There are a lot of events that can happen in our lives to make us think God has rejected us, or His grace isn’t big enough to cover our sins. But the resurrection is a powerful moment in history that constantly reminds us otherwise.
A few days ago, Jane and I went out to eat. We had one of those plastic gift cards Jane’s parents had sent her for her birthday. I was happy to eat on Jane’s birthday present! When it was time to pay, we gave the waiter our card and in a few moments he returned to tell us the bad news: the card was empty. I had heard about empty gift cards and I know that’s why we save those little receipts that prove the funds were put on them. I didn’t have the receipt, so I handed the waiter some cash. But while he was gone, I accessed our account on my phone, and behold! The money was there. I alerted the waiter and he returned my cash.
An occasional crisis of confidence in the Lord is a normal part of our walk with Him. I think it is one of the ways Satan tried to wear us down. He knows He can’t defeat God, so he tries to discourage us. However, the resurrection reminds us our future is secure, and our present relationship with God is made right. We have salvation “on account”, and because we know things are going to be fine when we get to heaven, and we are covered with grace now, we don’t have to let Satan trip us up.
One of the most loved songs about Jesus’ resurrection “Because He Lives” by Bill and Gloria Gaither. In a testimony about the song Gloria Gaither talks about the climate out of which the song came. It was the 1960, and our country was experiencing great upheaval and disillusionment. The Vietnam War was bringing the pain and suffering of our troops into our living rooms every evening, and people were claiming God was dead. Gloria writes the following: “In this climate, Bill and I sought to write songs with lasting answers to the turmoil of the human spirit. But in the fall of 1969, several things happened to test the reality of our own convictions. We realized we were expecting another baby. Though we had always intended to have another child, we weren’t planning on a baby so soon. My body hadn’t quite recovered from the last pregnancy. Making matters worse, Bill contracted mononucleosis, which left him exhausted and depressed. This combination of national turmoil and personal trouble discouraged us, and we occasionally asked each other; ‘If the world is like this now, what will it be in fifteen or sixteen years for our baby? What will this child face?’ While pondering and praying about these things, we came to realize anew that our courage doesn’t come from a stable world, for the world has never been stable. Jesus Himself was born in the cruelest of times. No, we have babies, raise families, and risk living because the Resurrection is true! Our baby arrived safe and sound, and we named him Benjamin, which means ‘most beloved son.’ A few weeks later ‘Because He Lives’ was born in our hearts and poured from our souls”. Perhaps, you will recognize these words from the Gaither’s song, “Because he lives, I can face tomorrow. Because he lives, all fear is gone. Because I know he holds the future, life is worth the living just because he lives.”
We have a lot of experiences in lives that eat away at our confidence in God. We have struggles at home, at work, at school, and within our souls. We have feelings of disappointment, discouragement, abandonment, rejection and fear. For a lot of us, our biggest tests come when we are waiting on an answer from God or He isn’t working in the way we hoped He would. If we aren’t careful, we can slip into a pit of fear and Satan can torment us and steal our joy. That’s when we remember the empty tomb, which tells us our victory is secure! God has not left us, and there is nothing Satan can ultimately do to us to destroy us.