BY PASTOR T. O. BANSO
“Soon afterward Jesus went with his disciples to the village of Nain, and a large crowd followed him. A funeral procession was coming out as he approached the village gate. The young man who had died was a widow’s only son, and a large crowd from the village was with her. When the Lord saw her, his heart overflowed with compassion. ‘Don’t cry!’ he said. Then he walked over to the coffin and touched it, and the bearers stopped. ‘Young man,’ he said, ‘I tell you, get up.’ Then the dead boy sat up and began to talk! And Jesus gave him back to his mother. Great fear swept the crowd, and they praised God, saying, ‘A mighty prophet has risen among us,’ and ‘God has visited his people today.’ And the news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding countryside” (Luke 7:11-17 New Living Translation).
The Lord has sent this message to only those expecting a divine turnaround in their lives – those who are trusting God for a visitation that will result in something positively different from their usual experience. No matter what has been your negative experience before now, God will visit you this season sooner than you expect, and cause a turnaround that will favour you.
In the Bible passage above, the widow of Nain had been dealt a heavy blow. She had lost her only son. She was going to bury him when Jesus intercepted the funeral procession. This season, Jesus will intercept you for a divine turnaround.
Each time I read this story, I always remark that the devil is a bad devil! Yes, a bad devil (just to qualify the devil not because there is a good devil). Before the death of this woman’s son, the devil had killed his father – the husband of the woman. It must have been a painful loss to the woman and the son if he was old enough at the time to feel the impact of his father’s death.
As if the devil was not satisfied, he came for the son, too. How devilish the devil could be! If you give the devil an inch, he will take a mile. Why should he kill the only son of a widow? Because the devil knew that would be more painful. A woman with five sons suffering the death of one would not feel the pain the same way a widow with only one son, losing him, would feel it.
The devil is a bad devil! Never give him any room at all to operate in your life. Do not say it is an ordinary headache. If he steals something small from you and you tolerate him, he will come to steal something big. If you allow him to enter your house, you will require more effort to get him out! Always deny him access from the gate; keep him far away from your abode.
The devil killed both the father and the son, leaving this woman with nothing. With the death of her husband, she must have taken solace in the fact that she still had a son to give her joy. However, the devil struck a second time to steal what she had left. That is similar to what the devil did to Naomi in the book of Ruth. “Then Elimelech died, and Naomi was left with her two sons. The two sons married Moabite women. One married a woman named Orpah, and the other a woman named Ruth. But about ten years later, both Mahlon and Kilion died. This left Naomi alone, without her two sons or her husband” (Ruth 1:3-5 New Living Translation).
The devil killed Naomi’s husband; years later, she lost her two sons and was left with two childless daughters-in-law. If these daughters-in-law had gotten children or had been pregnant before their husbands died, that would have mitigated Naomi’s pains. The devil was so wicked that he prevented them from having children, which they would have taken solace in. But, in the end, God turned around the hopelessness of Naomi
Timely interception; divine intervention
Back to the widow of Nain. The funeral procession was coming and Jesus met the procession at the village gate. What a coincidence! But it was not really a coincidence. It was divinely orchestrated. God knew the devil would kill this young man, and thus provided a way of escape for this widow. The father of the fatherless and the husband of the widows showed up in defence of this widow in the nick of time. The Lord will show up in your case in the name of Jesus. God is not a late-comer; He will intervene in your situation and turn your life around.
A large crowd was with this woman. Who knows whether those who killed the widow’s son and the husband were even in this procession! Yes, they could be there – terrible things happen in the village! That explains why in some societies, many people run away from their villages and places of birth. Even when they go on visits, they sneak in and out for fear of spiritual attacks! It is only Jesus that can deliver you from the fear of such attacks if that describes your present condition. And He will surely deliver you if you entrust your life to Him today.
The Bible says when Jesus saw this woman, His heart overflowed with compassion and He said, “Don’t cry!” But what else should the woman be doing if not weeping? Ordinarily, anyone asking her not to weep or cry must either be ignorant of what had happened to her or was callous. The other possibility was that the person must have a solution to her problem. And the third option applied to Jesus Christ – He had a solution to the problem of the woman. He had compassion on her, not just showing concern or sympathy like humans often do, without being of any significant help. Whatever your condition is now, God will have compassion on you and turn around your life, your marriage, your business, your career, etc., in the name of Jesus.
Jesus’ compassion moved Him to touch the coffin and the bearers stopped. Jesus commanded the woman’s dead son to get up as if he were sleeping and could hear Him if he shouted loud enough. He spoke to the dead young man as if he were alive. And the Bible says the dead boy sat up and began to talk and He gave him back to his mother. And what was the reaction of the people? “Great fear swept the crowd, and they praised God, saying, ‘A mighty prophet has risen among us,’ and ‘God has visited his people today.’ And the news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding countryside” (Luke 7:16-17 New Living Translation).
Receive back what you have lost
Jesus brought a turnaround into the life of this widow. The Bible says in verse 15, “And Jesus gave him back to his mother.” This season, Jesus will give back to you that which you have lost. He will give back to you that over which you have lost hope. He will bring back to you that which you consider dead and is about to be buried. Even if it is already buried like Lazarus, who had been buried for four days and was already stinking, the Lord will restore it to you. “Jesus was still angry as he arrived at the tomb, a cave with a stone rolled across its entrance. ‘Roll the stone aside,’ Jesus told them. But Martha, the dead man’s sister, protested, ‘Lord, he has been dead for four days. The smell will be terrible.’ Jesus responded, ‘Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?’ So they rolled the stone aside. Then Jesus looked up to heaven and said, ‘Father, thank you for hearing me. You always hear me, but I said it out loud for the sake of all these people standing here, so that they will believe you sent me.’ Then Jesus shouted, ‘Lazarus, come out!’ And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound in graveclothes, his face wrapped in a headcloth. Jesus told them, ‘Unwrap him and let him go!’” (John 11:38-44 New Living Translation).
If Lazarus, buried for four days, could experience a turnaround, it is not yet over for you! He was already emitting a foul odour! His sister, Martha, confirmed that, yet Jesus restored him to life. By the power that is in the name of the Lord Jesus, I declare that it is not over for you! Receive back what you have lost. Receive your restoration. As the angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone at the door of the grave of Jesus, and sat on it, so shall every barrier against your progress and fulfillment of your destiny be rolled away in Jesus’ name. I declare that every good thing that has died in your life will come back to life in Jesus’ name.
It was not only the dead son of the widow of Nain that people had given up on. It was not even only Lazarus. Even Jesus Christ, after he died, the enemy thought it was over for Him,. After all, Jesus had said on the cross, “It is finished.” Maybe the devil and the human enemies of Jesus thought He said, “I am finished!” They must have had a hearing problem!
Pilate released his corpse to Joseph of Arimathea to bury. He, together with Nicodemus, buried Jesus and rolled a big stone against the entrance of the tomb to secure it as it was the custom (John 19:38-42). However, at the request of the leading priests and the Pharisees, Pilate approved that Jesus’ tomb be sealed and guards be posted there. This, according to the leading priests and the Pharisees, was to prevent His body from being stolen by His disciples, who would then lie that He had resurrected, as Jesus had said prior to His death (Matthew 27:62-66). What a feeble plot by these religious leaders against their Saviour! But God, who sits in the heavens, must have laughed at them (Psalm 2:4).
So after the burial of Jesus, His enemies concluded it was over for Him. But they were wrong! Jesus rose from the dead by the power of God. Death could not hold Him captive. He experienced an unprecedented turnaround, the firstborn of the dead! “Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it. His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint” (Matthew 28:2-4 New Living Translation). What a turnaround!
Any satanic seal on your life is destroyed in Jesus’ name. Every demon that is monitoring and supervising your life is bound in Jesus’ name. As it happened to those guards posted to guard the grave of Jesus, so shall it happen to all the human agents who will not let you go. If they do not repent, they shall be shaken by the power of God; they shall be afraid and fall into a dead faint in Jesus’ name.
This is your time
It does not matter how long you have been wallowing in your problem. This season shall be your turnaround. You will come out of your ‘grave’ in the name of Jesus. The woman with the issue of blood was in a mess for twelve years, but one day she experienced her turnaround (Matthew 9:20-22). I see the Lord turn around your life, your home, your business, your career as you touch Him by faith just as this woman did.
By the mercy of the Lord, Jesus healed that man by the pool of Bethesda after thirty-eight years in his affliction. I’m not sure your problem is up to thirty-eight years, but even if it is, Jesus will give you a turnaround this season. “One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, ‘Would you like to get well?’ ‘I can’t, sir,’ the sick man said, ‘for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.’ Jesus told him, ‘Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!’ Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking! But this miracle happened on the Sabbath” (John 5:5-9 New Living Translation). Without anyone to help this sick man, Jesus gave him a turnaround. Jesus is all you need, and He is coming your way right now. You will not miss your turnaround in Jesus’ name.
Do I need to mention the case of that crippled woman, bound by the devil for eighteen years? (Luke 13:11-17). She was bent and could not lift her head for eighteen years! Just try to bend down for eighteen seconds and see how enjoyable it is! This woman was in that awkward position not for eighteen seconds. Not for eighteen minutes. Not for eighteen hours. Not for eighteen days. Not for eighteen weeks. Not even for eighteen months. She was bent for eighteen years. When all hopes were already lost, Jesus gave her a turnaround. Jesus will give you your own turnaround. Glory to God!
Have faith in God
All you must do is believe. Jesus said, “Anything is possible if a person believes” (Mark 9:23 New Living Translation). In Mark 11:22-24, Jesus said, “Have faith in God. I assure you that you can say to this mountain, ‘May God lift you up and throw you into the sea,’ and your command will be obeyed. All that’s required is that you really believe and do not doubt in your heart. Listen to me! You can pray for anything, and if you believe, you will have it” (New Living Translation). Did you see that again? Jesus is telling you now to have faith in God, make your request in faith, and not doubt. He adds in verse 25 that you should forgive anyone you have a grudge against. If you can do that, you will surely experience your turnaround in Jesus’ name.
Conclusion: I pray for you in the name of Jesus, receive that turnaround in your life, marriage, family, business, career, etc. in the name of Jesus. Just have faith in God, doubt not, forgive, and patiently wait for your miracle! You shall testify.
But in case you are not yet born again, the first turnaround you need is to give your life to Jesus. It is the best thing that can happen to you and should happen to you now.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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