Saturday, April 19, 2014

Lent Day 40: Hope when all is lost

I wrote this three years ago, and am thinking about it again on this day between Good Friday and Easter. God is good - and trustworthy. When all we hope for is lost, He remains the same, yesterday, today, and forever...

Their tomorrows were wiped away in an evening. All their hopes, dreams, ambitions, and aspirations attached to Jesus had come to nothing. For years, they'd followed him around the countryside, eating and sleeping where they were given hospitality. It hadn't been easy, but clearly he was someone special.

The day after Jesus died, the disciples were in shock: "He said he'd come to set up a kingdom, and we expected to be elevated with him." And, "We left everything to follow him, but it's been for nothing. He's dead. Gone. We can't believe it!"

Sometimes when hope is utterly dead, God is still at work. "It's not over until it's over." In other words, the outcome is determined by God, not by our understanding.

How could the disciples expect that, just when all was lost, the unthinkable was taking place. Not only a kingdom of earth and humanity was rising, but Jesus was proclaiming dominion over evil, hell, and even death itself. Unbelievable.

Unbelievable... until Easter morning.

In retrospect, it is easier to see the power and majesty of God. When we are wading through darkness, smeared with blame and guilt, drowning in unmet goals, we forget whose resurrection we celebrate. Each day, whether it is challenging or a walk-in-the-park, Jesus who died and rose again sustains us.

Hallelujah for the cross, especially when it seems, to our finite understanding, that all is lost.

Are there things you hoped for, dreamed of, that are on hold or have been lost? How might God be at work in the secret silences between your past and your future?

Read more:
*You, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call on you. Psalm 86:5 ESV

*He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.

But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:3-5 ESV

*Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit." Having said this, he breathed his last. Luke 23:46 ESV

*But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 1 Corinthians 15:20-22 ESV

Moravian Prayer: Lord Jesus, what a precious gift you gave to all humankind—giving up your life so that we would have eternal life. We accept your gift and pray to use our gifts and talents to bring others to know your love. Amen.

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