Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Salvation and Hope....What We Call "Easter"

Psalm 119:81 (MSG)
I'm home sick--longing for Your salvation; I'm waiting for Your word of hope.

Hello Blog World!  I've missed you so much.  When I don't get to write as often as I want, which would be at least daily if I didn't have other responsibilities, I desperately miss it.  This little chunk of Cyberspace has become like a quiet peaceful room to me.  It has morphed into a safe place where I can come and sit at the feet of the cross and just deeply breathe and easily hear the voice of Christ, while I soak up the word of God.  I find that I am not as distracted by the chaos that abounds outside of the door when I am typing away in my small corner of the world.  Clearly, the strangest part of my blogging is that, unless I am writing a book review or an interview of some sort, I never know exactly what will flow through my heart and onto the page when I sit down here.  The practice of methodically going through a chapter of the Bible, verse by verse (currently that is Psalm 119), supplies the subject matter for that individual writing session, and as long as I have been doing this (over 3 years now), I am still astounded at the timing of some of the verses.  Take today's words, for example, that "just happen" to be "salvation and His word of hope" as we celebrate the week of Easter!  Pretty amazing, don't you think?!!   

Easter~Salvation & Hope
Salvation and hope......these two words alone carry so much power, but at Easter, they become center stage as we look at the story of Christ and His life, death, and resurrection.  I know most of you reading this already know this story from the Bible found in John: 17-21, as well as the books of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, but it's so humbling to read it again.  As I reflect on the chapters today, I am thinking about so many people that I have encountered lately that are going through unspeakable trials here on earth.  Whether it's a fight with a life altering/endangering illness or the death of a child or husband/wife, I have heard and seen so much of the incredible pain that comes with these circumstances recently.  These are the people that have drawn my attention.  I am watching them in awe and wonder as they continue to claim the salvation and stand in the hope that Christ provides.  Could I do the same?  I don't know.  I pray so. 

These people have a very strong testimony of light that is being presented in their darkest hour.  They tell of a strength that comes from Christ.  They speak of a peace that is only possible through Him.  These are the people that make me turn on my heels and take notice.  They have been through the fire and don't even smell like smoke.  They have walked through lapping flames, but are not burned. (Daniel 3:26-27)  They have yelled and screamed and cried out to God for answers, but have not been consumed by an uncaring God who looks away.  No, they speak of a loving God who is allowing the tough questions.  A God who wants nothing more for their life than for them to find His faithful arms so He can carry them through the night.  This is the God of Easter. 

One individual and his family that comes to mind when I think of living through tragic circumstances and dealing with immeasurable pain, is Rick Warren the lead pastor at Saddleback Church.  He is encouraging us to listen to his personal story this Easter.  His message is titled:  The Answers Are in Easter.  You can get the details by clicking here.  I plan to listen to Rick's sermon, because "Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ."  (Romans 10:17)  I trust that what he has to tell us will be life altering....even for those of us who already know the King.  If my hunch is right, every person reading this at this very moment can think of at least one challenge that you are facing in this life.  Whether it's a much needed healing, wisdom, forgiveness, clarity, direction, and the list goes on....Christ is your answer.  Easter is for you.....and me!!

Abba Father,
What You allowed to happen to Your Son is confusing to me.  I admit it.  I don't know why it was necessary and cannot fathom how it could be the answer to our condition.  But, I trust You and know that once and for all we are forgiven...because of what happened on  Friday and on Sunday...what we call "Easter"....because of Christ.  Thank you seems a little shallow...but...thank you from the depth of my heart.
In the wonderful name of Jesus,


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