The Resurrection Changes Everything: 3 Truths to Help You Thrive in Crisis
The culmination of Holy Week is quickly approaching. The early disciples of Jesus were confused and disoriented. Just a few days earlier people were crying “Hosanna” to celebrate the triumphal entry of their king and now his dead body lies in a tomb. The darkness of Saturday was filled with despair but the light of life was coming. Jesus would be resurrected from the dead as he had prophesied when he said, “After three days I will rise.” The resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, changes everything.
The resurrection of Christ powerfully changed the early disciples and followers of Jesus and it is changing us still today. Throughout history God’s people, the Church, has experienced immense pain and persecution but has always come out thriving because our God has provided salvation, freedom and eternal life through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The power of sin and death have been defeated and Jesus Christ reigns as the living Lord of Lords and King of Kings! As sons and daughters, the people of God’s Kingdom, we can thrive in mountain peak seasons, valley moments, and times of crisis.
There is PURPOSE in suffering and trials.
To go through suffering, pain and trials with no sense of confidence that God has purposes He’s working out in your life and in His Church is to experience hopelessness. But we as Christ followers know that is not the case. The Bible says in James 1:2-4, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that they testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
We are instructed to “count it all joy.” This is a perspective-influencing invitation. We view all suffering and trials through the lens of joy, because God is seeking to strengthen us. To strengthen the muscles of your faith. He’s seeking to refine you and grow you into a stronger man and woman of God. The testing of your faith in hard and difficult times creates a powerful effect in your life – steadfastness or perseverance. We are invited to allow “let” perseverance finish its work in our life. It’s important to remind us that we can work against the purpose of God in our lives and we do so when we resist His presence and purposes when we’re not submitting in suffering.
God is able. He is able to work “all things for good” who love Him and are called according to His purpose. He is able to work good in job loss, in loneliness, in loss of loved ones, in broken heartedness, and in sickness and disease like cancer and COVID-19. He is able, we just need to trust His Word, promises and character!
You have resurrection POWER in you.
One of the most frustrating experiences is the constant search and replacement batteries for toys and electronics around the house. I know, first-world problems. But with four kids running around it feels like I’m replacing or charging batteries every single day. Low power or no power deeply impacts life around our house. The same is true for all of God’s sons and daughters. When we choose to live our lives in our own strengthen, we are setting ourselves up for challenges and sin because we’re choosing to operate in weakness.
Do you need to be reminded today that the resurrection power of Jesus Christ lives and abides in all believers through the presence and ministry of the Holy Spirit? The apostle Paul longed, above all, to know Christ and the power of His resurrection (Phil 3:10). He didn’t just want an intellectual understanding alone of Christ and his power, he wanted to EXPERIENCE it! Paul was hungry to be “strengthened with all power, according to Christ’s glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy” (Col 1:11).
Perhaps the clearest verse in the New Testament communicating the power of God in the life of a believer is Ephesians 3:20, which says, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…” Believers succeed in remembering that “God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,” but fail often to remember how God does it in our lives. He does it according to His power that is at work WITHIN us! Acts 1:8 expounds, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you…” The apostle Paul unashamedly celebrates the power of God:
- “… so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.” (1 Cor 2:5)
- “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.” (1 Cor 4:20)
- “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” (2 Cor 10:4)
- “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” (2 Tim 1:7)
No matter what you’re going through today, in Christ, you have power to thrive and glorify God. No infectious disease – no matter how global it is – has greater power than the power of God, displayed beautifully in you and each believer!
You receive peace when you PRAY.
Believers are called to “not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Phil 4:6). This a bold exhortation. Does God really mean anything – we are not to be anxious about anything? After exploring the full biblical narrative, our only response to that questions has to be “yes, do not be anxious about anything.” God reveals His means to accomplishing this in our lives in the very next verse. “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:7).
D.A. Carson says, “The way to be anxious about nothing is to be prayerful about everything.” Pastor and author, Sam Storms writes, “Anxiety is an expression of fear. Prayer is an expression of faith.”
The peace of God is not some abstract, passive influence in our lives. Quite the opposite, actually. It is the means of God by which he guards and protects our hearts and minds, which are the locale of Satan’s strategies to destroy us. Like Jesus’ instructions to his disciples in the garden of Gethsemane, we are to stay awake and alert and pray. As sons and daughters of God we are to be people of prayer, who “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess 4:17). It is true that a life of prayer is a live of peace, and we are living in challenging days and desperately need God’s peace.
The resurrection of Jesus changes everything! May we as the people of God thrive today because He is risen and the power of God’s Kingdom is more powerful than the devil and the kingdom of this world!