I Wouldn't Change a Thing!
#24 December 13, 2005
"For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)
Twelve ordinary men. Fishermen, like Peter and his brother Andrew. Matthew, a tax collector at Capernaum. James and John. Philip and Bartholomew. Thomas and James the Younger. Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot. Twelve ordinary men. Lives interrupted when they met one man. From all indications this was the man they had been waiting for. This was the man they grew up hearing about. This was the man who would save a nation. Take it by force. This was the man who would set them free.
Question: Can God interrupt your life?
Three years. They heard about love. They heard about forgiveness. People healed. Multitudes fed. He told them that He came to serve...to give His life as a ransom. What sense did that make? They were waiting for Him to take over...they wanted to crown Him King. Instead they watched as He rode into Jerusalem on a colt. A colt??? Should have been on a steed, with a sword....and an army!
Question: What are you expecting?
Waiting ... watching ... hoping each day would be THE DAY. He tells them that He will have to suffer. He must be killed. Impulsive, outspoken Peter says, "Never, Lord! this shall never happen to you!" (Matthew 16: 22) The King replies, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men." (Matthew 16: 23)
Question: Whose "things" are on your mind?
Plots. Tension in the air. A Passover supper. Talk about betrayal and the appointed time being near. Falling asleep in a garden while their King was overwhelmed with sorrow and sweat drops of blood. Jesus arrested. Peter again taking matters into his own hands cutting off a man's ear. Rebuked again..."Put your sword away!" (John 18:11)
Question: What are you fighting against? What are you taking into your own hands?
Crucifixion of their King. Death. Hopes and dreams shattered and buried in a borrowed tomb. Running. Hiding. Fear. It's over.
Question: Where is there no hope and the appearance of death in your life?
Alive. Jesus is alive. "Peace be with you," he says. (Luke 24:36) They can touch Him. They can see His hands and His feet. They watch Him eat a piece of broiled fish. He tells them about forgiveness of sins. He gives them the precious Holy Spirit. He commissions them for greatness in His name. Peter becomes a great orator and addresses crowds with a boldness he had never known before. They perform many miraculous signs and wonders among the people. (Acts 5: 12) They become great writers. Because of their words and the witness of what they saw and heard, we are believers in Jesus Christ today. All of our sins are forgiven, thrown as far away as the east is from the west. We are saved, sanctified, justified (just as if I never sinned) and glorified. We are Heaven bound. We have been set free.
Question: Would you change anything about that?
Right at this very moment you are going through something. And if you aren't, it won't be long before you do. Jesus promised us that "in this world we would have trouble." (John 16:33) He never promised us it would be easy...He just promised that we would never be alone. He has a purpose and a plan for everything that you are going through in your life, whether you can see it or not.
Things aren't always what they seem. Ask Lazarus, Mary and Martha. "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?" (John 11:40) Ask Joseph. "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." (Genesis 50:20) Ask each one of those twelve ordinary men.
Things aren't always what they seem. "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord." (Isaiah 55:8) The Bible tells us multiple times not to fear. I've heard it said that fear is False Evidence Appearing Real. Things are not always what they seem.
In Philippians, Chapter 2, verse 21 the apostle Paul tells us that everyone looks out for his own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. "Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face." (1 Corinthians 13: 12) We may be blessed in this life to look back and see why God allowed certain things to happen to us. We may never know or see the reasons until we get to Glory. Only One thing is sure...Jesus Christ, the Lord of Glory knows exactly what He is doing.
Have courage my friend. There is a higher purpose for your problem today. Trust. Things are not always what they seem. "Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." (Hebrews 11:1)
Things are not always what they seem. I stand with those twelve ordinary men and say,
"I wouldn't change a thing!"
Until next week,