We are billboards crafted by the hands of God to display His glory; to tell the world about His goodness, to express His love. First God to use us He first works in us, perfecting because He is an excellent God, a God of holiness. God often by the power of the Holy Spirit shows us the full picture of what He wants to display through us, of what He has instore for us then He sets out a path that will help Him refine us so that His glory shines in places without blemish. The devil hates this but He cannot stop God’s plan.
“…they are the shoot I have planted, the work of my hands, for the display of my splendor.” Isaiah 60:21 (NIV)
Jesus went through what no man could bear past His flogging, burden and being nailed on a cross, He still endured emotional pain through insults and mockery. Everything that could hurt did. He even felt spiritual pain of feeling forsaken by God. He was being crucified for the truth – for being the Son of God, like the apostles were persecuted for the gospel. God had allowed it like He allows the things that we go through though they are not His doing. He has a way of turning them around for good, to work for His purpose in our lives.
“I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me.” Psalm 22:14 (NIV)
Jesus remembered His pain, yes; but He remembered His God more. He remembered that He was not one to leave His own. This is why in the latter parts of Psalm 22, when the psalmist lets us in on what Jesus was going through on the cross we see Him call on those who fear God, on us, to honour and praise Him because He has seen His faithfulness and deliverance. This should encourage us to maintain a heart of worship towards God no matter what we go through or feel for God will never forsake us.
“For he has not despised or disdained the suffering of afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry from him but has listened to his cry for help.” Psalm 22:24 (NIV)
If our holy God did not forsake Jesus in His moment of shame – covered in our sin, then we can be assured that He will not forsake us. Though we may feel like He has, though our flesh may be wasting away, we know that His presence will never leave us. He was with Jesus on the cross when He felt forsaken, He is with us when we feel alone too.
“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ ” Hebrews 13:5 (NIV)
We see this in the story of Calvary with Jesus hanging on the cross. God was doing His work through Him, a work that would send Him to His glory. God knew this, Jesus knew this. We should be like Jesus, obeying God in every instruction even when our own way may seem logical to us and those around us. We should remember His path on the hill of Calvary crucified between two sinners with one mocking Him and the other repentant of his sins. We should remember that there will always be people who the devil uses to mock and taunt us, to get us off God’s path for us but there are also those who route for us, who see what God is doing. This is the life story of every Christian. God sets out a path with a clear destination for us but the devil will always come against us to work against God. God is sovereign – He is Lord in every situation, so whatever comes our way we know that He is watching. He works to fulfil His words, there will be mockers and there will be those who are opened to what God is doing – both eyes and heart. It is the story of Jesus and the disciples on the boat where He slept while there was a storm because He understood that nothing could thwart God’s plan. Nothing has changed. When God speaks storms will always come but if we, like Peter walking on water with His eyes fixed on Jesus, fix our trust in God and His promises we will conquer. God’s work is done and nothing can thwart God’s plan.
“One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: ‘Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!’ But the other criminal rebuked him. ‘Don’t you fear God,’ he said, ‘ since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.’ ” Luke 23:39-41 (NIV)
God’s plan is grander than the wisdom of man. Live life with the bigger picture of God in mind. His glory is lasting and plan wiser. Ideas from man may seem logical but God is wise. Always follow His leading.
Are you maybe resenting a season in your life, maybe a hardship or turmoil that you may be caught up in? God is calling you to trust in Him and in His leading; to know that what Jesus went through on the cross was so you could live life victorious; it was to take your yoke of slavery for His of freedom. His yoke is easy, His burden light.
“For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:30 (NIV)
Rest in the faithfulness of God, rest in His sovereignty, rest in His wisdom and know that He cannot lie, He is always in control and knows all things.
Matthew 8: 23-27
Matthew 14: 22-36