Emmanuel, God with us in our nature, in our sorrow, in our lifework, in our punishment, in our grave, and now with us, or rather we with him, in resurrection, ascension, triumph, and Second Advent splendor. – Charles H. Spurgeon
During the season of Lent, as we celebrate the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord, I can’t help but be reminded that there were many times in my life when adversity, sin, time, lack of preparation, and the way life goes sometimes made me to want to give up. I wanted to be hidden away in a cave, away from the rest of the world. Sometimes I didn't even want to be alive. Yes, me the worshipper, preacher, teacher, lover of God, wanted to end it all at times. I was hopeless, destitute, and in despair – a sinner in need of God’s grace.
Every year at this time as I reflect, I remember that’s how I came to Jesus; broken and confused with limited hope. Each year without fail I am also comforted in knowing that during this time in my life, in my weakness, His strength was perfected (II Kings 2: 8-10), and that causes me to rise again. When we are talking about resurrection for believers I am speaking in this sense: "to bring new vigor to." The miracle of the cross causes us to be resurrected in this way.
I wanted to be hidden away in a cave, away from the rest of the world.
Earlier this year was a similar time for me. I wanted to quit! I wanted to be done with the cares of this world. There was so much happening in my life that I was overcome with defeat. The constant weight of living in this world pushes us closer and closer to sin each day. Jesus went to the cross and gave up His life that we may have power over those things. Redemption from those practices demonstrate the beauty of the cross.
When we are faced with uncontrollable variables of life like racial battle fatigue, sexism, limited resources, depression and anxiety, it is difficult sometimes to submit those things to Jesus. The natural inclination is to ask, "What would that solve? Those things won’t just go away." I would challenge you in knowing that’s far from the truth.
Power over all systems, all afflictions, and even death!
Am I saying that by doing this your proclivities will immediately disappear? That’s not for me to decide. However; what I am sure of is submission to Jesus Christ in every facet of our lives produces power over all these things. Be assured again that Jesus’s death and resurrection produced that very power. Power over all systems, all afflictions, and even death! So, I encourage you today my brothers and sisters that no matter what state you find yourself in, you too, can rise again. Rise again in strength, wisdom, love, and power to live a life fully submitted to Christ.
We serve a resurrected Savior. Not only did he die for us, he also rose again. The same power that resurrected Jesus lives in us.
Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Romans 6:8-11
Therefore, if you are in a constant state of fear and doubt, through Jesus you can be resurrected with faith and assurance. If hate, then resurrected with love. If sorrow, then resurrected with joy. If chaos, the resurrected with peace. There is no place of despair or defeat that our Lord and King cannot pull you out of.
There is no place of despair or defeat that our Lord and King cannot pull you out of.
As we continue in this season, I would like to leave you with the lyrics of this song. I pray that as you meditate upon them your strength, peace, and vigor is renewed through Christ Jesus.
by Elevation Worship
Your name, Your name is victory All praise, will rise To Christ, our king
By Your spirit I will rise From the ashes of defeat The resurrected King, is resurrecting me