This was the message of the sermon at church yesterday and it resonated so much with me that I knew I had to share it.
Let's face it, life is a struggle at best, at worst, it can be a tragedy. The world around us is falling apart. The violence and depravity I see on TV and read about in the news makes me sick to my stomach. Terror and fear are all around us. People are losing jobs, getting sick, facing financial disaster, losing children to the world, facing cancer, etc. Children are sold into sexual slavery, people are being slaughtered. It's mind boggling.
But God is in Charge and God is good!
That's something we need to remember no matter what is going on in our own lives and in the world around us. Yet I think sometimes we lose sight of both those facts. Sometimes we may think God is in charge but we don't believe He is good. Or sometimes we still believe He's good, but we don't think He's in charge.
When Jesus was about to be arrested by a troop of Roman Soldiers, He knew what lay ahead of Him. He knew He was going to be tortured beyond what any human could endure. Not only that, He knew He would be separated from His Father and have to endure His Father's wrath that was meant for us. YET... it was Jesus who walked toward the Roman Soldiers. He didn't cower or hide in a cave somewhere. He met them head on. He walked willingly to His torturous death. He was in Charge.
Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward and said to them, “Whom are you seeking?”
5 They answered Him, “Jesus of Nazareth.”
Jesus said to them, “I am He.” And Judas, who betrayed Him, also stood with them. 6 Now when He said to them, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground.
7 Then He asked them again, “Whom are you seeking?”
And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.”
8 Jesus answered, “I have told you that I am He. Therefore, if you seek Me, let these go their way,”
When Jesus said "I AM" He was declaring Himself to be God. (the He is added by translators) God's name is "I AM", the name He gave to Moses from the burning bush. So when Jesus said "I AM", the power of God knocked the soldiers to the ground! (Did you know that current estimates put the number of armed Roman Soldiers at anywhere from 200-1000 men!) I've always wondered why they got knocked to the ground. One of the reasons may have been that Jesus wanted them to know that He was God and had the power to defeat all of them with but a single word. Yet.... in the end, He went with them... willingly to the cross.
Jesus was in charge. And He as showing them that He was in charge.
But God is also good. One of the last things Jesus did was demand that the Romans let His disciples go. It's amazing to me that the soldiers actually did let them go, especially after Peter sliced off one of their ears! But it was the command of Jesus that they obeyed. God is good. Jesus was only thinking of His disciples, of their welfare, of their good, not about all that He faced. He went willingly to His death so they could be set free!!
God is so good!! Write these 2 things on your fridge, on a note card, stamp them on your forehead, whatever you need to do to remember them when the next problem arises. It will give you the peace and strength you need to get through anything!
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28