All week long I’m thinking about the Bible points for our Vacation Bible School and what they mean for adults. This week will be a mix of some old and some new as I share these lessons.
Tonight at Sky VBS! (Group Publishing), we’re learning: No Matter What Happens…Trust God!
“I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love”
There are times when I take prayer requests at the close of a meeting almost reluctantly, not because I don‘t care or because I don‘t want to pray. It’s just that the requests seem so big and I feel the heaviness of them.
That perpetual litany of need, of cancer; mystery illnesses; the death of babies, husbands–and marriages; lost jobs and shattered finances seems like darkness with light, pain without hope.
I feel an affinity for the disciples in the three dark days between the cross and the resurrection, a silent understanding of their pain. In “Valleys Fill First,” Caedmon’s Call sang: “It’s like that long Saturday between your death and the rising day, when no one wrote a word and wondered is this the end.”
Yes, that was the terror of looking at the cross and standing at a grave and thinking it was all over.
Days after riding through the streets of Jerusalem cheered by the crowd, Jesus had been captured, put on trial, crucified, and shut up in an impenetrable tomb, leaving the disciples overwhelmed, confused, and without hope. They questioned everything they had seen, heard, and believed about Jesus just days before.
Then, they had confessed Him as Messiah.
Now, their Messiah was dead.
Then, they had seen Him raise Lazarus and others from the dead.
Now, His own death seemed unconquerable.
They had been catapulted into darkness and all of God’s promises and even their personal testimonies were called into question.
In the dark places, we too forget. Surrounded by pain and despair, we allow circumstances to determine our view of God. The physical “reality” of death, sickness, financial insecurity, and broken relationships tells us God isn’t loving, God won’t provide, God isn’t at work on our behalf.
When faced with tough circumstances, David also asked God some tough questions: “Will the Lord reject forever? Will He never show His favor again? Has His unfailing love vanished forever? Has His promise failed for all time? Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has He in anger withheld His compassion?” (Psalm 77:7-9, NIV).
Ultimately, though, David fought against these doubts by returning to what He knew was truth: “I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds.” (Psalm 77:11-12, NIV).
In the same way, we remember who our God is. No matter what happens, we trust God.
Because He is a Creator, who can bring forth something altogether new out of nothingness.
Because He has Resurrection Power, the ability to take what is utterly dead and bring new life.
Christ’s resurrection gave the disciples new hope, real hope, true absolute belief and confirmation that their faith was more than a fairy tale, whim, emotional crutch or delusion.
So often, we use “hope” to mean little more than “good luck” or “best wishes.” We give a friend a hug and say, “I hope you have a good day” or pat them on the back and say, “I hope you get that job you want” or “I hope your treatments work.”
We might as well be calling “heads” as we toss a coin.
Instead, because of Christ’s resurrection we have real hope for eternity. We can have full, confident assurance in what Titus 2:13 calls “the blessed hope–the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (NIV).
Because of the Resurrection, we also have hope in the present. After all, nothing is too big for a God who has power over life and death. Jesus proved that no matter how bleak our physical reality looks and how much our five senses tell us God is not in control, He is still Lord and He can do all things.
Fortunately, our hope is in His strength and not our own. It’s too much for us to carry around the weight of our problems and our dead circumstances. We’re not creators. We don’t have resurrection power. A world that relies solely on us is a hopeless place indeed.
Yet, no matter how dark our circumstances, even when we are in the closed tomb with every sign of death, we can have hope in Christ.
God, who conquered death and the grave, is working on your behalf in the here and now and also in preparation for our eternity with Him.
Instead of struggling to handle things on our own, we need to do something that is sometimes far more difficult–yield. Cry out to Him that this weight is more than you can handle, allow Him to carry the load, and have renewed hope in God’s ability to care for you no matter how insurmountable the circumstances appear.
Would you like to hear the Caedmon’s Call song, Valleys Fill First? Click here to follow the link or play it directly from the blog:
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.
Copyright © 2012 Heather King