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The Hope Of God For Believers

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I’ve been re-reading some familiar New Testament passages over the past couple of weeks, and I am not alone it seems, as the recent report in Christian Today showed a growing number of people turning to the Bible for comfort and guidance.

YouVersion, the popular Bible reading app, revealed that engagement with its reading plans during Holy Week was 54 per cent higher than last year, and whereas 26.4 million Bible Plan days were completed during Holy Week 2019, that figure has risen to a staggering 40.6 million this year.

Like most of us of course, I have my favourite bits. For example, I have found myself being drawn back to Luke’s well-known account of those two disillusioned disciples, one of whom may well have been Jesus’ uncle, making their way to a village called Emmaus.

I reckon we could sum up their feelings in one word: heartbroken. They had entertained such high hopes for Jesus, but they had been shattered in the most horrifying way by his brutal execution. All they had left were their precious memories and their faded dreams. But suddenly, everything changed. Jesus suddenly turned up. I’m tempted to suggest they encountered the original ‘dead man walking’!

I’ve been strolling down memory lane over these past few weeks too. One or two memories are a little embarrassing, such as the time I asked God to let Father Christmas bring me some presents even though it was still the middle of July. To be fair I was only seven at the time.

Then there was the earth-shattering afternoon when a nurse turned to my heavily pregnant wife and said, “Yep, there’s the second head.” Now that did come as a shock; the doctor had said nothing about twins. Until then, we all thought her dates were a little askew!

“Does it matter?” she asked. It most certainly did. We had both resigned our jobs and were about to spend the next three years ‘living by faith’ (i.e. with no guaranteed income) while I prepared for Baptist ministry. That had come as a complete shock too. Little did I realise that Jesus would ‘turn up’ at a small prayer meeting and turn a Bible reading into a personal challenge that would change my life.

Then there was the night I baptised a lady named Jo, only to have her sister approach me at the end of the service to tell me that she had been healed of her terrible arthritic pain. That came as a complete surprise too because no one had prayed for her!

And there was that unforgettable Friday morning when we received a request from some Christian friends in the former Yugoslavia. It was the height of the civil war and they told us that they desperately needed ambulances. Within hours of beginning to pray, we received an unexpected call from the West Glamorgan Health Authority informing us that they had four ambulances they no longer needed, so could we use them?

If I’m honest, I have to tell you that I’ve simply lost count of the number of times I’ve seen God meeting people’s material needs, including my own. I can truly say that He has taken care of us over the years, often in the most incredible ways.

My recent strolls down memory lane have been anything but depressing. However, they have been incredibly challenging too. I have been asking myself what “memory making moments” I will create during this critical moment in this world’s history.

The apostle Paul seems to hit the nail on the head when he says, “So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly but understand what the Lord wants you to do.”

Challenging, yes. But exciting too, because I’ve discovered that you never know what might happen when you have the Risen Jesus journeying with you.

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BIBLE STUDY

Coronavirus: Acknowledging the power And Creativity in The Word Of God Cures Coronavirus

INTRODUCTION

The spoken word of God is the thought of God in manifestation. In Greek Language it is called “Rhema”. Before God speaks a word, that word had always taken shape in his heart. In this lesson, we are going to study what the spoken word of God is all about.

What is the spoken word?

This is the thought of God in manifestation. The word of God first takes shape in the heart of God before it’s spoken. No wonder Mathew 12: 34 says ” Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks”

Before He spoke the non-existent world into existence, He first thought about it. The thought of God eventually became the spoken word. This word from the debth of His heart is Himself (John1:11).undefined

Every word that comes from God’s mouth has power and authority. In the same way, when we make a declaration or a confession, it is an expression of our faith. The Lord, through the prophet Isaiah, uses the example of rain. He said in the same way that it falls from the sky and waters the ground, so that seeds yield fruit for the one who sowed them and bread to the eater, so is the Word that comes from the mouth of God. It will not return to Him empty, but will accomplish everything He wants it to and will achieve the purpose for which He sent it. The Word of God is a messenger that cannot return until it has fulfilled His mission.

When you make a confession, it becomes a decree. You can confess your dreams. All you have to do is say what you believe and desire. As you confess it, you are activating the spiritual realm.

In the same way, if someone speaks a negative word, that word activates the demonic spiritual realm. This allows the demonic powers to follow you, so that everything you are saying comes to pass. On the other hand, if you declare the promises of God, you activate the angelic realm that will come to your aide so that you can reach everything you desire in your heart. Solomon said, “…you have been trapped by what you said, ensnared by the words of your mouth” (Proverbs 6:2). The sort of declarations you make will be reflected in your life, whether it is a positive word or a negative word. Decide to speak words that build you up and strengthen your faith in God.

“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

Isaiah 55:10-11

The nature of God’s spoken word

How would you describe the word of God? Various descriptions are offered in the Bible. The prophet Jeremiah, for instance, described it as both a fire and a hammer (Jer. 23:29). James described it as a mirror of the soul (James 1:25). Paul described it as a sharp two-edged sword that can pierce even to the dividing asunder of the soul and the spirit, discerning the thoughts and intents of the heart (Heb. 4:15). These descriptions are all poetic and memorable. But the Sweet Psalmist of Israel gives us a description of the word of God that is as thorough as it is poetic.The nature of Bible.

After describing the Book of Nature’s limited revelation of the Creator (Ps. 19:1-6), David begins to describe the more complete Book of Revelation, His word. In verses seven through nine, David offers three couplets of verse that define the word of God and it’s relationship to man.

The word of God is creative. The spoken word was the only tool used in the creation of the whole world. God’s word is not different from Him, Neither is any of them older than the other.

God’s word is creative. Review the following verses and see the implications of each concerning the creative power of God’s word.

Gen 1:3
3 Then God said,”Let there be light”; and there was light.

Col 1:16-18
16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.

John 1:1-4
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

Ps 33:6
6 By the word of the LORD the heavens were made,
And all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.

Ps 33:9
9 For He spoke, and it was done;
He commanded, and it stood fast.

Ps 148:1-5
Praise the LORD!

Praise the LORD from the heavens;
Praise Him in the heights!
2 Praise Him, all His angels;
Praise Him, all His hosts!
3 Praise Him, sun and moon;
Praise Him, all you stars of light!
4 Praise Him, you heavens of heavens,
And you waters above the heavens!

5 Let them praise the name of the LORD,
For He commanded and they were created.

Heb 1:2-3
2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; 3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

So we see that all things have been created by God’s word, Jesus is God’s word, and at a point in history, God’s word became flesh and came to live among us. The key thing to observe here is that God’s word is creative in nature. When God speaks, stuff happens – things come into existence.

Rom 4:17-18
17(as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed — God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did;

God himself is the word

God’s word is not different from God and neither of them is older than the other. God and His word are all from the beginning of days. undefined

I think most believers don’t view God’s word as being creatively powerfully in this way. Many believers hear the term “God’s word” and immediately think of scripture. The Bible certainly is the word of God, but the term “God’s word” refers to more than scripture. But even if we narrowly speak of God’s word in terms of scripture, do we really think of God’s word expressed through scripture as having creative power? I don’t think so. Not usually.

Let us evaluate the scriptures below to understand more.

But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one.        Icorrinthians 2:10-15
because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
 Romans 1: 19-25
Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. "If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him." Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us." Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, 'Show us the Father'? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. JOHN14:6-10

There, I urge you brethren, let us meditate on the word of God day and night. It is alive and active. With It we will overcome these tribulations. Amen

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BIBLE STUDY

Understanding The purpose Of Zion, The City Of Refuge, A Hiding Place Against The Enemy in This Pandemic

There is something unique in taking the word of God raw as it is, without any frills. Many times, our application of God’s words reflects verbosity, but the truth is that God’s word does not require any theological dressing or interpretation. It only requires raw application. It works when we apply it’s truth in our lives.undefined

Dieticians and nutritionists emphasize the value of eating most fruits and vegetables raw. They argue that taking them raw guarantees getting the best of of them in the terms of food value [nutrients]. It’s the same with God’s word. Anything Good says about your life, your marriage, your business, your health etc, is guaranteed as you believe it raw, without additions or subtractions.

We have seen so far, that God’s intention for us is that the wickedness that is in the world should not affect us. Now, we need to find out more about where to stand to have the word of God established in us. As the word gets unfolded to you, please swallow it raw, it is the word of God that gives life.

In Numbers 35: 9-15 and Joshua 20:1-6, God instructed the children of Israel to set aside some appointmented places known as the city of refuge. The essence of these cities was to provide a place of refuge for anyone who inadvertently killed someone and was being pursued by the avenger of blood.

But there is a city of refuge which is God, where you can run to for covering. As the end draws near, the wicked will do more wickedness but the city of refuge is your shield against the wickedness of the wicked. No city can be more secured than the city of refuge, because that is where God dwells.

So, where is this city of refuge? undefined

The city of refuge is called Zion, the assembling place of the children of God. God has respect for places, that’s why he said:

For the Lord hath chosen Zion, he hath desires it for his inhabitation. This is my rest forever: here I will dwell, for I have desired it.

psalm 132:13-14

Zion is the place ordained by God as the refuge for the oppressed; it is the place of appointment with God. That is where God takes time to relate with His people.

The Lord is telling me to tell you to keep personal appointments with Him in Zion, apart from regular church meetings. This provides a greater covering and guarantee against the wickedness the devil targets at you. He said:

He said: You must have greater respect for my holy habitation, where I have chosen to put my name, for your own coverage and refuge".

When Hanna stood before the Lord, it was not during regular service, it was during break! Others were feasting outside, but Hannah was keeping an appointment with the Lord. No wonder God heard her cry and delivered her.

Anywhere God’s people gather together in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, God has put his name there and it is Zion, His dwelling place. Everywhere you see people being drawn to God and are getting saved, healed, transfigured and blessed generally, that’s God’s habitation, and he is the one drawing people there.

Zion is not an ordinary geographical location. It is God’s inhabitation; even the city of refuge, where God keeps appointments with His people and guarantees them refuge from the wicked one. Jesus said in Mathew 11:28

Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

mathew11:28

If you are cheated, oppressed, robbed or deprived in any way, He said,”Come unto me and seek redress, come show me the avenger of blood that is after you and I will defend you”.

I urge you brethen, to keep appointments with God. Let there be a set apart alter for Him in your house and workplace. You will tell the difference. Jesus is still available for you.

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PRAYERS

Listen carefully, I have so much more to tell you -Jesus

Listen carefully I have so much to tell you – Jesus

All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. 

They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God.

 They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. 

I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them. I did not tell you this from the begtinning because I was with you. John 16:1-4(NIV)

Our Lord Jesus Christ didn’t leave us his children under any illusion about the consequences of following him. He urged us to be prepared for what is ahead of us

Are you prepared?

Jesus didn’t call us out to keep us stranded. He knew what we are going to face in these stormy times, He knew that churches would be under lock down

Jesus earlier told us in John 14:20-24, when he met the Samaritan woman at the well. You could remember that.

 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”

21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.

 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 

23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 

24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

My question is, my dear brethren, are you a true worshiper or you believe in church going?

Jesus reveals the cure of this situation/pandemic

but now I am going to him who sent me. None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’

 Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things.

 But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.

 When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 

about sin, because people do not believe in me; 

10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 

11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.

12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear.

 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 

15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

Jesus itemizes the holy spirit’s ministry in the life of the believerd. Meditate on them again.

How does this impact our lives?

Joy after sadness

16 Jesus went on to say, “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.”

17 At this, some of his disciples said to one another, “What does he mean by saying, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me,’ and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?” 

18 They kept asking, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand what he is saying.”

19 Jesus saw that they wanted to ask him about this, so he said to them, “Are you asking one another what I meant when I said, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me’?

 20 Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. 

21 A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. 

22 So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.

 23 In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.

 24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.(John 16:16-24)

And then after a little while, sorrow will turn to overwhelming Joy to the children of God while the world celebrate their victory, but the believers brief, temporary sorrow will turn into Joy.

In similar way, we are in anguish and suffering today as we continue to await Christ’s return and deliverance from this evil age.

Paul also describes it as a light momentary affliction preparing us for an external weight of glory beyond all comparison. (2 Corinthians 4:12)

So, let us fix our eyes and thoughts on the return of Jesus Christ.

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Benny Hinn Cries: ‘I Was Forced And Pressured Into This’ (Video)

I want to be a true disciple of the Lord, I want to deny myself, carry my cross and follow Him, whatever the cost, whatever it takes, before I’m gone, and truly preach the gospel. I want to preach the cross again.

Benny Hinn
In a recent interview with his Son-in-law Michael Koulianos, Pastor Benny Hinn shared from his heart, things he has never publicly shared.

Recall that earlier this month, the world woke up in shock as the healing evangelist renounced the prosperity gospel, announcing he was quitting prosperity preaching because the Holy Spirit was fed up with it.

“I think it’s time we say it as it is; the Gospel is not for sale, the blessings of God are not for sale and miracles are not for sale, and prosperity is not for sale,” – Pastor Benny Hinn.

In this recent interview, he shares;

“I don’t like it anymore, the word prosperity, because when you say the word prosperity, people start thinking negative about the word. I would rather say the blessings of the Lord. does God want to bless us? yes; does He want us to succeed in live, yes, of cause, He promised to meet our needs, that’s in the scripture, but when I hear a man today saying, sow this amount and claim the promise of God, it’s not in the bible. it’s not because you cannot put a price on the promise of God, that grieves the Holy Spirit, it’s an offense to the Lord.”

“When messages are preached today in some places, they abuse the truth of the message, they focus on what am I getting back, not what am I doing for the Lord I love.“

“I believe in giving, you can not love Jesus and not be a giver, because love is giving and giving is loving.”

“I said those same things, because of pressure, I was trapped. I went to a certain place not long ago, I ministered and people where healed and blessed, and the man who had me forced me into a position that I hated being in. When I went I said, this is not me anymore, I don’t want this, because they trap you into a position you don’t want to be in. Then I said, it’s time for me to tell the world, but I don’t think many would listen. This is a soul matter, this is my heart, I don’t want to grieve the Holy Spirit anymore. And I said Lord, I’ve grieved you a lot in my past, I don’t want to grieve you anymore.”

“I want to be a true disciple of the Lord, I want to deny myself, carry my cross and follow Him, whatever the cost, whatever it takes, before I’m gone, and truly preach the gospel. I want to preach the cross again.”

“Some of the miniters are not happy with me, it doesn’t move me at all, I only want one person (God) to be happy with me. I’m never going to go back, never, ever.“

“And I told my staff, you can’t put anything in the mail that I don’t believe anymore”.

Pastor Benny Hinn shares from the heart things he has never publicly shared. The Full Video below:

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PRAYERS

Coronavirus: Paul’s Secret Spiritual Warfare Weapon(how to win any pandemic)

Paul’s Secret Spiritual Warfare Weapon


Spiritual warfare is a way of life for me. I am careful to put my armor on, stay alert to the spirit realm, and walk as close to the Holy Spirit as I possibly can. Still, there are seasons where the battle rages and I grow weary. There are times when I need reinforcements in the face of surging enemies that are intent on killing me, stealing what is rightfully mine and destroying my family and ministry.

Although I’ve long understood the need for intercessors, an email from a general in the faith this week—and an expert in spiritual warfare—reminded me of just how important prayer partners are. After asking about the warfare against me after my book, Jezebel’s Puppets

The email read:
“With the undoing of moral restraint in our nation and the intimidating nature of Jezebel against those who speak against it, I was wondering how you were doing. … I know a few folks who have taken a strong public stand against this spirit who subsequently experienced some added battle. I just wanted to make sure you have folks praying for you. … The biggest factor is to have intercessors who can pray for you regularly and also spontaneously. Part of the Ephesians 6 dress code is where Paul adds, ‘And pray for me.’ He knew all the mechanics of warfare, but he also knew he personally needed prayer.”

A Revelation of Reinforcements
Let’s look at these Scriptures first hand. Paul exhorted the church at Ephesus—and really all believers—to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

“Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Eph. 6:11)

That’s where many spiritual warriors stop. But it’s not where Paul the apostle stopped. He had another weapon against the wiles of the wicked one. And he had reinforcements that were making intercession for him from Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the Earth. He didn’t just hope they might pray when the Holy Spirit brought him to mind—he petitioned for their prayers.

Prayer Against Spiritual Warfare
Once we get past the whole armor of God and personal prayer challenge, we see Paul the apostle reaching out for spiritual warriors to join his intercessory prayer team: “Pray for me, that the power to speak may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may speak boldly as I ought to speak.” (Eph. 6:19)

Paul asked for prayer for God to provide an opportunity to speak, be heard and spread the gospel message clearly (Col. 4:3-4); that people would accept his message and believers would accept his God-given wisdom (2 Thess. 3:1-2); for deliverance from the Jews (Rom. 15:30); for deliverance from challenging circumstances and prison (2 Cor. 1:11; Phil. 1:19, Philemon 1:22); that he could see in person those to whom he was writing (Rom. 1:8; 1 Thess. 3:10).

Final Words: Spiritual Warfare
Of course, we know that Paul returned the favor and prayed for his spiritual sons, co-laborers, churches and even his enemies. Prayer is a partnership. You need prayer, your family needs prayer—and the leaders in the body who are out there fighting devils, equipping the saints for the work of the ministry, and preaching the gospel need your prayers. I need your prayers. So I ask, as Paul did, pray for me.

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Coronavirus: ‘We Do Not Grieve Like Those Who Have No Hope,’ Mike Pence Says



Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday said the faith of millions of Americans during the Easter season is a source of hope amidst an uptick in the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths.

Pence made the remarks during the daily briefing from President Trump and the Coronavirus Task Force.

Faith Is More Powerful Than Government And Nothing Is More Powerful Than God – Trump

“In the wake of more than 1.9 million tests, we see more than 400,000 Americans have tested positive for the coronavirus, and sadly, we’ve lost more than 14,000,” Pence said. “We grieve. But as the Good Book says, we do not grieve like those who have no hope. In this very special week, I know that the faith of millions of Americans is a comfort to them.”

Trump, too, referenced the Easter holiday.

“This is a holy week, when religious believers across the nation will observe Passover, Good Friday and Easter,” Trump said. “Millions of Jewish families begin Passover at sundown tonight, a sacred, unbroken tradition that traces back to the ancient land of Egypt. And on Sunday, we celebrate our beautiful, wonderful Easter, which we all look forward to. And we’re going to have many Easters together in churches in the future.”

America, he said, is “getting much closer” to defeating the virus and “getting our country back to the way it was.”

Trump and Pence spoke to about 10,000 religious leaders Wednesday in an off-the-record conference call “to thank them for raising the spirits of our people during these very difficult days,” Trump said.

“While we may be physically apart, we can use this time to pray, to reflect, and to focus on our personal relationship with God,” Trump said.

Although a transcript of the conference call was not released, NBC News reported that Trump told the religious leaders, “We’re going to beat this plague.”

“We’re going to beat this virus and we’re going to beat it soon,” Trump said. “We’re going to get our country back.”

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PRAYERS Uncategorized

What Nehemiah Teaches about Rebuilding after a Disaster Like COVID-19

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With the panic surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, we may wonder what society and the world will look like when this crisis ends. Small businesses fear that they may not be able to recover from minimal sales these past few months, people have been laid off from jobs, and schools have converted from in-person classroom settings to online.

Can we rebuild? What does that look like? How long will it take to recover?

We may have asked ourselves these questions as we watch the numbers on the news continue to rise. As the Bible has no specific guidelines on a pandemic like this, how do we look forward to the future?

But does the Bible have examples of people rebuilding after a disaster? Most definitely. As we take a look at a man named Nehemiah, who returned to Israel after a 70-year captivity took place in Babylon, we learn what rebuilding after a horrific event looks like.

Nehemiah helps to rebuild Jerusalem’s walls and city and Israel flourishes until Alexander the Great pops onto the scene, writes the Embassy of Israel.

Let’s dive into what Nehemiah can teach us about rebuilding after a disaster.

How Bad Was the Damage to Jerusalem?
Nehemiah may not have faced a pandemic, but when the Babylonians laid siege to Jerusalem, they left Israel destitute and without hope.

Not only did the Babylonians take the best of the best (Daniel 1), leaving only the poor and frail behind, but according to accounts in the Bible and Josephus, the Babylonians set fire to Jerusalem.

This means, when Nehemiah returns, he has to start from square one. They’ve burned the buildings, the stones, the foundations (Nehemiah 4:2), and it looks bleak. To top it all off, Israel’s enemies aren’t too keen about their return, and continually taunt and threaten Nehemiah, to prevent him from completing his project.

In essence, the situation looked bleak – much like our own disaster may now seem. Nevertheless, Nehemiah trusts in the Lord and proceeds with rebuilding Jerusalem. We can learn a great deal from when he chooses to do so.

It Takes Time to Rebuild
Although Nehemiah does remark at the surprising speed God allows them to rebuild once he arrives in Jerusalem, it takes a lot of time to get to that point. Ezra, another returning exile, returns with families into Jerusalem in 457 BC, and Nehemiah doesn’t start building until 444 BC, according to this timeline from BibleHub. That means 13 whole years pass before they begin repairs.undefined

To those exiles who arrived in 457, they may have experienced a great deal of sorrow and loss. The city they once knew, or had heard about from their parents during the Babylonian exile, has been reduced to almost nothing.

Nevertheless, once they begin to rebuild, they complete the wall before the year expires, and Ezra reads the law for the people, reminding them of God’s goodness and promises. When all seems most hopeless, God allows the people to rebuild and they flourish for about one hundred years.

Enemies Will Try to Deter the Rebuilding Process
Israel, throughout its history, has accumulated a number of enemies. And when the Israelites return from the Babylonian exile, they walk right into a group of foes who do not want to see the city rebuilt.

Sanballat, the governor of Samaria, and other Ammonites and Horonites, are less than pleased when they hear that the Israelites have begun to rebuild the wall (Nehemiah 4).

He first resorts to taunting.

As much as we hate taunting now, like when someone insults us online or in the workplace, taunting during Nehemiah’s time packed a whole different kind of punch. He prays that God handle the situation, and that his enemies will have their insults fall on their own heads. Then he goes back to work.

When Sanballat sees that they’re actually succeeding in rebuilding, he fights against the Israelites. They have to station guards outside the city to block his attacks (Nehemiah 4:9).

Sanballat also attempts to lure Nehemiah out of the city to do him harm, but Nehemiah pointedly sends Sanballat’s messenger back each time.

In the end, Jerusalem rebuilds, in spite of enemy opposition. Whatever God has brought together, no man can separate (Mark 10:9), and that certainly rang true for Nehemiah. In the same way, Satan likes to tear apart what God is healing or rebuilding. When God restores something, expect the devil to make an attempt to deter progress.

Healing Can be Painful
One particular passage really stands out in Nehemiah’s narrative: when Ezra reads the law for the people in Nehemiah 8. Most people, when he does so, react by crying bitter tears (Nehemiah 8:9).

They’ve realized in this moment how much they’ve lost. Perhaps they thought about all the family members who perished in Babylon and never got to see the rebuilt city. Or maybe they wondered if the Babylonian captivity would have never taken place if they’d listened more carefully to the law Ezra is reading now.

In either case, even though they’ve rebuilt, they realize how much they’ve healed from, how long those decades in Babylon felt. And this evokes an emotional reaction. In the same way, when we heal from a disaster, the process involves a lot of pain, a lot of mulling over emotions and memories we don’t want to unwrap.

Nevertheless, God restores us, even amidst the pain. There are times for mourning and celebration (Ecclesiastes 3), and sometimes those seasons can intermingle.

Why Does This Matter?
We’ve been told that the Bible doesn’t answer every problem. It seems to remain silent on issues like social media, dating, and COVID-19, since none of those three existed during the historical timeline of the Old or New Testament. But that doesn’t mean the Bible doesn’t have examples of godly people experiencing disasters, and how they coped and rebuilt from those.

Part of the reason why I wrote a modern-day Daniel set in a high school was because I saw how Daniel related to issues that teens experience now, and how his standing up for his beliefs plays an important role in how teens tackle difficult issues today.

The Bible is described as living and active (Hebrews 4:12). That means that no matter when the writer penned that particular book of the Bible, it can have relevance on our lives. So when we face rebuilding from a disaster, we can turn to Scripture for examples, for encouragement, and most importantly, for healing.