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Sermons from Banking Blessings Ministry

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Diffusing Crisis to Manage Adversity - Paul Arrested in Jerusalem

Paul was arrested in Jerusalem by a mob that tried to kill him but were forced to surrender him to the custody of Roman authorities. He tried to diffuse the crisis by showing respect to Jewish law, custom, and heritage; the Roman commander; and his rights as a Roman citizen. Although his attempt at crisis management did not end the persecution, the attempt was successful because it transformed the persecution into a series of public trials and hearings and, thus, an opportunity for him to preach the gospel among his people in Jerusalem and Caesarea as he had in parts of Europe and Asia.

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On Mission Despite Threat of Impending Adversity - Paul Returns to Jerusalem

Paul returned to Jerusalem despite warnings of impending persecution. He believed returning to Jerusalem was important to completing his mission. Instead of giving in to the threat of persecution, he relied on his faith of God’s purpose, declaring he was ready “not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” He stayed on mission despite the threat of severe adversity, subsequently endured through the adversity, but expanded his ministry as a result, more than he could have imagined.

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Shunammite Woman Overcomes Adversity

The Shunammite woman’s compassion for a stranger led her to man of God Elisha, who prayed for her so she was blessed with a son. Later, when the son died unexpectedly, her unwavering faith and persistent prayer by Elisha restored the son to life. Subsequently, she lost her home and land while living abroad to escape a seven-year famine. However, all her losses and more were restored because she was a living testimony of Elisha’s work. On two occasions she lost something she treasured but her loss was restored in full each time because of unwavering faith and persistent prayer.

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Divine Favor - Mordecai Triumphs Over Adversity

Mordecai’s triumph over adversity started with King Xerxes recognizing that intense hatred by his second in command Haman resulted in a decree to annihilate Jews, including Esther, his queen. The king also recalled that Mordecai, a lowly attendant at his palace gate, foiled an assassination plot against him but was never rewarded for the courageous act. He ordered Haman executed, elevated Mordecai to a high position in his palace, and issued a decree that empowered Jews with the right to defend themselves. All these occurred in one evening, but started years earlier by Mordecai raising his uncle’s daughter as his, reporting an assassination plot against the king, and refusing to worship Haman—all because he lived according to his commitment to worship and serve God in all circumstances, even in adversity.

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Finding the Bigger Picture in Adversity - Example from Mordecai-Esther Interaction

Queen Esther was initially reluctant to honor Mordecai’s request that she appeal to the king against an edict to annihilate Jews. She feared violating the law against visiting the king uninvited, which could attract punishment by death. However, Mordecai redirected her to see the request as an opportunity to use her royal access to appeal the annihilation order and win deliverance for her people. Having thus seen the bigger picture, she called for prayer and fasting and vowed to appeal to the king even if it meant the ultimate punishment: “And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!”

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