For we live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7 (NIV)
Nothing comes to us that has not been first sifted through our God’s good and loving hands. Maybe our greatest prayer for ourselves and our loved ones facing a trial should be that our faith be strengthened through it and emerge so strong it will strengthen others!
John 10:18 records Jesus talking about His authority over laying down His life for us. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” John 10:18 (NIV) Jesus’ statement here is mirrored in the heat of the moment in John 19:11. However the enemy rarely misses a heated moment to strike hard and in John 19:10 (NIV) Pilate says to Jesus, “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?” See how the enemy is twisting the Truth?!!
In our own trials it is easy to become disillusioned. “Things” seem to spin out of control and though they may be out of OUR control, they are never out of our Heavenly Father’s, dear one. The fastest way to have our sure hope shaken is to misplace our hope. It is easy to place our hope in things we can see or outcomes we expect only to find discouragement within our disillusionment. If Jesus had let what Pilate said drown out the command He had received from His Father our fate could have been quite different!
Praise God Jesus answered Pilate in John 19:11 (NIV) with, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above…. Jesus kept His hope anchored to His Father’s good, pleasing, perfect will and way (Romans 12:2) regardless of how “things” seemed and sounded to be spinning out of control around Him. How?
See Luke 22:39-46 for Jesus’ example to follow so that we too do not fall to the world’s attempts to shake our sure hope in Jesus! Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7 (NIV)
If God’s own Son did not escape the heat of trials that were not only sifted through His Father’s hand but planned, we can expect no less. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NIV) Because Jesus didn’t allow His hope to be shifted by what had been sifted, planned, allowed into His earthly existence, we were saved!
Who might be saved because you walk by faith through what’s been sifted through the Father’s hand in your life, unshifted in sure hope in a good God with a good plan? And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 (NIV) May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 (NIV)