Friday, November 11, 2016

After the Election: What to Do When It's Hard

The daffodils in the photo are my "better days are coming" flowers. During one of the most difficult times of my life, a friend gave me a pack of bulbs for Christmas. They were to remind me that God is constantly doing things we can't see. 

I planted those bulbs in faith that God was at work. Every spring since then, I've had daffodils in ever-increasing numbers. They're a constant reminder that God doesn't always flaunt His efforts. Sometimes, He brings out His best when life looks the darkest.

That's what He did with the cross. 

When Jesus was arrested, the future looked bleak for His followers. The situation deteriorated that dreadful night. Things went from bad to worse. Jesus was tried, sentenced, beaten. Nothing was enough to satisfy the mob. Nothing but death.

The enemies of God thought they'd won. What they didn't understand was that nothing could defeat Him. God was mere days from revealing the best gift He ever gave.

On the morning of the third day, the stone moved. Jesus arose. The victory over sin and death was won.

And it still is.

When Jesus rose from the dead, He bought our freedom from death and sin. When He sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in us, He assured us of the victory, if we want it.

The problem, I'm afraid, is that we're fond of sin, and we don't always want victory over it. 

Jesus spent His last hours praying for those who would follow Him. He was praying for us. You and me. The thing He most wanted was for us to be unified. To demonstrate to the world that the love of Christ can unify a disparate people and make us one. It would be so attractive to the world, Jesus prayed, that people would be drawn to Him.

Well, that was the plan. 

It would work, if we would do our part. People will never be drawn to Christ if we take offense at the words of others, if we fight back, if we indulge in backbiting and arguing. So let's stop it. 

Just stop.

It's not necessary to respond to every hard word that's said, to every mean thing that's done. It's not necessary to respond to every hateful thing that's posted on Facebook.

What about turning the other cheek is hard to understand? 

When someone does something that stings, let it go. Don't respond. Don't hold on to it. Forgive. Move past it.

Act like Jesus. Love like Jesus. Choose what Jesus wanted... unity in the body of Christ. Love that astounds the world.

Opinions don't matter. Even opinions about our recent election. Love does.

When His people behave the way Jesus said to behave, He will take those actions and make something beautiful. 

It may take a while. It may not be evident for a long time, but, like my daffodil bulbs, He will bring something good from this very hard time. 

Choose love.

"...for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one, even as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be in Us; that the world may believe that Thou didst send Me. John 17:20, 21 nasb
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In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: Waiting For the Invitation to Change
If you'd like to help support this ministry outreach, here's the link to give: Global Outreach Acct 4841
#Jesus #love