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Remember He Is Resurrected!

Just as there were many who were appalled at him—
his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being
and his form marred beyond human likeness – Isaiah 52:14

He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. - Isaiah 53:3

I read these verses every Good Friday. I struggle with them every year (and throughout the year), always grappling with the topic of suffering. My Savior suffered things I cannot begin to imagine. It is disturbing and unsettling...and it is the reason we can have real and true hope in a world that often feels hopeless.

“People wrongly assume their suffering means God has left them. If God is absent, so is hope. But the truth according to Isaiah 61 is that God is present in our suffering! In fact, not only is God present in our poverty, heartbreak, darkness, bondage, and blindness, but he is actually working right now to undo them. In Jesus, our God came so close to our suffering that he actually embraced it upon the cross and transformed it.” (1) - Joe Johns

Even though I want to move away (and run away!) from suffering and pain and grief, it seems I keep landing back here in this same uncomfortable place because this is where my Savior is.

I would rather be comfortable and pain free, not desperate or needy or vulnerable.

And yet Jesus keeps calling me back to this place of pain.

I think of all the things that feel desperate right now...my son with a mental illness and autism and his uncertain future, my health and the constant pain and exhaustion I feel, with no concrete answers to the questions and the “whys?”

Is God who he says he is? Is he really good and right, even when my circumstances are not?

Do you ever struggle with these questions? I have wrestled with these questions and I continue to wrestle. And I believe that is okay. But I do know a couple of things...

God is not surprised by what we are going through; every trial we face first passes through his hands before they come to us. This is a disturbing, but strangely comforting, truth. This can cause fear in me and sometimes keeps me living in all the endless “what ifs” of tomorrow. Can I trust Him? What if he allows really bad things to happen?

I read this quote by Katie Davis Majors and it encouraged me…

”But this is what I know; God is who He says He is. In the hurt and the pain and the suffering, God is near, and He is good, even when the ending isn’t. Our pain does not minimize His goodness to us but, in fact, allows us to experiences it in a whole new way... I want to be brave enough to hold out the hope of the Gospel to a world that is hurting and alone and afraid. Not a hope rooted in the absence of pain or heartache or suffering. Not optimism that looks for the best-case scenario or happy ending. A true hope that rises from the full assurance that our Savior is on His way. It’s not light yet, but I know Him, the One who is the Light.
And so in the dark, I will sing.”(2)

These are the things I think about every Good Friday. A strange name for a day that stirs me up so much…

Oh, but it really is Good

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words. - Luke 24:1-8

We must remember that He is resurrected! We must not live as if he is lifeless and we are hopeless. He is risen indeed! And very much at work in every detail of our lives, even if we are not presently “seeing” the evidence.

We may feel we are living in a pit of darkness and pain right now. But remember, Jesus is with us in our pain. He never leaves us or forsakes us (Hebrews 13:5). He is with us and he is transforming our pain. He often uses the waiting, the delay that feels like forever, to grow our faith and strengthen our relationship with him. I’m so grateful we worship a Savior who has experienced pain and suffering...not someone who has no idea what we are feeling.

Lord, remind us you are a Resurrected and Living Savior! Remind us who we are because of you, and that you have conquered death!

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. - 1 Peter 2:9

“I am the Living One.”

Remember He is Risen! He is Living and He is King. In those facts, and in Him, we can place all our hope.

Praise the Lord!

 

Sources:

  1. Quote taken from “On Mission” publication; Fellowship Missionary Church, Ft.Wayne, IN. Article written by Joe Johns called “Hope Happens;” pg. 2-3.
  2. Quote taken from post titled, “Daring to Hope When It’s Not Happy Endings: How to sing in the Dark by Katie Davis Majors: September 26, 2017.
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If you are an imperfect wife, mom, daughter, or friend, struggling to stay focused on God in the craziness and find joy in the heartache, then we have something in common. I am a recovering perfectionist and daughter of the King, slowly learning to fully trust the One who sees me just as I am, and is already pleased. I’m so glad you are here.

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