Happy Good Friday everyone. Last night and this morning have been good for Frances. Although the uncomfortable hospital chair and I are not on speaking terms this morning, Frannie is doing amazingly well. She's telling everyone about Jesus and, once again, blasting her praise music. It's crazy how people just come in and start opening up their life story. Love it. If you want to follow along with what we're listening to, download the Spotify app and search for "IF Gathering" playlist. Great stuff.
And since it's Good Friday, I wanted to share with you what God has been showing me lately in His Word...
"We are all going through something."
"You never know what God is doing in someone's life."
These two sentences echo in my mind every time I preach or talk to someone about the Lord. Let's be honest, we're all going through something.
It might be...
An emotional something.
A physical something.
A financial something.
A relational something.
A marital something.
An addictive something.
Once you realize that, you start to look at people differently. And you don't think you're so crazy.
The second sentence gives hope to the first...You never know what God is doing in someone else's life.
You have no idea of the inner dialogue that people are having with the Lord. The night time conversations taking place between their ears. The thoughts. The silent prayers. The inner struggle. The secret joys.
This is what was going on in the life of Peter on that first Good Friday. He was the one, like us, who emphatically told Jesus that "even if all these disown you, Lord, I never will...In fact, I'll die for you!" That pride led to his fall, because, as we know the story, before the rooster crowed the final time, he disowned Jesus three times. The verse that penetrates my mind is where it says, "he then went out and wept bitterly."
He felt the sting. The felt the impact. He was confronted with the truth of his denial. He felt the shame. He continued to weep. And hide.
And the amazing thing about the resurrection story is that, on that first Easter morning, after our risen Lord busted through the powers of death, hell and the grave, the angel told them women at the tomb this powerful truth, "Go tell the disciples, AND PETER that HE IS RISEN."
Do you find it interesting that the Jesus told the angel to specifically name Peter? Go tell the disciples AND PETER..." In our moments of deepest need and discouragement, the resurrection story reminds us that Jesus raised for YOU (the downhearted, the depressed, the one who has blown it time and time again).
I don't think I'm adding too much to the story when I say this, but if you have fallen from the Lord or have disappointed Him in any way, He's probably been trying to get your attention. Insert your name into the story and be encouraged. "Go tell the disciples and (___insert your name here___) that HE IS RISEN."
Happy Good Friday.