BY PASTOR T.O.BANSO
“Because their shame was in double measure and contempt was the lot they inherited therefore in their land shall they inherit a double measure, everlasting joy shall be theirs” (Isa. 61:7 The Bible: An American Translation).
God is a good God. He is not unmindful of every problem we face in life. He is not uncaring about the challenges each person is confronting and the obstacles on everybody’s way.
The Scripture you’ve just read is God’s good news for the oppressed, the afflicted. It was a prophecy concerning the ministry of Jesus Christ. Jesus read a portion of Isaiah 61 that day when he entered the Synagogue and the scroll was given to him; as was his tradition, he read from Isaiah 61. “So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: ‘The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.’ Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, ‘Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing’” (Luke 4:16-21, NKJV). What Jesus read is a summary of his ministry.
Jesus’ mission on the earth was to undo everything that the devil had done. That included healing the brokenhearted, proclaiming liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, setting at liberty the oppressed and proclaiming the acceptable year of the LORD. And part of the resultant effect of his ministry shall be double fold prosperity in the land and everlasting joy.
I want to focus on that phrase everlasting joy. For every seemingly everlasting problem, God is promising us everlasting joy via the ministry of Jesus Christ which is continuing today on the earth through the church of Christ and his believers. You may be in a situation that your problem has persisted for long bringing double shame to you, the Word of God says everlasting joy is waiting for you. This means your joy will far surpass the pain you have gone through or you are going through. Your joy will last longer than the time you’ve spent in your trouble. So cheer up!
Isaiah 35:10 says, “And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away” (KJV). Did you see that phrase again? Everlasting Joy! God says your sorrow and sighing shall flee away and shall be replaced with songs and everlasting joy. That is God’s good news for the oppressed. God was not talking to the Children of Israel; He is talking to you too. God wants to reverse in your life every work of darkness that has stolen your joy; He wants to give you not just joy but everlasting joy. Hallelujah!
This wonderful promise of God is reiterated in Isaiah 51:11: “Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away” (KJV). God allowed this promise to be written a second time in case someone didn’t hear it the first time! The promise was repeated for emphasis not for lack of anything new to say. This same Word is for you today. It has come not one time but two times in nearly the same words. Hear it loud and clear: God will give you everlasting joy this season for the shame you have suffered in the past. “Instead of your shame you shall have double honor, And instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion. Therefore in their land they shall possess double; Everlasting joy shall be theirs” (Isa 61:7, NKJV). Everlasting joy shall be yours in Jesus’ name. God is promising you double honour that cancels shame; double honour that wipes away the memory of any humiliation you have suffered! That was exactly what God did for Job. “So the LORD blessed Job in the second half of his life even more than in the beginning. For now he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand teams of oxen, and one thousand female donkeys. He also gave Job seven more sons and three more daughters” (Job 42:12-13, NLT). God will do a similar thing in your life in Jesus’ name.
Get ready to rejoice this year. God will do in your life things that will cause you to experience unending joy. You’ve suffered loss, devastation, humiliation, desolation, failure in your business, career, marriage, academics, etc. but God is wiping away your tears and giving you prolonged joy. Isa 52:9 says, “Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the LORD hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem” (KJV). Your waste places – marriage, family, business, ministry, etc. are going to experience divine visitation that will give birth to everlasting joy. It will happen in your life this season in Jesus’ name. Everlasting problem will no longer be everlasting! It’s a lie of the devil. God is terminating their reign in your life this year in Jesus’ name. You’ll sing for joy and rejoice ever more.
God is not done yet regarding this promise. Hear what He is saying to you again: “But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying” (Isa 65:18-19, KJV). Hallelujah! Did you see that? God says He is about to create something for you this season just as He created laughter for Sarah. “And Sarah declared, ‘God has brought me laughter! All who hear about this will laugh with me. For who would have dreamed that I would ever have a baby? Yet I have given Abraham a son in his old age!’” (Gen 21:6-7, NLT). God will yet fill your mouth with laughter, and your lips with shouting (Job 8:21, ASV).
Your testimony shall be like that of the psalmist in Ps 126:3: “When the LORD brought back the captivity of Zion, We were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, And our tongue with singing. Then they said among the nations, ‘The LORD has done great things for them.’ The LORD has done great things for us, And we are glad” (NKJV). What the Lord will do for you this New Year will appear so unreal. It will sound unbelievable. But you had better believe it. It is the Lord’s doing and it will be marvelous in your eyes.
God wants to create a new thing in your life. And He says you should be glad and rejoice evermore in it. Rejoice evermore in what God wants to create; don’t mourn over the condition in which you are. Your condition, your status is about to change. Do you believe it? God says the voice of weeping and the voice of crying will be a thing of the past in your life. Child of God, aren’t you excited about that? God will turn your mourning to joy (Jer. 13:13). It doesn’t matter what the devil did in the past, God is saying in your life, marriage, home, business, etc, there shall be heard once again voice of joy. “Thus says the LORD: ‘Again there shall be heard in this place — of which you say, ‘It is desolate, without man and without beast’- in the cities of Judah, in the streets of Jerusalem that are desolate, without man and without inhabitant and without beast, the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voice of those who will say: ‘Praise the LORD of hosts, For the LORD is good, For His mercy endures forever’ – and of those who will bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD. For I will cause the captives of the land to return as at the first,’ says the LORD” (Jer 33:10-11, NKJV). You will experience this divine turnaround this year in Jesus’ name. Get ready for it. “Shout for joy, you barren women who bore no children. Break into cries of joy and gladness you who were never in labour” (Is. 54:1, Jerusalem Bible). Your life, marriage, business, career will no more be barren. You’ll be fruitful.
The Spirit of the Lord will accomplish it for you. It won’t fail. Everlasting joy is yours this season. Get ready to dance. The Lord will release everlasting joy upon your head. The mercy of the Lord will do it. (Amen)
If you’re not born again, a relationship with Jesus should be your first step into this everlasting joy. You need to be born again. How? By taking the following steps:*Admit you’re a sinner and you can’t save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Saviour and Lord. *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 to attend a Bible-believing, Bible-teaching church. There, you will be taught how to grow in the Lord and how to discover and fulfill God’s purpose for your life.
Kindly say this prayer now: “0 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 confess Jesus as my Savior and my Lord and surrender my life to him today. I invite Jesus into my heart today. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you Jesus for saving me and making me a child of God.”
I congratulate you if you have said that prayer sincerely. You are now a child of God. May the Lord make you a Cedar Christian. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I’ll be glad to hear from you.
T.O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523