do I find my Hope in the middle of trials?
The first three chapters of the Word of
God have been under great attack in the last century.
After God created in six days, He said, "It is good."
There was no death.
But, Romans 5:12 says, "Therefore, just
as through one man
sin entered into the world, and death through
sin, and so death spread to all men, because all
sinned." It was not so good anymore.
But in the midst of Adam's great fall,
God gave the promise of the Redeemer in Genesis 3:15 as He
told the serpent who deceived Adam and Eve, "I will
put enmity between you and the woman, and between
your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the
head, and you shall bruise him on the heel."
God promised the Messiah who would
destroy the works of Satan (Rev 12:9, the serpent of
old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives
the whole world) by delivering a fatal head wound...but
first, the Messiah would be "bruised on the heel."
There is only one death that causes a
bruised heel and that's crucifixion. Psalm 22 gives a
very graphic description of crucifixion 400 years
before its inception by the Romans!! Note
particularly Psalm 22:16-18 "For dogs have surrounded
me; a band of evildoers has encompassed me;
they pierced my hands and
my feet. I can count all my
bones. They look, they stare at me; They
divide my garments among them, and for my clothing
they cast lots."
This all came to pass as the Son of
Man, Jesus, hung on the cross. Note also Isaiah
53:4-5, "Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our
sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him
stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But
He was pierced through for
our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities;
the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and
by His scourging we are healed."
Romans 5:8 tell us, "But God demonstrates His own love
toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ
died for us."
But...Jesus did not stay in the tomb!
Listen to what Paul (a learned Jew from
the tribe of Benjamin) said in 1 Corinthians 15:3-8,
"Christ died for our sins according to the
Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that
He was raised on the third
day according to the Scriptures, and
that He appeared to Cephas (Peter), then to the twelve
(apostles). After that
He appeared to more than
five hundred brethren at one time, most
of whom remain until now, but some have fallen
asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the
apostles; and last of all, as it were to one
untimely born, He appeared to me also."
And in Acts 2:23-38, this is what Peter
(a Jewish fisherman who followed Christ as one of His
apostles) said, "This
Jesus, God raised up again,
to which we are all
witnesses. Therefore having been
exalted to the right hand of God, and having received
from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has
poured forth this which you both see and hear. For it
was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself
says: 'The Lord (God) said to my Lord (Jesus), "Sit at
My right hand, until I make Thine enemies a footstool
for Thy feet.' Therefore let all the house of Israel
know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and
Christ-- this Jesus whom you crucified. Now when they
heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said
to Peter and the rest of the apostles, 'Brethren, what
shall we do?' And Peter said to them, 'Repent,
and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus
Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall
receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.' "
John 3:16-18, "For God so loved the
world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that
whoever believes in Him
should not perish, but have eternal life.
For God did not send the Son into the world to judge
the world, but that the world should be saved
through Him. He who believes in Him is not
judged; he who does not believe has been judged
already, because he has not believed in the name of
the only begotten Son of God."
If today, your hope is in anything but
Jesus Christ, it is in vain and will lead to eternal
death. Twice in Proverbs (14:12 and 16:25) we are
told, "There is a way which seems right to a man, but
its end is the way of death." However Jesus said, "I
am the way, and the truth, and the
no one comes to the
Father, but through Me."
I pray that you will make the right
choice today, then no matter what comes your way in
the future...cancer, car accident, plane crash,
terrorism...you will know that you are secure in His
love and you have a future hope.
Philippians 1:20-21, "according to my
earnest expectation and
I shall not be put to shame in anything, but that with
all boldness, Christ shall even now, as always, be
exalted in my body,
whether by life or by death.
For to me, to live is
Christ, and to die is gain."
2 Corinthians 5:6-8, "Therefore, being
always of good courage, and knowing that while we are
at home in the body we are absent from the Lord -- for
we walk by faith, not by sight -- we are of good
courage, I say, and prefer rather to be
absent from the body and
to be present with the Lord."