Hebrews 12:1-4, “…let us lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.”
The picture we see of Jesus through the Gospels show us that He is something—someone—worth losing everything for. When we truly know Him, then risking everything we are and everything we have, to know and obey Christ is no longer a matter of sacrifice – it’s just common sense.
To let go of the pursuits, possessions, pleasures, safety, and security of this world in order to follow Jesus wherever he leads, no matter what it costs, is not sacrificial as much as it is smart, because we realize in all of life, the only thing we can never lose is Christ and His presence through salvation.
The cross of Christ on Good Friday brings forth freedom from the bondage of our sin, in the same way the cross of Christ gives us victory and significance. Easter realigns our priorities. Victory over death and sin remind us that we aren’t living for the fleeting pleasures of this life, but for a King who is establishing a kingdom in and through us.
Jim Elliot aptly said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”
Jesus reminds us in John 16:33 that in the world we will have trouble and tribulation. But we take heart because on Easter Sunday, Jesus the Christ truly overcame this world. When we follow a Savior who created all things, stooped down to our level to redeem us, and then took the penalty we deserved and conquered the death we were destined for – we are left with great courage.
Pastor and Author, Paul David Tripp says, “Safety is not what we were created for, it makes for a nice retreat, but a meaningless life. God created us for so much more.”
Our world is corrupted by sin. Sin brings brokenness and suffering. Easter signifies an end to sin, an end to suffering, and the restoration of all things to order. However, we still live in this world until our King comes back. We celebrate Easter for the victory it gives us for our past sin, we celebrate Easter for the future Kingdom that it signifies, but today, we celebrate Easter because it gives victory and significance to our present suffering.
Therefore, we persevere with hope to follow the commands of Christ. We risk our comfort to take the Gospel to our neighbors, we surrender our will in order to follow the commands of savior, and ultimately we sacrifice our lives at the foot of the cross to see the Gospel spread to every tribe, tongue and nation.
This Godward calling on our lives will bring suffering through tribulation, famine, hardship, and possibly the sword. Suffering in this life is inevitable and inescapable because of the sin of Adam that has been passed down as an irrefutable inheritance. Beloved the resurrection gives us hope, purpose and eternal comfort to persevere because we know our King is victorious.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer said about suffering and the cross, “Thus those who merely hate tribulation, renunciation, distress, defamation, imprisonment in their own lives, no matter how grandiosely they may otherwise speak about the cross, these people in reality hate the cross of Jesus and have not found peace with God. But those who love the cross of Jesus Christ, those who have genuinely found peace in it, now begin to love even the tribulations in their lives, and ultimately will be able to say with scripture, ‘We also boast in our sufferings.'”
Caring for orphans, the poor, the needy, the vulnerable and the least of these is not always easy, at times it may cost us our comfort, our “peace”, and our earthly security. But, it is a Gospel driven command and our Great God gives us boldness, courage, and conviction to defend the Fatherless and to embrace the messy as long as the Gospel is our mission and the victory of the cross is our hope. We do everything we do for the spread of the Gospel and for our Father’s glory.
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31
Easter reminds us that our perceptions in the moment are not always reality. The victory of the grave reminds us that the plans of our Father will never be thwarted. Our hope found in the empty tomb secures our hope in our Abba’s sovereignty.
Beloved as you follow Christ, persevere and be comforted because what today seems unbearable is producing in you an eternal wait of glory.
Paul David Tripp writes, “So be careful how you make sense of your life. What looks like a disaster may in fact be grace. What looks like the end may be the beginning. What looks hopeless may be God’s instrument to give you real and lasting hope. Your Father is committed to taking what seems so bad and turning it into something that is very, very good.”
Has the Lord put your family in a place where you could adopt or foster a precious child in need and, in so doing, disciple them in the Gospel of Christ? Has the Lord burdened you with His command in James 1:27 to care for orphans in distress?
If so, partner with Lifeline today. Visit LifelineChild.org to donate to the cause, to apply to adopt, to sign up for a trip to visit orphans in need through our (un)adopted ministry, to apply to be a foster parent for a child in U.S. foster care, to volunteer in one of many ways for the sake of orphans, and ultimately to partner with us as we seek to take the Hope of Easter to the fatherless.
“Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.” – Isaiah 53:11
O Beloved, He paid the price to give you Victory and Significance in your suffering – will you allow God to work through you to impact the life of a child? Please do not hesitate to give Lifeline a call because we are here..
..to defend the fatherless.