These are notes on the sermon, Present Help In Times Of Trouble, preached by Pastor Joseph Prince on Sunday, 1 September 2019, at The Star Performing Arts Centre, Singapore. We hope these sermon notes will be an encouragement to you!
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Pastor Prince opens the service by sharing that the church has been receiving an increase in healing testimonies.
He shares a testimony about a man whose dad was miraculously healed of symptoms of prostate cancer.
It is important to listen to the Word of God when you are going through a night season or trial.
When you partake of the holy Communion, sometimes instant healing takes place, but most times, we find gradual healing taking place.
God uses this period to grow our faith, and deals with the fears, worries, and anxieties that grip our hearts.
God’s way is to heal your "inside," then heal your "outside."
His desire is for us to prosper in all things, even as our soul prospers (see 3 John 1:2).
Many times, fearful thoughts torment us, which is why the Lord wants to deal with those fears.
Even if you have to partake of the holy Communion while harboring fearful thoughts, just partake, and you will see fear fade away.
In Zechariah, God has a word for His people.
“Return to the stronghold,
You prisoners of hope.
Even today I declare
That I will restore double to you.”
—Zechariah 9:12 NKJV
“prisoners of hope” — God calls us prisoners of hope. Once, we were all prisoners of hopelessness.
Hopelessness can come in the form of dark thoughts that invade your mind, causing sleepless nights and fear of the future.
Whether you have been given a bad diagnosis by the doctor, facing a challenge with your children, struggling in your marriage, or dealing with difficult situations at work—see yourself with the answer.
What is that answer? That there is a bright future that lies ahead of you.
For the world, they hope without God, and many times, their hopes are dashed. However, our faith is found in the unseen, the substance of things hoped for (see Heb. 11:1).
We have faith for it because our hope is based on Jesus’ shed blood, giving us a solid foundation to believe for an overcoming, abundant, and glorious life.
What does hope look like? If you’re sick, hope is envisioning your body healthy and whole. Hope is partaking of the holy Communion and trusting that you are getting stronger, even while the symptoms are still in your body.
“I will restore double to you” — Whatever you have lost, God promises to restore to you double, be it quantity or quality.
God does not restore to you double because you deserve it, but because the blood of Jesus has been shed at the cross! Holy, righteous and divine blood had to be shed to wash away our sins. Without the shedding of blood, we would not qualify for any of His blessings.
“As for you also,
Because of the blood of your covenant,
I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit.”
—Zechariah 9:11 NKJV
“the blood of your covenant” — Because of the blood, we have been set free!
Before we were saved, we were chained to negative thoughts. Now, we are hopelessly, irreversibly saved in a prison of hope!
We can have this hope because Jesus took the stripes on His back, took our infirmities and bore our diseases (see Isa. 53:5).
There is no reason for us to bear our sickness and diseases, for Jesus has already borne it all.
Picture a parent whose child is sick and in pain—the parent’s love for their child is so great that they would take their child’s pain upon themselves if they could. That’s what Jesus did. He took our sicknesses and pains for us at the cross.
Once, we were prisoners of sin. Whatever good we did could not change the fact that we were still sinners. Now, because of Jesus’ sacrifice that has made us righteous, no matter what wrong we do, we are righteous in God’s eyes and a prisoner of hope!
Sin is wrong. The more we know how irreversibly righteous Jesus has made us, the more sin will have no dominion over us, the more we will break free from sinful habits, and the more we will reign in life (see Rom. 5:20, 6:14).
Trials are inevitable in this life, but know that you are going through them and will come out the other side.
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”
—Psalm 23:4 NKJV
“walk through the valley” — you may be in a dark valley right now, but you are walking through it, and you are not alone.
As you journey through the valley, get into the habit of meditating on God’s Word.
When you meditate, muse over each word in the verse. See yourself in the passage and allow the Lord to reveal Himself to you personally.
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.”
— Psalms 23:5 NKJV
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies” — You can see this table as the Lord’s Supper, the holy Communion.
Beloved, the Lord does not prepare the table for you in the absence of your enemies, but in the presence of them! Whether it is depression, addiction, or cancer—He prepares a table in the presence of your enemies.
In the natural, you might be preparing the elements of the Communion, but see the Lord bringing them to you.
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
—Psalms 23:6 NKJV
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me” — The “follow” in Hebrew means “hunt.” Goodness and mercy will hunt you down!
“I will give her vineyards from there,
And the Valley of Achor (trouble) as a door of hope;
She shall sing there;
As in the days of her youth,
As in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.”
— Hosea 2:15 NKJV
“Valley of Achor” — the word “Achor” means “trouble” in Hebrew.
Notice that this door of hope isn’t found on the mountain tops; it’s found in the valley.
In your valley of trouble, God has put a door of hope. When you are going through trials, look for this door.
How do you find it and open it?
You open the door by hoping for the best. Don’t listen to all the naysayers. Don’t listen to voices that tell you your situation is dead.
Hear Jesus saying to you, “Don’t be afraid.”
Don’t allow the pessimistic words of others to weigh you down. Hold on to God's Word in your life!
In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus went through His valley moment.
“And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”
—Luke 22:44 NKJV
The word “agony” in Greek is “agonia”, which typifies intense emotional or mental exercise.
“blood falling to the ground” — when Jesus’ blood fell to the ground, He redeemed us from the curse that fell on man in the garden of Eden (see Gen. 3:17–19):
“Cursed is the ground” — When Jesus' blood fell to the ground, He redeemed the ground for us. Now everywhere you walk is blessed!
“Thorns and thistles it will bring forth” — When Jesus bore our crown of thorns, He bore our mental oppression.
Pastor Prince explains the scientific reason behind Jesus’ blood sweat: hematidrosis. This causes people to sweat blood under extreme pressure.
In the garden before Jesus was captured by the soldiers, the thought of having to take on our sin on the cross was so terrible, it agonized Him to the point He sweat blood.
“By the sweat of your face you will eat bread” — When Jesus sweat blood, He redeemed and brought us out of mental oppression and stress. We don't need to worry and go through toilsome labor to see good fruits in our lives!
Pastor Prince shares from the story of Israel’s battle against the king of Syria, Ben-hadad.
“Now Ben-hadad king of Aram gathered all his army, and there were thirty-two kings with him, and horses and chariots. And he went up and besieged Samaria and fought against it.”
— 1 Kings 20:1 NASB
Israel was outnumbered, outgunned, and outmanned.
“Then he sent messengers to the city to Ahab king of Israel and said to him, “Thus says Ben-hadad, ‘Your silver and your gold are mine; your most beautiful wives and children are also mine.’”
—1 Kings 20:2–3 NASB
Ben-hadad is a picture of the devil, who taunts us with fearful thoughts. He comes to you and says, "Your health is mine. Your children growing up in this morally corrupt world are mine. Your marriage is mine. Your money is mine."
When this happens, God sends help.
God always sends help in times of need, and in this battle between Israel and Ben-hadad, He sent a prophet.
“Now behold, a prophet approached Ahab king of Israel and said, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Have you seen all this great multitude? Behold, I will deliver them into your hand today, and you shall know that I am the Lord.’” Ahab said, “By whom?” So he said, “Thus says the Lord, ‘By the young men of the rulers of the provinces.’” Then he said, “Who shall begin the battle?” And he answered, “You”. Then he mustered the young men of the rulers of the provinces, and there were 232; and after them he mustered all the people, even all the sons of Israel, 7,000.”
—1 Kings 20:13–15 NASB
“by the young men of the rulers of the provinces” — the Lord uses the younger generation, not the experienced generation, to show how He uses weak things to confound the mighty.
The young men, though greatly outnumbered, went on to slay the entire Aramean army by God’s power.
“Now the servants of the king of Aram said to him, “Their gods are gods of the mountains, therefore they were stronger than we; but rather let us fight against them in the plain, and surely we will be stronger than they.”
—1 Kings 20:23 NASB
“Their gods are gods of the mountains” — the enemy thought that the only reason why the Israelite army could win was because God was only God of the mountains and not of the valleys.
Sometimes you might think that God is with you in the mountain top experiences, but He’s nowhere to be found in the valleys (especially when you've done wrong and you're in a trouble of your own making). But the truth is this:
“...and the sons of Israel camped before them like two little flocks of goats, but the Arameans filled the country. Then a man of God came near and spoke to the king of Israel and said, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Because the Arameans have said, “The Lord is a god of the mountains, but He is not a god of the valleys,” therefore I will give all this great multitude into your hand, and you shall know that I am the Lord.’” So they camped one over against the other seven days. And on the seventh day the battle was joined, and the sons of Israel killed of the Arameans 100,000 foot soldiers in one day.”
—1 Kings 20:27–29 NASB
“the sons of Israel camped before them like two little flocks of goats” — Against the Aramean army, the Israelites were once again greatly outnumbered.
“the sons of Israel killed of the Arameans 100,000 foot soldiers in one day” — This time round, there were many more Aramean soldiers than the battle before, but God demonstrated to the Aramean army that He was not only God of the mountains, but God of the valleys too.
Pastor Prince gives more Biblical examples of how the Lord brings the greatest victories out of the deepest valleys.
“Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High.”
— Genesis 14:18 NKJV
“brought out bread and wine” — Melchizedek represents our Lord Jesus bringing the Communion elements to Abraham, who was weary after a battle.
“And the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley), after his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him.”
— Genesis 14:17 NKJV
Pastor Prince explains the beautiful significance of Melchizedek coming to Abraham in the valley.
Melchizedek was the king of Jerusalem, which was atop Mount Moriah. When he met Abraham, he came down from the mountain and met Abraham in the valley.
“the Valley of Shaveh” — This valley is actually the Kidron Valley. “Kidron” means “darkness.” Abraham was in a valley of darkness but it became “the King’s Valley” because the Lord went down to where he was. And He brought the Communion to Abraham.
The Kidron Valley is found at the foot of Mount of Olives and is also the place where Jesus sweat blood in the Garden of Gethsemane.
The word “Gethsemane” means “oil press.”
So in the valley of darkness, we can see the Lord bringing the bread, the wine, and the oil—symbols of our healing and breakthrough.
Pastor Prince teaches from the story of Rahab, a prostitute in Jericho whose life was turned around because she had hope in the Lord.
In Hebrew, the word “hope” is “tiqvah,” and is associated with a rope. The first mention of “tiqvah” is found in this story.
Joshua and Caleb had sent two spies into Jericho, but they were discovered. Rahab, whose house was built into the thick walls of Jericho, helped to hide them from the soldiers.
In return for the favor, Rahab asked the spies to spare her family from destruction, as she knew the Israelites were coming to conquer them.
The two spies promised her this:
“unless, when we come into the land, you bind this line (‘tiqvah’—hope) of scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and unless you bring your father, your mother, your brothers, and all your father’s household to your own home.”
— Joshua 2:18 NKJV
“bind this line (‘tiqvah’—rope) of scarlet cord” — the rope signifies hope, and its scarlet color represents Jesus’ blood that gives us deliverance from hopelessness.
Because of the blood, Rahab and her entire household were spared from destruction. When God made Jericho’s walls crumble, He kept Rahab’s house standing.
Before the spies gave her the scarlet rope, whenever Rahab looked out her window, she was fearful of the incoming destruction upon the land. After she received the rope of hope, she looked out of her window with a different perspective. She knew that she would be saved.
Likewise, even when we can see destruction around us, we can hope in the blood of Jesus. The blood has guaranteed a good future for us!
From being doubly disqualified because she was both a Gentile and a prostitute, Rahab was doubly restored! She ended up marrying the captain of the tribe of Judah, Salmon, and became the great-grandmother of King David and part of the genealogy of Jesus.
Pastor Prince also shares from Jacob's life when he was distraught over the loss of his sons:
“And Jacob their father said to them, “You have bereaved me: Joseph is no more, Simeon is no more, and you want to take Benjamin. All these things are against me.”
—Genesis 42:36 NKJV
“All these things are against me” — Jacob thought that everything was against him when God had actually turned everything around for his good! His favorite son was alive and well, and would save their whole family from famine.
You might not see the provision now, but God has promised that He will cause all things to work together for your good (see Rom. 8:28).
In closing, Pastor Prince emphasizes our position as prisoners of hope. Even if there is great darkness surrounding you right now, don’t lose hope. Place your trust in Jesus for your future is secure in Him. Have a confident expectation of good!
“This coming week, the Lord bless you and your families because it is the blessing of the Lord that maketh rich. It is the blessing of the Lord that adds no sorrow. When it comes, the blessing has nothing attached to it that brings sorrow or pain. The Lord bless you and your families this week. The Lord make His face shine upon you, be favorable to you. He will give you double favor this week. Amen! Double favor to confirm His word. Throughout this week, there is double favor coming your way. And the Lord opens the door of hope for all those of you who are bound with a sense of helplessness and hopelessness. God will open doors of hope for you. What God opens, no man can shut. The Lord lift up His countenance on you and your families and grant you this wonderful gift: shalom peace, well-being, wholeness, and health in every part of your spirit, soul, and body. In the name of Jesus, the Lord deliver you, keep you, protect you throughout this week from every danger, from every infection, from dengue, from all the power of the evil one. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, He will put you at the right place at the right time. In Jesus’ name, God makes all of you slaves of hope. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
We hope these sermon notes blessed you! If they did, we encourage you to get the sermon and allow the Lord to speak to you personally as you watch or listen to it.
© Copyright JosephPrince.com 2019
These sermon notes were taken by volunteers during the service. They are not a verbatim representation of the sermon.
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