Even during times of challenges and uncertainty, during times of adversity and darkness; we must praise the Lord with thanksgiving and worship, for He is our God of compassion and loving-kindness. He is Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour; always faithful, our ever-present help in times of trouble. He is our God of Victory and Glory, our Healer and Deliverer, our God of Salvation who is worthy of all praises and worship.
In Psalms 34:14-22, David called upon us and declared the goodness of God:
“Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. What man is there who desires life and loves many days, that he may see good? Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit. Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry. The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth. When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to the broken-hearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken. Affliction will slay the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be condemned. The LORD redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.”
In my prayer, the Lord spoke to me loud and clear through Isaiah 61:1-11, where the prophet declared that we are entering a Year of the Lord’s favour – a year in which God brings gospel mercy, deliverance of His people and judgement on all who oppose Him, especially the enemies of His church.
In Luke 4:16-21, Jesus spoke of the initial fulfilment of this promise, referring it to His ministry of providing salvation to the spiritually oppressed:
“And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
Beloved, we need to get ourselves ready for a time when God will pour out the Holy Spirit upon all God-fearing people, all faithful children of God. It will be a year of God’s favour and harvest for them. We will enter a time of healing:- body, mind, soul and spirit! It will be a time of revelation, deliverance, renewal, rebuilding, restoration and anointing. We are entering a time of great harvest in the Lord – a time of redemption when lost souls will be saved; they will be set free from captivity by the power of the Holy Spirit; says the Lord. It will be a time when the righteousness and holiness of our just and sovereign God will be upheld!
Let us pray in agreement that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is above all other names, will be magnified and that He will be glorified! Amen!
How can we be assured of God’s favour and blessings?
- We need to get ourselves right with God and worship Him alone.
- We need to earnestly seek God and search our souls.
- We need to seek forgiveness and to forgive.
- We need to turn away from all evil, all unrighteous and ungodly practices in our lives.
- We need to resist all temptations of the evil one and rebuke him.
- We need to ”seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all things shall be added unto us,” says the Lord (Matthew 6:33).
Brothers and sisters in Christ – Let no calamity, no adversity, no persecution, no poverty, no trial of any kind, prevent us from trusting God and laying down our burden and concerns at the feet of Jesus. The Lord says in Matthew 11:28-30,
“Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
We need to be obedient to Him and persevere in unwavering faith, regardless of our circumstances and issues. As Isaiah 1:19 says: “If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land.”
And as Proverbs 3:25-26 also says, “Do not be afraid of sudden terror or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes, for the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.”
The purpose of God’s consolation of mourners after centuries of suffering is to glorify Himself! It is God’s plan to re-build Israel, and in this, He is also referring to us, His church. Remember, it is God’s plan to turn Israel into a kingdom of priests when Christ establishes His kingdom. The Apostle Peter says of us in First Peter 2:9, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.”
God has a great plan for all believers and it is His will to grant us, His covenant people, great blessings; for Isaiah 40:1-2 reads, “Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins.”
Let us honour God with steadfast love and stand on His promises as we are called to be witnesses of His great love – to take the gospel to all nations so that many will receive salvation. With the help of the Holy Spirit, this can be accomplished; for nothing is impossible with God. Jesus says so in John 14:12,
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.”
To God, be the honour, power and glory forever and ever!