“But when they looked up, they saw that the stone which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. ‘Don’t be alarmed,’ he said. ‘You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen!’” Mark 16:4-6 NIV
So many of us live as though we are trapped in a tomb. We’re sealed in by our pasts. We continue to relive our mistakes and past hurts. Our old ways of thinking and behaving haunt us. We want to escape the stinking decay around us but we forget that the stone has been rolled away. When we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we were set free from our past. It’s ok to step outside of our tombs.
We are no longer bound by our old ways of living. When Jesus arose from the dead, so did we. Our thoughts should be higher. Our dreams and goals should be higher. Our actions should be higher. Now, more than ever it is time for us to remember this. Let go of the past and step into the light. Praise God, the stone has been rolled away!
“As you come to him, the living Stone–rejected by men and chosen by God and precious to him–you also, like living stones, are built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:4-5 NIV
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 NIV
He didn’t come so that we could be oppressed. He wasn’t subjected to ridicule and humiliation so that we could be depressed and lonely. He didn’t have a crown of thorns placed on his head so that we could be confused. He wasn’t beaten and tortured so that we could be powerless and allow life to beat us down. He didn’t hang on a cross so that we could live in fear. He wasn’t pierced in his side so that we could live in sickness and poverty. His blood wasn’t shed so that we would continue to live in darkness. He wasn’t raised from the dead so that we would lose hope.
Jesus suffered, died and was raised from the dead so that we could have an abundant life. He loves us. Enough is enough. It’s time that we know and walk in the truth.
We’ve had enough of being depressed. He left us joy. We’ve had enough of walking in fear. We have the power of God inside of us. We’ve had enough of being oppressed by the enemy. He can deliver us. We’ve had enough sickness. He can heal us. Again, I say, enough is enough. Let us reclaim our rightful inheritance as a child of the Most High.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 NIV
“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.” Psalm 37:7, NIV
I was walking along, enjoying the sunshine and picking up the beautiful flowers along the way. It seemed like the perfect day. It started to get cloudy but I didn’t let that stop me from enjoying the day, I kept on going along my path. I knew something was coming but I refused to worry about it.
I started to see fewer flowers along the way, which was a disappointment. I had started to look forward to their bright colors and intricate designs. Despite the disappointment, I kept on going until I tripped over a fallen branch. I had a few scratches and a bruised ego but nothing major. I just got back up, dusted myself off and kept on walking.
I heard wolves and I became distracted and scared. I was alone in the woods with bloody wounds and I was sure the wolves would track my scent and devour me. I had to find a safe place to hide. I started running away from the sounds of the howling wolves but they seemed to be surrounding me. I could see their glowing eyes watching me through the trees and bushes. I stumbled once again and fell into a deep pit. I tried to grab on to anything I could to stop my fall but to no avail. I hit the hard, rocky bottom. I was so far down that I could only see a sliver of light peeking through the top. I tried to climb out but only accomplished making myself weary and my finger tips raw and bloodied. I called out for help and I heard a strong voice answer back, “I’m here and I’m going to get you out.”
I was thankful but it just didn’t seem like the voice above was working fast enough. Oftentimes, there were long periods of silence and I thought that he had left me. I panicked and called out to him until I was hoarse. The voice always came back and let me know that he was still there, working on my rescue. He promised to never leave me. I knew that I had to remain calm and be patient. I kept the promise of rescue in my mind and heart. Eventually, the light from above became brighter and brighter and I could see my rescuer’s hand reaching down. I knew that it was going to be ok.
Life is a lot like this. We start down a path that we know God has set us on. We enjoy his anointing over us and his blessings along the way. Small issues arise but we press forward. We stumble and fall but we get back up. People who don’t want to see you succeed show up and we become distracted. We allow fear to overtake us. Sometimes we fall in a dark pit and we feel like there is no way to escape. The Lord your God is always with you. There is no problem that he can’t solve. He is the rescuer. There may be times when you feel like he has left you during your troubles but He is still there working on your way out. He hears your cries. You just have to remain calm and be patient. Help isn’t on the way, it’s already here.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me.” John 14:1, NIV
“Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.” Psalms 107: 28-29, NIV
It’s easy to be positive, strong and bold when everything is going well. It’s easy to stand firm and to be of good courage when the sun is shining on you, but what about when the storms come? Do you start to worry when the skies darken and the rain starts to fall? Do you start to look for a place to hide when the thunder and lightning strikes? Do you still give thanks and rejoice in the Lord when the hail starts to pelt you upside your head? Does doubt creep in as the waters rise around you?
A life free of pitfalls was never promised to us while we are on this earth. There will be storms and some of them will hit harder than others. The storms will feel like they last for far too long and you will wonder if they will ever end.
The good news is that they will not last forever and God has promised to be with us every step of the way. He will see us through every storm if we trust in Him. Don’t try to ride this storm out alone. When lightning strikes seek the shelter of God’s arms. When the flood comes, stand on the rock of God’s Word. When the hail falls, put on the armor of God. His favor will cover you as a shield. He hears your prayers and He is faithful. Remember, “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1, NIV.
Stay encouraged, friends.
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Hebrews 11:6, NIV