Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Take Heart; Easter is Still Coming!

Hey Friend,

If you've been reading along with me for awhile, you probably know that I head up a non-profit ministry called Redeemer Christian Foundation, Inc. I have 80 children that I dearly love in Pakistan that are going through a terrible time right now.  Click HERE to help precious ones in need...

I was speaking with our Director of Development, with regard to how to handle our social media and outreach campaigns during this time of COVID-19 being splashed all over the headlines.  We discussed not wanting appear out of touch with what everyone is dealing with, but on the other hand, we didn't want to be another voice of doom and gloom.

We both came to the same conclusion - that despite what's happening in the world... we, those we serve, and those who donate need to be reminded that Easter is still coming...PRAISE! 


During this time of "shelter-in-place" mandates, perhaps I'm getting a small taste of what it was like for Jesus to wander for 40 days in the desert.  I'm sure Jesus felt quarantined away from the rest of the world.  He was certainly "socially distant" from those He loved.  He endured loneliness and isolation - feelings that many of us are having.  

Perhaps His greatest hardship was being easy prey for Satan.  

When we are isolated, we become easy prey as well.

Some of us have fasted during this Lenten season, but Jesus was downright starving during His forty day fast.  The enemy tempted Jesus, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread."  

Jesus answered him, "It is written:  Man must not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God." 

Satan went on to tempt Jesus to sin - to go against His Father.  Jesus was tempted in every way yet He clung to the strength of His Father and He leaned on His knowledge of the truth in scripture.

I know I have been tempted, and I've sinned and given into temptation during this heinous virus.  I have worried.  I have looked ahead, with fear, and have hoarded more than I really need.  I have relied on my own self-sufficiency to get me through what may or may not come.  

I have done the things that I've sworn not to do and I've fallen short on doing the things I'd promised to do. I haven't dwelt on whatever is true, good, pure, lovely, excellent, and praiseworthy.  I've fretted about my bank account.  

It's only been a few weeks, but it certainly feels like more than 40 days in the wilderness.  

So what now?  

There is still time to turn my heart around.  Even if my circumstances stay the same, I can rededicate myself to meditating on the Word of God each and every day.  I can ask Him to enable me to trust Him and I can be grateful for who He is and everything He has done for me.  Now is my time to cling to God's strength and lean into His holy word.

When I'm feeling vulnerable, it's a red flag signal to switch to gratitude.

In short, I've fallen into temptation.  I have not looked the enemy in the face and resisted him like Jesus did.  But...

The best news of all is this:  EASTER IS STILL COMING!!  There is hope!

Even if the coronavirus is still raging, I can remember that on Good Friday, Jesus uttered the words that changed our lives forever..."It is finished."

That very moment, He took all the sins from all my temptation upon Himself once and for all.  Every failure and sin born out of my humanness went to the grave with Jesus.  It's gone.

And, just as Jesus rose again on the third day, I have been resurrected with Him and am a new creation void of any sin.  

Because Easter is coming these promises are true for me...for you:

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from ALL unrighteousness."  (1 John 1:9)

Furthermore, Psalm 103 says that He removes our sins as far as the east is from the west.  Jeremiah reminds us that God promises to forgive our sin and NEVER remember it. 

We are in tough times right now, but I/we need to remember:  "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)

These are words in which to rejoice!

Dear Heavenly Father, I know that by worrying, I cannot add a single hour to my life.  Forgive me for leaning on my own understanding instead of trusting in you through these difficult days.  Protect me from the tempter's snare.  Enable me to rely on your strength and wield the sword that is your Word.  Help me not to forget, that despite what is going on in our world...Easter is STILL coming.  Let my heart rejoice in that truth and let me take comfort that Jesus has overcome this world by his death and resurrection.  It, truly, is finished.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

What about you...have these days made you forget that Easter is still coming?  Have you fallen prey to the tempter's snare?  Do you feel like you've been walking in the wilderness?  What hope can you take from God's words of truth?  What changes do you need to make?  Will you share??

Congrats' to Becky L. in Oregon who won the drawing for Sarah Geringer's book "Transforming Your Thought Life."

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