John 19:2

2And the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head...

If hard work is the formula for prosperity, then everyone who works hard should be prosperous. But this is certainly not the case. Many people who work very hard are still in lack!

I am not advocating laziness. What I am saying is that working hard by the sweat of your brow is not how God’s provision comes. In fact, if you have to work overtime all the time and are stressed out, you are probably operating under the curse.

What curse is that? It is this curse: “In the sweat of your face, you shall eat bread...” (Genesis 3:19) And it refers to the stress, struggle and anxieties that come with working hard and yet producing little. Now, work itself is not a curse since God gave Adam work before the fall — Adam was to tend the garden of Eden. It was only after he sinned that the land was cursed and it brought forth thorns, and man had to toil to eat of it. (Genesis 3:17–18)

But praise God, Jesus wore the thorns on His head to show you that He has borne this curse for you and redeemed you from it. He wore the crown of thorns so that you can work stress-free and yet have the results. You don’t have to be worried and stressed out day and night like the people of the world just to get ahead in life. Your heavenly Father can get you there without the worries and stress. (Matthew 6:31–33)

Beloved, every curse that was supposed to fall on your head fell on Jesus’ head, typified by the crown of thorns. He wore the crown of thorns for you so that you can have peace of mind. He wore the crown of thorns for you and took your curse so that you can wear the crown of glory and take His righteousness, and all the benefits of that righteousness!

Today, don’t labour and toil like the people of the world. Instead, expect to see the blessings of God come into your life without blood, sweat and tears because Jesus wore the crown of thorns for you!

Zechariah 9:12

12Return to the stronghold, you prisoners of hope. Even today I declare that I will restore double to you.

I am sure that you have heard the expression, “When life throws lemons at you, make lemonade!” Well, I want you to know that when the devil throws lemons at you, God Himself will make lemonade for you! After all, the Bible says that God works all things together for your good. (Romans 8:28)

And He does it with style — He restores double for your trouble! Beloved, if you have lost a husband or wife through divorce, or a precious child through death, God can restore double to you, so that you end up having more than before, if not in quantity, then in quality!

Consider Job in the Old Testament. When he lost everything, his wife told him to curse God and die. He refused and, instead, responded to God in faith, and “the Lord gave to Job twice as much as he had before”. (Job 42:10)

When David lost the child he had with Bathsheba, he stopped pleading and started worshiping God because he trusted in the mercies of God. Later, God blessed David and Bathsheba with another son named Solomon, who became the wisest and richest king the world has ever known.

Today, God promises to restore double for your trouble — “Even today I declare that I will restore double to you.” If He declared it, He will do it! So you cannot but have hope that things will be even better than before. That is why in the same verse, He calls you “prisoners of hope”. My friend, hope in the biblical sense means a confident expectation of good things happening in your life. You are a prisoner of that! You can’t help but wake up feeling hopeful. You can’t help but expect good things to happen to you!

So when trouble comes from the devil, don’t give up and say, “It is hopeless!” Don’t worry or get angry. Worship God like David did and see that trouble as an opportunity for God to bless you with more than what you originally had. And because God has declared it, be confident that you will get double for your trouble!