When the news flashes images of more murders, more rampages, and more outbreaks of evil, we become painfully aware of hurt and suffering in this world. The days feel dark.
It all seems too much and believers wonder, “Oh Lord, how long? How long must this continue?”
Ironically, our cries mimic the cries of the Jewish people in the days of Jesus. They wondered, too, how long until we are rescued? How long must we endure persecution?
Hurt is in this world, this much is true. And in a wonderful paradox of mystery, Hope is here too.
While the Jewish people looked for a savior to come with power, might and grand fanfare, one who would rid them of the pain they endured, they missed the wonderful presence of our humble Lord right in their midst.
When our eyes only look for hope in the change of our circumstances, even if it means death and a transition from this world to the next, we miss the powerful working of Christ and the hope He brings – today.
If we don’t believe the Spirit of God is here among us, how can we truly experience the freedom of living with Him now?
Hope is here today and Hope is in our future home.
Sometimes we believe we have to pretend, as if things aren’t painful, simply because as believers we have hope ahead of us.
I don’t want to pretend. I don’t want to miss the powerful truths of today, no matter how full of hurt the days may be.
I don’t want to rush the coming of Easter without embracing the Good on Friday. Without marveling at the humility and full surrender of Jesus displayed in every painful moment of the cross.
Yes, there’s absolutely great power in knowing Jesus overcame death by his resurrection. In remembering His victory and looking forward to experiencing this victory in fullness when we join Him in heaven.
Yes, we most definitely need to remember the hope ever before us, lest we become mired in the mud of today.
What About Today?
What about the truth of suffering today? What about the pains we feel and the circumstances around us? What about the pain Christ felt and the circumstances which surrounded Him on Good Friday so many years ago?
When we remember our Lord’s suffering and death, it’s a good day to remember how good He is. Because without suffering and loss, how would we know the beauty of redemption? Without the pain of chains, how would we know the freedom in healing? Without the sting of death, how would we know the greatness of new life?
As a child I wondered, why call it Good Friday? I remember the black veil draped over the cross on our church’s altar. I remember the somberness of all who walked into service and how my heart grumbled to be back in the sanctuary for another day in a week.
I also remember connecting to Luther’s song, “Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted.” How my heart grieved for the Lord’s pain. For the shame he bore hanging naked on the cross with the weight of all the world’s sin. For the rejection he experienced at the hands of leaders through multiple displays of taunting, mocking, spitting, and whipping and through the betrayal of being sentenced to a torturous death by His own people.
What’s good about all this pain? This death?
I related to some level of similar hurts, but knew they were still small compared to His. Even so, I wanted to save God and missed the impact of His salvation of me.
Oh, Lord. How foolish I’ve been.
Today, I understand more. His truths have rooted deeper and replaced broken belief systems.
It’s He who relates to my pain and sufferings because He knows it so well. He even chose to go through it for my sake, and for yours, so we could enjoy Him forevermore.
Jesus knew how precious the kingdom of God was, He told His disciples he’d prepare a place for each of us. In order to do so He first lay down his dignity, His rightful position, His flesh in entirety. He bought and paid for His beloved, us, with His blood which came with immense, torturous pain.
He surrendered to the will of the Father so you and I could be with the Father.
Without embracing the power of Jesus’ suffering on the cross, how could we be moved to deep gratitude?
Without the excruciating agony of the cross, how could we know the comfort of the One who knows our hurts?
Without knowing what was done, how could we understand that it is finished?
Choose to See Hope Today and Hope Ahead
Today, I choose to look ahead with hope and joy for what we’ll celebrate soon, because it’s already happened and death has been conquered. Because I will fully experience this victory in my days ahead when I too rise and join Jesus in heaven.
I also choose to ponder the ways in which God suffered because it reveals the depth of His love for a sinner such as me. Because it reveals the depth of His love for a sinner such as you.
It is good that we remember the suffering He endured. It is good to know that our Savior knows what it’s like to feel isolated, abandoned, in grief and in deep pain. No matter what bad is in our lives, there is good today and an even better tomorrow.
No matter how trying our days may be, the power of Jesus’ victory over death and the beauty of His redemptive love is far greater.
We don’t have to gloss over today in order to hold onto hope, because Hope is with us even in the dark days.
[clickToTweet tweet=”I don’t want to pretend. I don’t want to miss the powerful truths of today, no matter how full of hurt the days may be. There is still hope for dark days.” quote=”I don’t want to pretend. I don’t want to miss the powerful truths of today, no matter how full of hurt the days may be. There is still hope for dark days.”]
[clickToTweet tweet=”I don’t want to rush the coming of Easter without embracing the Good on Friday.” quote=”I don’t want to rush the coming of Easter without embracing the Good on Friday.”]
[clickToTweet tweet=”Without knowing what was done, how could we understand that it is finished? There is Hope for Dark Days” quote=”Without knowing what was done, how could we understand that it is finished?”]
[clickToTweet tweet=”We don’t have to gloss over today in order to hold onto hope, because Hope is with us even in the dark days.” quote=”We don’t have to gloss over today in order to hold onto hope, because Hope is with us even in the dark days.”]