By Dawn Taylor
I woke up thinking about Jesus and his plea, "Father, if you are willing take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground." (Luke 22)
Was there any other way besides the Cross?
The waiting. He knew the time was approaching for God's ultimate plan of salvation, but he still grieved and called out in prayer as the day drew near. This morning, I thought about God, the Father. He had the power to take a shortcut, but He knew what was necessary to bring about ultimate salvation for all of humanity. He loved each of us so much that the earth shook when he turned his face away and Jesus died on the cross.
I'm probably going through one of the biggest trials of my life and I didn't see it coming. But God did and He has been providing hope and comfort. Most often, it's when I think of friends and family praying for me, that my tears start flowing. If only there was another way. Pleading earnestly that God would change the path that's been set before me. He has the power, but He also knows the bigger picture.
So often, my mind returns to the same theme...personally draw close to the potter (God), who knows the ultimate design for our lives, trust him to shape us, hold us and then be intentional in sharing life with others so they may be encouraged to find comfort in the words of scripture. Without him, we're just dust. We're all on a journey and God's given us the tools we need to handle the bumps in the road. The question is, are we using them? Abide in Him and we WILL bear much fruit. (John 15:5)
These are words I shared this morning during a testimony time at church, which I journaled as I woke up this morning. I am so grateful for all of those praying for me and would love to collect scriptures and prayers in the Well Wishes tab on this site. It seems like an easy place to go for encouragement...so please consider sharing some of the verses you have thought of for me as you've prayed.
May we all be encouraged!!
By Solomon Taylor
God has never lost a fight.
I realized that tonight as I was praying for a friend of mine. They had been running into the same questions that Paul was asking about why we do the very things that we hate. On Easter, of all days, they felt hopeless that things would ever get better. So we prayed, and I started thinking about God’s track record.
All throughout the Bible, in every single fight He was ever in, God has never lost a battle. He cleared the way for a little runt of a nation to claim the best and most prosperous land in the area. He destroyed hundreds of thousands of enemy soldiers overnight. He sent a column of fire down to consume a sacrifice to show up a false god for what it was. And when Satan thought he’d finally struck a mortal blow to God by killing His only Son, that same Son came roaring back with a knockout of an uppercut. Today is Easter, the day we celebrate that final blow, the death of death itself.
And yet we still stumble. We still screw things up as royally as we can possibly manage. Why?
Because God wasn’t in the fight.
Going back to that knockout analogy, it’s a lot like a tag team boxing match. We’re in the ring for as long as we want to be, but to be honest, we suck. After centuries of trying, the best we could produce were the Pharisees. You know, the ones who got Jesus murdered. That’s the absolute best we’ve been able to come up with without God.
So we’re in the ring, and the enemy is beating the crap out of us. No wonder we’re hopeless. We don’t stand a chance in that fight. Our pride is the only thing keeping us from tapping out with our undefeated Champion over there. For whatever reason, we want to stick around in the ring. Maybe to prove that we’re just as good, or even better. Maybe because tapping out is a sign of weakness and defeat. Maybe because the enemy is so braggadocios that we’re convinced they’ll beat the Champion just as easily and we might as well spare Him the humiliation.
That’s where surrender comes in. But not to our enemy. That’s where we crawl over to the ropes, face down and bleeding, to have the courage and the humility to tap out with our Partner.
And now it’s His turn.
And the enemy can’t seem to land a hit anymore. The Champion is almost toying with him now. Punches and kicks are flying everywhere, every loophole is being exploited, every trick the enemy knows is coming out in that moment. The Champion dodges every single move with hardly a movement of His own.
Then the enemy throws an uppercut, and the Champion doesn’t budge. For a moment, there’s a gleam of triumph in his eye as the enemy’s fist connects with His jaw. But the Champion still doesn’t budge an inch. Staring His enemy in the eye, He reaches up, grabs him by the wrist, throws him over His shoulder, and slams him into the ground. Instant knockout.
God has never lost a fight. We just have to humble ourselves enough to let Him fight for us. But if we do, we will never lose. And that’s where our hope comes from.
Happy Easter, it’s the day our God conquered death itself.
Matthew 28 | John 20 | Magdalena's Story
By Rachel Schober