who asks you for the hope that they see in you. Why do you have such hope? Why do you know that this is yours? And that's what the world needs, my friend. They need to see a God who is good to his people, a God who provides for his people, a God who watches over his people, and most of all, a God who loves his people. When they see that, they are drawn to this God 'cause all, you know, all too soon, you know, Christians, for example, they present an image of God who is angry, who is judgmental. Now, God will judge, amen, but we are not in the age of judgment. We are not in the dispensation of judgment. Jesus stopped, you know, where he was reading from Isaiah in his hometown, Nazareth. He read all the way about the passage of Messiah, this prayer of the Lord is on me. He came to the acceptable year of the Lord.
Now, if you go to that passage in Isaiah, there is a comma in your English and it says: "The day of vengeance of our God". Obviously, in the Hebrew there's no comma but it comes to the place where Jesus stopped reading at the acceptable year of the Lord. He didn't go on to the day of vengeance. Why? Because his First Coming is not to bring the day of vengeance. Now, his Second Coming: yes, the days of vengeance will be here, amen? But in this First Coming, he came, listen, my friend, to save, amen, to heal, to deliver, amen, to give you the full salvation, and that's what the word "salvation" means, hallelujah. Praise the name of Jesus. We are still in this dispensation of grace at this time. Praise the Lord, hallelujah.
So, friend, when you look at God and you see a good God, the world will see how good God is to you and they'll be drawn to him, amen. When you talk about how the Lord loves you, how God sent his Son to die for my sins, they themselves will see that it has changed your life and that you have experienced that love, this perfect love, amen. The love that they are searching for, amen. I pray that you experience that, my friend, and your friends around you who are unbelievers will be drawn to the Jesus that you exhibit, amen? You know, I was sharing with a brother about the truth that the Bible says in Romans 11 that the Bible says that God says that when Israel fell, Israel rejected the Messiah. Because of that, salvation... and the word "salvation" there is all-inclusive: salvation is healing, wholeness, prosperity, shalom, came upon the Gentiles to provoke them, Israel, to jealousy.
Now, how do you suppose that today, as believers, even when you go to Israel, how do you think we can provoke them to jealousy? By telling them that you're a new creation? They can't see that. Their eyes cannot see beyond what is the flesh, amen? To tell them that your sins are forgiven, alone? No, they wanna see the manifestation of what God has done in your life. They wanna see that, wow, God is good to you. Who is this God? And you say he's your God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who sent his Son, the Messiah, to die for my sins and these are the blessings that you see. And this is what we've been saying, our church, amen, whenever people in Israel, they go to visit Israel, when they hear people around them sharing, I mean, Jewish people asking them, "Why is it that you guys seem to have enough to spend", you know?
And people say, "Your God bless us", not my God, but your God has blessed us, amen. It provokes them to jealousy and I'm telling you a number of them have come to know Jesus just by that door-opener. Please, I'm not saying that prosperity, you know, is the only blessing. No, no, of course not. But Jewish people, they understand that. They understand that language, because they have this revelation, all right, that God has given to them because of the promise in Deuteronomy 8: "You shall receive power to get wealth", amen? And they have that influence, that gift, a grace gift on their lives to make money, amen? And that's not bad. In fact, they have done a lot of good for the world.
I know that those who are anti-Semitic and all that, they try to turn that around and twist that around into something else but let me tell you this: there's something, there's a blessing, amen, amen? When they provide a service that a lot of people are using and they are Jewish people, that is a blessing to multitudes, amen? So that's the only way to provoke them to jealousy is that they see in your life that the Lord, their God, has blessed you so and they'll want to know him better. They want to find this God, amen? And that's why I wanna see you blessed, my friends. Praise God. Not just the spiritual blessings, amen, that you keep inside but it will radiate through your face, your eyes. It will radiate through your family. It's also tangible when Pharaoh saw that whatever Joseph did, the Lord made it to prosper, amen, he knew that the Lord was with Joseph.
How did a heathen, an unbeliever, amen, a person who goes by his sight, how does he know that God is with Joseph? Because whatever Joseph did, God made it to prosper, amen? And that's a door-opener. It helps people to come to know Jesus and I believe in these last days, amen, we cannot just go around saying, "You know what? We are like the world, amen, we fear the same thing the world fears, amen. You know, it's all right to be like the world". No, it's not all right to be like the world. When Israel was in a time of darkness, when they were in Egypt, one of the plagues, one of the last plagues before the death of their firstborn, was darkness. The Bible tells us that there was light in the dwellings of Israel. God wants to make a clear line of demarcation between his people and the people of the world. We are in the world but not of the world. Can I have a good "Amen"?
Now, let's look at this Scripture again. Talking about troubles. In Matthew 6 where Jesus talk about the Lord's Prayer, he came to this point: "Give us this day our daily bread". And then he says, "And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation". Do not lead us into temptation, "but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen". Now, just for a moment, has it ever occurred to you that there seems to be, like, a discrepancy, seeming discrepancy? There's no discrepancy in God's words. It's always seeming, all right? Like, God leading people into temptation.
Why would God lead us into temptation, amen? It's because we don't understand many a times that this word "temptation" is the Greek word... first, let me just tell you this. A little of Greek, okay, is good, amen, to understand clearly what the Scriptures are saying. Sometimes, a little Greek will help, amen. And I'm saying that tongue in cheek. But, friend, the word here, "temptation", is the word "peirasmos", okay? Remember that, peirasmos, the noun, peirazó is the verb, all right? Peirasmos. Now, peirasmos can either be trouble, affliction, difficulty, or it can be solicitation to sin, temptation.
Now, in the King James, they always use the word "temptation". For example, Jesus says to his disciples: "You are with", at the end of his ministry, Jesus looked at his disciples and said, "You are they which have continued with me in my temptations". Now, does that mean that Jesus was talking about temptation to sin, solicitation to sin? No, the word "temptation" can either mean what? Two things: trouble, difficulty, or solicitation to sin. And we must look at the context. So in other words, Jesus is saying, "You have been with me through all my trials", amen? He's not saying about temptation to sin. Now, when he says, "Lord, lead us not into temptation", the word "temptation" here is peirasmos. So is he telling God, "God, lead us not into trouble", or is it, "Lead us not into temptation to sin"? Which one is it?
Now, if you think that God leads us into temptation, now the idea is that God may lead you into temptation. In order for you to pray that, you are saying that if you don't pray that, God will lead you into temptation to sin. I don't think so, friend, because James chapter 1 tells us very clearly: "Let no one say when he's tempted", by the way, that's the peirasmos in the verb, peirazó, "'I am tempted, peirazó, by God'; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he himself tempt anyone". It's all the same Greek word, peirazó, peirasmos, amen? Noun and verb. So he's saying, "God cannot tempt anyone to sin. God is not a God who tempts you to sin". And when a man is tempted, he shall not say, "I am tempted by God".
God tempts no man and God himself, all right, cannot be tempted by evil. "But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed". So, obviously, God does not lead us into temptation to sin. For you to pray, "God"... You know, many people have this idea when they pray, "God, lead us not into temptation", they have the idea of temptation to sin. By the same token, you are saying that God can't lead you into temptation to sin. But, friend, this Scripture's very clear. God does not tempt anyone, amen? God himself cannot be tempted to sin, nor does he tempt to sin anyone. Praise the Lord. You got that?
Okay, we go back to the Lord's Prayer. It says, "And lead us". Now, this word "lead us" is not the usual word. I think is where the misunderstanding comes in. It's as if for me to pray to God, "Lead us not", that means the idea is that God may lead you into temptation if you don't ask him not to. But the word lead here is not the usual word. Like in Romans 8 it says, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God". Now, that would led there is the word ago. This is not the same word used here. In fact, this word used in the Lord's Prayer, "lead us", should actually be better translated as do not bring us, do not bring us. Let me not be brought is the right. Let me not be brought into trouble, not temptation to sin. God doesn't tempt people to sin, we established that.
So, it should we prayed every day we pray "God, bring my family and I not into trouble", amen? Doesn't mean God is the author of trouble when you pray that. For example, let's say you are in a big, a large meeting place. And I've been in some of them, usually in a conference. And then I tell some of my minders or my fellow pastors, "You know, later on, guys, when the crowd comes up, and I have to leave, make sure that I'm not brought into that room. That's the wrong room to go into. All right, my room is over here, so make sure that I'm not brought into that room". Does that mean that the pastor I'm talking to is the one responsible for bringing me into the room? No, the crowd may be responsible. So, in other words, God, it's not saying that God is responsible to bring you into trouble. No, the devil is many a times, and sometimes it's your own trouble of your own making, amen. But nonetheless, whatever it is, you are asking God, "Let me not be brought into trouble".
Like I would tell my pastor, right, later after the service, let me not be brought into that room. Whoever wants to bring me into the room, he's the one in charge, doesn't mean he is the one who initiates, but he's the one in charge of not bringing... So, every day, friend, pray that prayer. God wants you to pray that prayer. That's what the Lord's Prayer is about, to pray, "God, let my family and I not be brought into trouble".
Now, I know there are troubles. I know living life on earth, there is trouble. But can you see the heart of God? God wants you to pray. Maybe if we pray this prayer, we'll not be brought into more troubles than we already are in. But we have to ask the question, you know, we don't judge God's Word by experiences. Experiences must be judged by God's Word, amen. And it's not lined up with God's Word, we line the experience up with God's Word. Many a times when you preach something, the people have not experienced it.
And here is a word for all the pastors and leaders that are watching this right now. Sometimes when you preach God's promise, it seems as if you are the only person, especially when it's the first time you're sharing your people. I remember as a young pastor, I was preaching to my congregation about, you know, deliverance from labor pains when a woman gives birth from labor pains, and wow, man, it caused some commotion in the church and some people, I hear people saying things about the pastor, and how can he say that, and how can he say this? And how can he, you know, he's not even married at that time, you know? How can he, you know, talk about this?
But I saw in God's Word that Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law. And I saw that, that labor pain, giving birth is not the curse, amen. In fact, God said before man fell, God says be fruitful and multiply, it's a blessing. Children are a gift from the Lord. But pain, trouble. Why must labor have pain? We say labor pains, why must there be pains, amen? Now, there are certain experiences, but it should not be tragic. It should not be pains. We are redeemed from that. Okay, so I start preaching that, and one woman broke through, amen. And then another one broke through, another one broke through. And finally now today, it's a natural thing for our pastors to always recommend the ladies who are pregnant in our church to listen to this message of Christ having redeemed us from labor pains, childbirth, sorrow and pains, amen? So, even the experience of pregnancy, you don't have to accept, you know, vomiting, and morning sickness, and things like that.
Now, people get angry when you tell that. But you know what? Start with your level of faith, amen? Don't expect that to happen, you hear the people of the world say. Because you are redeemed from the curse, amen, you are redeemed from that aspect. Praise the Lord. Now, as I began to preach God's Word at this level, the people's experience were here, and then slowly as you keep on preaching the uncompromising Word of God, it comes higher and higher, the experience comes higher and starts to measure up. But if you preach where the people are, they will always remain where they are, amen.
So, God wants us to pray every day, because he say, "Give us this day our daily bread". So, the Lord's Prayer ought to be prayed every day, "God, give us this day our daily bread", amen. And also, "Bring us not, Lord, allow us not be brought into troubles, affliction", amen? Amen. Even Jesus told his disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane, pray that you enter not into peirasmos, into trouble, amen? Into affliction, which they did. They didn't pray, right. So, Jesus told them very clearly. Now, that can also be solicitation to sin, right? But sometimes you can look at the context and ask yourself, "Is this affliction, or is this temptation to sin"?
All right, sometimes the same word is used, you're gotta see the context. Praise the Lord. Now, I'm gonna show you something else. Praise the Lord. Thank you, Jesus. Look at James chapter 1, "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials". Now, this word here trials is the word peirasmos. Now, this is the New King James Version. The translator put it as various trials. But if you look at the Old King James, right, the authorized version, it says, "Count it all joy when you fall into diverse temptations".
And that's where the misunderstanding that people have comes in. Obviously, the context cannot tell you it is temptation to sin, solicitation to sin because it's very clear you have to count it all joy. Do I count it all joy when I'm tempted to punch someone in the face? Am I supposed to count it all joy when I'm tempted to hate someone? No, no, no. It's about troubles. When you are in troubles of all kinds, various troubles, count it all joy, why? Knowing this, that the trying of your faith works patience, produces patience or perseverance. But let patience have its perfect work that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
Now, one thing we know about the troubles that God allows us to go through, there are troubles that God allows us to go through, amen. So, for us, our part is to always ask God not to be brought into like Jabez, he prayed that he will not be experiencing even evil or like Psalms 91, believing God not to even be in the trouble. But if the trouble has happened, you can still pray that prayer, but it could be God may allow the trouble, amen, as I call it, child train. The word is chastisement, why? For our profit. Maybe there's an area in our lives that he wants to work out. Maybe there's an area that he wants us to be attentive to, amen. But, listen, troubles should not be protracted, should not be, you know, continuing on and on. You gotta believe God to get out of it. God who delivered you is the God who does deliver you, and he will yet deliver you in the future, amen? Praise the Lord.
And we look at some of the troubles we think about also and like the question asked, what about the Apostle Paul? You talk about praying to get out of trouble, and praying that God will prosper you, always protected under the promises of Psalms 91. What about Paul and all the martyrs? Years ago I asked the Lord this question, and the Lord gave me a revelation. Now, at that time, it was fresh. I'd never heard anyone preach about it. I asked the Lord, "What about all these people"? And I told God that, and he brought me to Hebrews 11 where by faith, you know, that you'll find great exploits of faith done by this one, conquered, subdued kingdoms, you know, stopped the mouths of lions. And he says like, "Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens". All by faith. "Women received their dead raised to life again".
All this happened in the Old Testament, and it happened by faith. This Hebrews 11 is a great hall of faith. It talks about by faith, by faith, by faith. They wrote all these things by faith. And then it says, "Others were tortured". Ah-ha, there's trouble here. There is something that seems to be like a disjoint, amen, it stands out. It says others were tortured. So, while we hear all the exploits in the earlier part of this passage, we now read others were tortured, others were tortured, but then notice this phrase, these three words, "Not accepting deliverance". Wow, "Not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection".
Now, the idea some people have is that they were told, "You know what? You don't have to die as a martyr. Renounce Jesus, and then you'll be saved". Now, though we know that has happened down through church history, but that is not what it's referring to, because you know why? The word here, "Not accepting deliverance". The word deliverance is the word apolutrosis, and the word apolutrosis is the word redemption. It is used ten times in the New Testament, and in all ten times, it's referring to the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. For example, in Ephesians chapter 1 it says, "In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins", apolutrosis, the work of Jesus.
So, throughout Scripture when he uses redemption, it is never man giving you an offer of redemption, never. It is always the work of Jesus. Ten times out of ten verses where this word is used, it is always referring to Jesus's work. In other words, they didn't want to obtain the deliverance that was theirs, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Friends, some of these martyrs, hallelujah, they loved the Lord so much that they don't want to live anymore on this earth. They want to go home to be with him, amen, that they might obtain a better resurrection. So, they didn't accept that deliverance that was given. For you not to accept, that means it was given. But then you can reject.
There are people today who don't want to receive some blessings that God wants them to have, amen. Now, that doesn't mean that these martyrs were wrong. No, no, no, a thousand times no. Many of them, some of them were single people, but I know from the Foxe's Book of Martyrs, many of them were family people, they were martyred as if, but listen, friend, we don't go back to the church history and church infancy and try to copy them. And we don't derive our doctrine from the Foxe's Book of Martyrs. Wonderful and great as the book is, and I believe Christians should read that book to appreciate what we have, or we don't go back to the early church in its infancy in the Book of Acts and see them living, you know, in a social environment. They sold all that they had, and they divided among themselves commonly and they lived in a communal setting.
We don't do that. You know, to see a pattern in the Old Testament does not make a doctrine. Doctrine is found in the epistles, amen. We see their life, some things they did, and then there's portions, yes, it's for us today. Amen, we can adopt that practice, but there are some that is relevant to the times that they are in. Today, amen, we don't live in a communal way. In fact, it's best not to, amen, during this time. You see, it's gotta do with the times and the seasons, amen. So, we cannot draw a doctrine the Foxe's Book of Martyrs or anything. We need to go back to God's Word. Here it talks about those who are tortured, and it says they didn't accept redemption. They didn't accept what was provided for in the work of Jesus, because this word apolutrosis is none other than the work of Jesus's redemption, amen?
What about the Apostle Paul? Yeah, what about the Apostle Paul? Well, he died as a martyr, amen, and you talk about long life. In Psalms 91 it says, "With long life will I satisfy him". How can I claim that? How can anyone claim that when Paul died as a martyr? Well, Paul was an aged man when he died. I'll tell you one thing, okay, doesn't mean that all martyrs are old, older people. There are young martyrs as well. But my question is that we must always derive our doctrine from the Scriptures, amen. We honor the martyrs and their memory. We thank God for people who love the Lord Jesus Christ to the extent, amen, that then they want to have a better resurrection, amen. And the times that they were in at that time, amen, were such that many of them rather go back to be with the Lord than to live in the times they were in.
Today, we were living in different times, right? As believers, God wants us to hear his Word in season, the now Word for this time. Don't get into trouble just saying, "Because, you know, it's good to suffer for Jesus". Don't get into trouble because of our stupidity, amen? So, what about Paul? Paul says this in Philippians chapter 1, "I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you. And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith".
Look at Paul's attitude. How can you say things like, "Guys, you know what? I'm in a dilemma. I'm in a strait between two decisions. All right, one decision is to depart and to be with Christ, means leave my body, depart and be with Christ, which is far better". Paul says it's far better. "But to stay in the flesh is more needful for you. So, you know what? I'm confident that because of your needs, I want to hang around for your progress and joy of faith". It sounds like a man who has power over death, and we know where the power comes from. It comes from the Lord Jesus Christ. But what I'm saying is that the Apostle Paul, he actually decided when he'll die and when he will not die. Yes, he was finally martyred, amen? He was martyred under Emperor Nero, according to tradition, amen. And but you know what? He chose when to die.
Look at 2 Timothy chapter 4. It says in 2 Timothy 4, "For I'm already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand". He's ready to go. Notice, but not until he says, "I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith". His work is finished. And by the way, Paul is a single man. He's not a family man. He says, "I've done my work, I've finished my course". And he loves the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, I would say that, you know, you read through the epistles, no one loved Jesus more than John and Paul, and these are the ones who are most conscious of the Lord's love for them, amen. He says, "The love of Christ constrains me. The Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me". And notice, he can say, "You know, guys? I'm gonna hang around in the flesh for a while because y'all need me around for your joy and progress of faith". And then the right time, he says, "You know what? I'm ready to go. I fought a good fight. I have kept the faith. I finished my course".
So, if you want to be martyred, at least finish your course, amen. Make sure you have fought a good fight, amen. Make sure you have run the race, you have ended up in the finishing line and you have crossed over, amen. Don't just, you know, to just give up on this life, listen, is very easy, okay, but that's not God's will. There's work to be done down here. Once you are down there, you enter into your rest with the Lord and all the saints down there. But let's walk down here. This is where the rubber meets the road. This is where we need to testify of the Lord Jesus Christ. Here is where he wants our voice here. He wants us to be here. He wants us to serve him while we are here. There's a multitude of lost souls and multitudes in the valley of decision, and we need to sound off the gospel's bells, amen, the sound of salvation.
Good tidings of great joy we shall be to all people, that Christ has removed their sins. God is not mad at them, amen. And God wants them to come home, amen. Christ has removed the sin barrier, hallelujah, when he rose from the dead, hallelujah. You know, when he died on the cross, the Bible tells us the veil in the temple was torn in two. What does that signify? That signifies the same blood that he shed that tore the veil into access into God's presence, removed our sins. The same blood removed our sins for us to go in now. Today is a new and living way. In the Old Testament, the more you come to God, chances are you might be smitten dead because you come in the wrong way, amen?
So it was an old and dying way, actually. It's an old and deadly way, I should say, and people are afraid to come to God. But friends, today is the direct opposite because of what Jesus did at the cross. Today is a new and living way. You know what that means? I know you understand the word new, which actually in the Greek is freshly slain, as if he just died just now, but the word living means the more you come to God, the more you pray every day, the more you come into his presence, amen, the more you live, amen, amen. The more you come to God, the more you live. Doesn't that excite you? Doesn't that make you want to spend time with God, come to him, amen? Ask God even to prosper you like John did.
Beloved, I pray that you prosper in all things and be in health, even as your souls prosper, because God knows you don't ask him to prosper you, you look to somebody else to prosper you. You look to some source to prosper you and God doesn't want you to trust in any other source but himself alone. Let all the glory belong to him alone. Can I have a good amen? Hallelujah, hallelujah. And friend, there's something about trouble. Sometimes it's caused by the devil, like in the Last Supper. Jesus says, "Simon, Simon! Satan has desired for you", amen? "Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to me, strengthen your brethren".
So, obviously, these are trouble that is of Satan's making, amen? Satan probably saw something in Peter that he has a right, you know, or rather he has an avenue in which, because Peter was, you know, prior to this, he was full of self-righteousness, amen. He was full of self-righteousness, and that's why he told the Lord, you know, it says he said to Jesus, "Lord, I'm ready to go to you, both to prison and to death". And the Lord says, "I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you deny me three times that you know me". And you know what happened? Because of that trial he went through, he started distrusting himself and he realized, "It's not my love for the Lord". He was boasting about his love for the Lord, but it is the Lord's love for me.
Like John, John boasts of the Lord's love, amen, for him, whereas Peter boasts of his love for the Lord. That is the law, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul". But John boasts in the New Testament covenant law, which is, "We love because he first loved us. Love one another because I have loved you". When we experience his love first, then we will love him and we will love one another, amen. So, obviously, there was something, and it's caused by Satan. So we don't have to ask the question, "Is this trouble caused by Satan, or is it God allowed it for a purpose"? Like for example, it says about Abraham, "By faith Abraham, when he was tried, when he was tested", same word, all right? Peirazo, "Offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son". And this is actually God testing Abraham.
Now, when God tests, it is always to find the good that he already saw, but he wants the whole universe to see it. He wants the principalities and powers to see it. We go back to Genesis, Genesis says, "Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham". But where the misunderstanding is is that when people read this from the Old King James, the authorized version, it actually says, "God did tempt Abraham". So we get the idea that God tempt to sin, but actually it's the same idea in the Hebrew. God was testing. God doesn't tempt with sin. God was testing Abraham, and remember what I said, when God tests, it's to bring out the good that he already saw in you. But before he can have Abraham, before you can make a covenant with Abraham, he wants Satan and all his principalities and powers and all the angels to know that this is a valid covenant.
This is a covenant that God can cut, 'cause Satan will challenge God, "How can you, a perfect God, make a covenant with a fallible man, a man who is subject to failures and weaknesses", you know? God had to prove, but God knew. God saw in Abraham a heart to obey him, to love him. And God says, and God need to establish this. It's a unique testing because God says in the next verse, "Take your son, your only son, the son that you love, and offer him". And we know that today God didn't want that son anyway, amen. God actually stopped Abraham from killing his son, and God provided a ram. And the Bible says Jesus says, "Abraham rejoiced to see my day".
I believe that Abraham turned back and saw Jesus, not too far away from Mount Moriah. He saw Mount Calvary, and he saw Jesus. That's why Jesus says, "Abraham rejoiced to see my day", amen? So God can give his Son. Because God is in covenant with Abraham, if Abraham give up his son, his only son, the son that he love, God will give up his Son, his only Son, the Son that he love, and now that is valid. God can show all the principalities and the powers of darkness this is valid, this is just. Because Abraham gave up his son, now I have a right to give up my Son, my only Son, amen?
And Abraham said, "God", in essence, God said to Abraham, rather, "Now I know you love me", or you fear me, because you have given up, "you have not withheld your son, your only son", so that we can say to God, "Now I know you love me because you have not withheld your Son, your only Son, the Son that you love". Amen, friend? And that's what happened at the cross, amen. Is God not withholding his Son, but God willingly gave up his Son because God loves you, God loves me, amen. And God gave his Son up to die on that cross. It was God's intentional purpose to send his Son. He was the only child born to die, amen. And that's why when he was born, they put him in the trough, in the feeding trough in the manger. They call it manger, the feeding trough, because the feeding trough is reminiscent of when he was laid in the empty tomb. It was like the shape of the feeding trough, also made of stone.
Friend, God loves you so much that God gave up his Son, his only Son, the Son that he loved. But for us today, God doesn't want us to start asking, "Is this trouble from God? Did God allow it to happen for a purpose"? It may be, it may not be, amen. Is this trial from God? Did God allow it to happen for a purpose? It may or may not be. You know, one time Paul was beaten, right? Earlier on in his life, in his ministry, when he was beaten, he kept quiet, but this time, watch this real fast, okay? "The commander ordered Paul to be brought into the barracks, and said that he should be examined under scourging, so that he might know why they shouted against Paul. And as they bound Paul with thongs, Paul said to the centurion who stood by, 'Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman, and uncondemned?' When the centurion heard that, he went and told the commander, saying, 'Hey, take care what you do, for this man is a Roman'. Then the commander came and said to him, 'Tell me, are you are a Roman?' Paul said, 'Yes'. The commander answered, 'With a large sum I obtained my citizenship'".
In other words, he bought his citizenship. "And Paul says, 'I didn't buy it, I was born a citizen'. And immediately those who were about to examine him withdrew from Paul; and the commander was also afraid after he found out that Paul was a Roman, and because he had bound Paul". Now, look up here, friend, and I'll close with this. There was a time that Paul suffered, amen. For example in Lystra, he was stoned by the Jews. He was stoned. Now, Lystra is part of the province of the Roman empire, and Paul never used the fact that he's a Roman citizen, he never used that, all right, to defend himself or to protect himself. But notice later on in his ministry when they're about to beat him, and Paul has been beaten, all right, prior to this also, before they beat him, Paul says, "Think carefully, guys. I'm a Roman citizen".
When they heard that, they were afraid, amen? It's one thing to beat someone during those days who is not a citizen, but Paul was a Roman citizen. He has rights and privileges as a Roman citizen. And Paul used it. Paul didn't say, "I'm just gonna suffer for Jesus. All right, bring it on. Bring the scourging on". Paul didn't say that. Paul stood up. This time he stood up. In the past ministry that he had and all that, he didn't even open his mouth to say he's a Roman citizen.
So, friend, as we look at the book of Acts and we try to see this man of God and that man of God, or this church in its infancy and say that we should be like them, think carefully whether it's a doctrine or not, amen? It doesn't mean they suffer, you have to suffer or open yourself for trouble, so you say, "I'm suffering for Jesus". No, friend. Paul realized there's some sufferings that's not necessary, amen? Some things you can use the fact that you're a Roman citizen, you are a US citizen, use it, amen. Jesus kept his mouth shut in front of Pilate so that you can open your mouth and declare the deliverance of the Lord. Amen, hallelujah. I believe with all my heart that from this day forth when you pray, you pray yourself out of your trouble. You have the confidence that God wants you out of trouble.
In fact, he invites you to pray every day, "Lord, let me not be brought into trouble, into affliction, into trials", amen? Yet there might be a few trials that God allows us to go through, but remember this. In 1 Peter 5, it says that after you have suffered, God made you perfect, amen? "After you have suffered a while, make you perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you". The God of all grace will do that, amen? Notice, "God of all grace will call you to his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered". When? After. He will make you perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. There's always an after.
If there's trouble, if God allows trouble to come, amen, even the devil, in fact, in this case it's the devil. You look at the context down there, it says, "The devil walking about like a roaring lion. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. Now, after you have suffered a while, the God of all grace will perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you", amen. Look out for that. In other words, our time of suffering is short, amen? The evil day is short. That's why it's day, singular. But the good days are plenteous. The good days are a lot, amen. The good days are numerous, amen. Believe God for that. There is an after. After a trial, be looking for the restoration.
So something greater is coming, something greater is coming, something greater is coming, amen? You never come out of your trial the same way you went in. It's almost like there's a restoration. There is a recompense because you went through that trial, amen. You know, I think that even during this time of COVID-19 virus, we are reaching out to more people than if we had gathered together in our physical church. We are reaching more people than we did back then.
And when I look at Joseph and Pharaoh in the time of famine, because right now we are in a time of famine, amen, even financial famine, as well as the famine of no answers, no medicine, no vaccine, and nothing yet at this present time. The virus is around. So in a time of trouble, I believe that Pharaoh, I can just see him resting on his bed one night and he said, "I thought this famine will devastate me, but through the wisdom of Joseph, it has enriched me". And you all know the story. Because of Joseph's wisdom, he actually enriched Pharaoh and Egypt during the time - not before, during the time of famine.
So, friend, we have a heavenly Joseph. During this time of COVID-19 virus, during this time of trouble, during this time of famine, let's look to our Heavenly Joseph, our Lord Jesus Christ, and ask him for wisdom, amen. You can profit. You can benefit during this time of famine, during this time of crisis, amen. And friend, when you go through this, you are coming out, all of us are coming out greater, stronger, perfect, established, amen. That's what God promises. Praise the name of Jesus. And the word perfect there is completeness, amen. So be expecting good in your future. Be expecting to see good days. You can pray for it, amen? Don't use your mouth for, "I think the worst is yet to come". No, no, no, say, "Good days are ahead of me. The best is yet to come", amen?
Let me pray for you. If you've never received Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord, I want to give you this opportunity right now, my friend. Christ died for our sins. Christ was raised from the dead when God declared us righteous, amen. So if you believe that Jesus Christ died for your sins, and you believe he bore all your sins away, made a clean sweep of it, and you believe that God raised him from the dead for our justification, pray this prayer with me right now, amen. 'Cause God hears only the prayer of the righteous, the Bible says, and we become righteous through Christ becoming our sin at the cross. Pray this prayer with me right now.
Heavenly Father, I thank you Christ died for my sins and Christ was raised from the dead when I was declared righteous. Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior, and I thank you, Father, that because you love me, Christ died for me, and he became my substitute, thus removing all my sins from your sight, removing all my sicknesses and diseases from your sight. Thank you, Father God. In Jesus's name, amen.
Friend, if you prayed that prayer, Christ is now in your life. The Holy Spirit has taken his dwelling now, has made his dwelling in your heart, and you are now a brand-new creation in God's eyes. Now, the reality is that you might experience sin still here and there, but in God's eyes sin has been removed from your life. Even sicknesses and diseases have been removed from your life. Learn to live in the reality of the new covenant. Keep on declaring, "I'm now a new creation in Christ. I'm a new creation". One translation says, "A new species that never before existed", amen. Well, God bless you all. And the rest of you, I wanna pray for you right now in Jesus's name, that in this coming week the Lord protect every one of you, you and your loved ones, from every danger, harm, accident, tragedy. See, I have the confidence to pray that, and I know it's God's will.
The Lord preserve you and your loved ones from the COVID-19 virus. The Lord protect you and your loved ones from all evil, in the name of the Lord Jesus. And the Lord bless you and your loved ones with his favor, with his health, with his prosperity, and with his blessings and shalom in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. And all the people said amen. Until we meet again, I am beholding you in the Spirit and praying for you.