May you enjoy today worshiping the Lord, our risen Savior, and spending time with family and friends.
“Give your burdens to the Lord, and He will take care of you.” – Psalm 55:22
From time to time, and for some all the time, the struggles of life come at us at once, and it’s easy to internalize all that’s happening, put on a brave face, and move through life the best we can, alone.
We must remember that God is faithful during (and especially!) our times of our most adversity, our greatest sufferings. He is no stranger to the human condition – Jesus came to earth both as fully God and fully human. He wasn’t always the picture of joy or the life of the party, either.
“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.” – Isaiah 53:3
He did this to give us hope by taking our pain on Himself and still conquering death and evil and sorrow.
“Surely He has borne our grief and carried our sorrows.” – Isaiah 53:4a
God promises to take care of us as a mother bird does for her fledglings –
“He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and buckler.” – Psalm 91:4
Even in the darkest times of our lives, the love and presence of Jesus Christ sustain us; we are not alone.
I’ve been observing a lot of life events taking their toll on my friends and family members, and even myself lately.
Sudden deaths, difficult goodbyes to those departing (not yet for eternity, but for places that seem an eternal distance away), scary medical diagnoses, job transitions, and more can really bring a person down.
Well wishes and hugs honestly only do so much for a person who has one, several, or maybe all of these hit them at once.
Many of those who follow Jesus begin to wonder where He is. Those who don’t follow Jesus may think that the luck of the universe is against them. Both may wonder if this life is even worth it in the end.
Life has a lot of aspects that really do suck the hope out of any human being, no matter their beliefs.
Some preachers say that if your life is hard and you aren’t financially blessed, you’re doing something wrong. They may blame your lack of faith in prayer, your lack of frequency in prayer, or a host of other possibilities.
Here’s the thing, though. God never promised an easy life for us on this earth, but He did promise to be with us every step of the way, through every kind of trial we face. God is faithful to His faithful, and He is faithful to the faithless.
He won’t give us more than we can handle through His strength. As the saying goes,
“He Who brought you to it
Will see you through it.”
Find rest, weary soul. The burden is heavy, but Jesus carries our burdens with us, and His heart breaks with ours.
“What was the last thing you read, heard, or saw that inspired you?”
As we prepare for the Easter season at the Christian school where I teach, I’ve seen a lot of artwork in the halls depicting the cross. This inspires me because it’s a reminder that God turned something terrible into a beautiful reminder of His grace. We can now look at a cross and think of the salvation found only in Jesus Christ, rather than thinking about the method the Roman Empire used to execute common criminals.
It’s also inspiring, as we approach Resurrection Sunday on the calendar, to think about how Jesus was raised from the dead, and how we have also been raised from the death of sin, if we are in Christ. As flowers bloom and the trees and grass grow green after a dormant winter period, we can be reminded how we have a fresh start because our sins are no longer what defines us. – We can be alive and free in Christ!!!
“Have you ever had the rotten experience of having to put a pet down?”
Thankfully, I haven’t had to do their yet, but when I received the news a couple of years ago that my 17-yr-old cat died, I was pretty heartbroken. The last few times I saw him (he lived with my parents while I attended college, lived in a pet-free apartment, and got married), I knew it could be the last time because he looked so much older, moved so much slower, and wasn’t huge like he once was (he was a Maine coon, so they get pretty big!). I still miss my sweet Tiger, but I have neighborhood cats that I feed, and love on, and I’m sure that makes him purr in kitty heaven. ❤️
Nature has its own cycle of death and rebirth, in contrast to the Word of God, which never dies. In fact, in Isaiab 40:7&8, we see three things:
1. Grass withers
2. Flower fades
3. Word stands
“The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the Lord blows on it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God will stand forever.”
Like both the grass and the flower, we humans experience the cycle of death and rebirth, as we pass from this earth into the afterlife. None of us are immune to physical death.
God’s Word and God’s promises never come to a halt. They are constant and consistent. Long before our birth, God’s Word had been kept through the ages, and long after our bodies mingle with the dirt, God’s Word will continue to reach other people on our planet.
Because His Word is so important that it is everlasting, God has instruction us to “go tell it on the mountain,” to spread the good news of the Gospel message far and wide. “Go on up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good news; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good news; lift it up, fear not; say to the cities of Judah, ‘Behold your God.’ ” (Isaiah 40:9)
We won’t last on this earth forever, but as long as our planet exists, God’s Word will remain upon it, despite any efforts by men to destroy it or keep it from other people. This is why we must spread the Word to others, that they may learn of His mercy and grace and continue to pass on the salvation message to others, who will share with others, and so on.
Because everything other than God’s Word is so temporary, we must joyfully proclaim all of the promises He has given us. The great work of Christ in our lives should drive us to wanting to spread the Gospel. We can also be comforted that, even when everything and everyone we care about seems to die off during our lifetime, God’s love and promises never disappear. They are always there, when we call on the name of the Lord in sincerity.
“…The Word of our God will stand forever.” (Isaiah 40:8b) “He remembers His covenant forever, the promised He made, for a thousand generations.” (Psalm 105:8) “Your Word, Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.” (Psalm 119:89)