Jesus told us that we could pray in His name and expect amazing things (see John 14:13-14, 15:16, 16:23-24). This does not mean that simply adding the phrase “in Jesus’ name, Amen” to the end of a prayer unlocks a secret code. Rather, it means that the more we understand just how awesome our Savior is, and that He is the Key to God’s storeroom, the more we will being to align our prayers with the will of God.
Jesus desires for His Father’s glory to be seen on earth through the answers to our prayers. The writer of Hebrews opens his letter by reminding us that Jesus is “the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word” (Hebrews 1:3).
We will be working our way through the Book of Hebrews to learn just how awesome the name of Jesus truly is. As we do so, my prayer is that your prayer life will flourish into something far greater than it has ever been before!
Join us beginning this Sunday for our series on prayer called Awesome: Learning to pray in the awesome name of Jesus.
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The Lord is angry with all nations… (Isaiah 34:2).
Perhaps that verse surprises you in light of the title of this post, “Everlasting, Unshakable Joy,” but stick with me.
These phrases from Isaiah 34 do sound like terrible news:
God is angry with all nations
His wrath is on all their armies
God will totally destroy them
Even all the starry host will fall
God Himself says, “My sword has drunk its fill”
All the world’s princes will vanish away
But please keep in mind that this is only bad news for those who don’t have their sins forgiven through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. “For the Lord has a day of vengeance, a year of retribution, to uphold Zion’s cause” (v. 8). And, “He will come with vengeance; with divine retribution He will come to save you” (35:4).
So God’s anger is not at those whose sins have been forgiven, but at those who are not only unforgiven but hell-bent on attacking those who are forgiven.
These words are intended to “strengthen feeble hands, steady the knees that give away,” and to bring strength “to those with fearful hearts” (35:3-4).
The righteous have nothing to fear when the world is quaking in fear! “They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crowned their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away” (v. 10)!
This is why Jesus told us, “I tell you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more” (Luke 12:4 NIV), and, “Save your fear for God, who holds your entire life—body and soul—in His hands” (Luke 12:5 MSG). And also the apostle Peter reminds us that we do not fear what the world fears (1 Peter 3:14).
If your sins are forgiven, if you are walking in God’s paths, if you are seeking to savor the glory of God, and desirous that His glory be seen on earth as it is in heaven, there is not only nothing to fear, but you will have an everlasting, unshakable joy!
Get your eyes off the world’s bad news, and keep your eyes firmly on the Good News that only Jesus has made a reality!