To Our Colleagues in Personnel…
Easter Greetings to you! He is RISEN INDEED! That’s the heart of the Christian faith, isn’t it!
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This month our focus is . . .
. . .Dealing with the Difficult Times – God is Still at Work!
Something to think about. . .
How often have we faced huge “difficult times” in our lives?
This current week our thoughts go back 2000 years, to the greatest event in history. Our Lord’s followers had just gone through one of the most difficult weeks of their lives, culminating in the crucifixion of Christ!
Especially that weekend prior to the Resurrection, Christ’s small band of disciples must have felt an overwhelming sense of gloom and despair. Why go on?
Then came Easter. Early in the morning came the announcement by the angel that “He is not here, for He has risen… Come see the place!... Go quickly and tell…” Wow! What a message! What privileged messengers they were – and we ARE!
Again the question: How often have we all faced huge difficult times? Whether dealing with burnout, difficult marriage relationships, children who choose a different path, church leaders who betray their trust, ministry colleagues who disappoint their team members…
In a way we can share only a tiny percentage of Christ’s sorrows. He Himself bore our sins on the tree… He was wounded for our transgressions. Peter denied Him; Judas betrayed Him. I’m so glad HE understands, and invites us to bring our heavy loads to Him.
Yet, we still ask “WHY?”
And so often we don’t find a lot of “BECAUSE” answers!
Changing the focus a moment…
I was recently reminded of the difficult times of one of our most-beloved national leaders. Perhaps we can try to put ourselves in his shoes…
“What would you do if your goal was a political career and the following things happened to you?
The love of your life dies
You have a nervous breakdown
You fail as a businessman
You are defeated when you run for state legislator
You lose a job
You are defeated when you run for speaker of the state house
You are defeated for nomination to Congress
You lose a re-nomination
You are rejected to become a land officer
You are defeated for the U.S. Senate
You are defeated for the nomination of vice president
You are again defeated for the Senate
“I wonder, how would any of us feel?
“Would we withdraw from the race? Would we conclude we are losers? Would we think we are nuts to believe we could ever accomplish anything in politics? Would we give up?”
Perhaps the disciples were feeling those very emotions of desperation during the dark hours of Friday and Saturday before Resurrection Sunday.
The individual who surmounted all these losses mentioned above became the “President of the United States and one of our most heralded leaders of all time. He negotiated one of our country’s most difficult periods of history and literally saved the country as we know it today. This individual who handled failure and discouragement did exactly that. He was Abraham Lincoln.”
From: It's Not My Fault, By Henry Cloud, John Townsend, 2007, p. 201.
Question: How can we accept God’s encouragement during the difficult times?
Let’s start by remembering the “great cloud of witnesses” (Heb. 12:1) – the primary witness being our Lord Jesus Christ (v.2). He conquered death! He carried our sins and placed on us His robe of righteousness (II Cor. 5:21).
Let’s take courage from Andrew Murray who said,
He brought me here; it is by His will I am in this strait place. In that
fact I will rest.
Next, He will keep me here, in His love, and give me grace to behave as His child.
Then, He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me the lessons He intends me to learn, and working in me the grace He means to bestow.
Last, in his good time He can bring me out again—how and when He knows.
me say I am here:
1. By God’s appointment
2. In His keeping
3. Under His training
4. For His time.
From Andrew Murray, Humility, Grand Rapids, MI: Bethany House, 2001.
Therefore, as we deal with difficult times, let’s remember that God is still at work, and still on the Throne. Nothing catches Him by surprise.
Then, let’s thank Him for the great “cloud of witnesses” and prayer partners who are part of God’s team. We’re not alone! Let’s uphold each other strongly in prayer and encouragement – He is alive! What a great message!
God bless you! Rejoice! He is alive!
Ken Royer, for your Link Care Friends