Teaching to Learn and Learning to Teach


Counsel and Comfort from Good Friday
April 22, 2011, 9:29 pm
Filed under: Christian Living, Counseling, Gospel

“Isn’t God concerned for His glory? Didn’t He promise to work for believers’ good? I don’t see how that is happening. Where is God? There seems to be no hope here.” Perhaps you recognize some of those phrases. There have been times in my life where those thoughts weighed heavily upon my heart and where I cried out to God in tears, because I didn’t understand. If you are in the midst of a trial or helping someone else in the midst of sorrow, find comfort in Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday. Those questions were asked by disciples on Good Friday. Good Friday seemed like the darkest day in church history to the believers in Jerusalem. It seemed that God’s plan was defeated, but He was still in control. It seemed like His promises were not sure and were not in effect, but they were. He was more concerned with His glory and believer’s good than they were and He knew how to best achieve it, better than they could have even imagined. God crushed His son for all of us (Isaiah 53:5). Apart from that dark day, there was no salvation available. He was and is the only way. He was sovereignly in control orchestrating the whole thing, but that’s not what it felt like! It felt like the Romans and the Jewish religious leaders had defeated God. The disciples were hiding and were scared.

Luke 24 gives the account of two despairing disciples on the road. They were despairing, not realizing that Hope Himself travelled with them. They could not see at that moment how God was a work. Their eyes were kept from recognizing their travelling partner as the resurrected Christ. They were sharing with Him the events of good Friday, not realizing that Resurrection Sunday had already come. Here was their interpretation of the events: “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people and how our chief priests and rulers delivered Him up to be condemned to death and crucified Him. But we had hoped that He was the one to redeem Israel and now, some women are saying He was resurrected.” Their hope had not been misplaced. He was the one to redeem Israel; but they failed to understand how God was accomplishing that. Jesus responds to them saying, “O foolish ones and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into His glory?”

The wise and full of faith believe the promises of God even when they can’t understand how those promises are in effect in that situation. The wise and those who are quick to believe know that even though it is Friday, Sunday will come. The wise and those who are quick to believe understand that even though the wicked may seem to prosper and the righteous appear to be punished, that there is a different end. That God’s righteousness reigns and will continue to reign and eternity looks different than today (Psalm 73; II Cor. 4). They understand that although “my heart and flesh may fail, God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

Perhaps you are tempted to despair as you question a family tragedy; the abuse of the helpless; a bitter argument; the sorrows, griefs, and persecution of believers; painful circumstances; or the public, blatant sin of believers. Perhaps it is a church split and you say, “Lord, don’t you care. Don’t you see what this is doing to Your church, to me, to Your reputation?” Remember that the darkest day in history was shortly followed by the brightest day of history: Resurrection Sunday. God knew what He was doing. He could be trusted even thought the outlook seemed grim for believers in Jerusalem on Good Friday as God himself hung on a tree, died, and was buried. Who could have orchestrated such beautiful events and procured eternity for us in such a way, the only way, except God Himself? God is at work. He is faithful and cannot deny Himself. He who did not spare His own son, but gave Him up willingly as a propitiation for our sins, will He not also give us all things? Believe in faith and wait patiently. Trust His promises.

“For who has known the mind of the Lord or who has been His counselor? Or who has given a gift to Him, that he might be repaid? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.” (Romans 11:34-36)

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