Mighty Prayers from a Fragile Vessel By Whitney White As the sun began setting behind…
Post-Election Despair, a Resurrected Hope
By Anne Reed
I cannot think of a more unjust act than the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
Not only did He know this cruel atrocity would become his reality, He surrendered to it. Why? Because it was the will of His Father.
As the fulfillment of the prophecy became imminent, His surrender did not come easily. It was accompanied by sweat, blood, and utter anguish.
Though Jesus was God, He was also man. He felt. He was tempted. He, therefore, understands our weaknesses and our struggles.
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” – (Hebrews 4:15).
He understood when His disciples panicked. He had compassion on them when they so miserably misunderstood His purpose.
He told His disciples in advance. Speaking of Himself, he had clearly warned them:
“The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise” – (Mark 9:31).
Though he described His kingdom to them in a multitude of ways, they still thought they were following the One who would overthrow the Roman government and establish a new kingdom that would make their lives easier.
But that’s not what happened! Not at all!
Their hope vanished, and their future was clouded by fear. It was all so unfair! Everything about the crucifixion was just wrong…and evil.
How could God let this happen?
Perhaps you are asking this question about our current state of affairs. Hasn’t God heard the cries of the righteous?
We see the lies, the censoring, the misrepresentation, and the manipulation. And the wicked just continually get away with it. How can this be?
As beings created in the image of God, we are infused with a sense of justice. So, when injustice runs rampant, we are left bewildered, and we can easily be led into a state of anger – especially when we are overwhelmed with fear about our future.
How could God let this happen?
Blind eyes opened
The disciples were devastated after Jesus was unjustly convicted and crucified. They believed He was the Messiah. They gave their lives to Him for years. They would surely be identified as His followers, possibly bringing them to a similar fate. For what?
Everything was over. It was all meaningless.
Everything changed. They saw Jesus. And so did 500 others on twelve separate occasions. Many talked with Him and ate with Him. They saw his nail-scarred hands and the wound in His side. Thomas placed his hand in it.
He had, in fact, died. But He was alive. And His purpose and plan looked altogether different than what His followers had envisioned.
There was a valid reason he didn’t defend Himself or allow others to do so (John 18:10-11). It was just as He had explained to Pontius Pilate during the questioning that led to His death sentence:
“My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world” – (John 18:36).
It was (and is) an everlasting kingdom. And He proved it.
They suddenly saw things as they truly were. They understood their mission! It was an eternal calling. They realized their kingdom was not of this world either! And they wanted everyone else to know about it. They willingly gave their lives for it.
They remembered and took to heart Jesus’s warnings and encouragement as He had sent them out to be His disciples:
“…Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell” – (Matthew 10:28).
Many of us are utterly devastated by the rapid succession of events taking place in our nation. It appears that God has failed to answer our prayers. Has he left us?
Think about your prayers for our nation. Have you prayed for revival? Keep praying for it! Keep praying for your loved ones. Keep praying for the lost. Keep praying that His kingdom will come, that His will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Everything is happening for a purpose – His purpose. What the enemy means for evil God means for good.
Many Christians believe Donald J. Trump was ordained by God to fulfill an important role. And now that Joe Biden will be stepping into the Oval Office as President of the United States, has God suddenly become less powerful than He was four years ago? Is He less sovereign?
God hasn’t been downgraded from His omniscient, omnipotent position. He still knows all, and He still has power over all. Nothing is hidden from His sight. And He has a purpose in allowing oppressive agendas to advance.
“He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings…” – (Daniel 2:21)
“The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord: he turns it where he will” – (Proverbs 21:1).
Jesus promised He would build His church and that the gates of hell would not prevail against it. And He has given each of us a vital role in His kingdom purposes.
Oh, that the Lord would open our eyes and give us hearts aligned with His, “not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
In the midst of great darkness, His light cannot be extinguished. He is risen. In His presence is fullness of joy.
Oh, what a special time in which we live!
Let’s go spread the news of our risen Jesus. Let’s be His ambassadors. Let’s pray for the Holy Spirit’s help, enabling us to love our enemies – to pray for those who despitefully use us. Let’s walk in love – not in fear.
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love” – (1 John 4:18).
Because Christ is risen, we have been made alive in Him. His kingdom is not of this world. And neither is ours.
“…You have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory” – (Colossians 3:1-4)