“I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn over what is going to happen to me, but the world will rejoice. You will grieve, but your grief will suddenly turn to wonderful joy.John 16:20
There is something to be said about how much time Jesus invested preparing His disciples for what was to come. In total almost 5 whole chapters in John were dedicated to Jesus doing everything he could to prepare them, but nothing could prepare them. How do you prepare anyone to face a situation that seems unfathomable? How do you possibly tell them everything is going to be okay as long as they stand in faith. That God will fulfill the promise that he has given, even when it seems impossible.
For the disciples the answer was simple, you can’t. Even though they had witnessed miracle after miracle. Even though they witnessed Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Even though they had seen Him cast out demons simply by speaking to them. Jesus was about to go through one of the most excruciating (the actual word that described the level of pain of crucifixion) deaths a person had to endure. He was about to die, and that was as far as any of the disciples would see. They had no ability to understand and have faith in the promise because all records had shown – other than one miracle – that death is the end. We say that we believe God can do all things. We say that nothing is impossible for God, but when push comes to shove, and we are faced with the impossible we are met with our own lacking of human understanding.
While the disciples faith was restored once Jesus revealed Himself to them it doesn’t make it any easier for us when we are going through our own impossible moments. Let me just say right off the bat: I wish I had the answer for you. I wish I could tell you that indeed everything works out as God promises, and according to the Bible and other people’s experience it does. However, as I sit in the midst of my own impossible moment I can not lie to you and say that my faith in God’s promise has been full through the entire ordeal. I can’t tell you how many times I have found myself mistrusting what God spoke to me. On so many occasions I have convinced myself – with the help of the enemy – that it really is impossible. Every time I have let myself get too far off the rails though, I have asked God to reassure me. I am sure by now He is saying, “Seriously? Again?” But as the good and faithful God, full of grace, that He is, He continually reassures me that there is a promise to be fulfilled at the end of all of this.
Tonight, though, as I sit here poking my nose into the Gospels; I do not come to you with any real answers, but really to pose a question. Why, with all of the good news that we know, do we still so quickly distrust our God, capable of all things? I know I can’t be alone in this.
We are so quick to read through the Old Testament and start pointing fingers of shame at all of the people. We question, “How could they?” To the Israelite people when they witnessed God cripple Egypt, part a sea, and allow them to escape what seemed to be permanent slavery; only to melt down Gold and create an idol to worship because Moses and God were chit chatting too long up on the mountain. We ask how Saul could hear Samuel tell him what God wanted him to do; only to turn and do the exact opposite right after the battle. We ask how Peter could go from saying that they survive on every word that comes from the mouth of Jesus; only to deny Him when his faith was put to the test. In every situation we look at in the Bible we can look in hindsight and say, “wow, their faith was so weak!” But we do exactly the same thing.
When you are in the thick of it, our human understanding can so easily get the best of us. Our fears come to the front and we quickly forget about the promises that God has laid before us. We are no better than any human that ever came before us, and no human that comes after us will be better than us. We are all sinners, and when Adam and Eve partook in the fruit they ensured that we all did. We are all guilty of breaking the first commandment a time or two, or two hundred. Part of loving God with all of our hearts is trusting Him with every word that he speaks, either through the Bible, or in our own hearts. I raise my hand, as a sinner, to say that I would be a hypocrite if I judged anyone for losing their trust in the Lord, but what I can say is this. God is a forgiving God. Continue to pray deeply in repentance, ask for forgiveness, and reconfirm your love for God. Allow Him to remove the shame with forgiveness, and get back on the path and keep walking it. He will forgive you, and He will make the promise come true. That much, at least for me, I do believe when I get out of my own head long enough to listen to the Lord. Also, as the first light of day starts to flicker over the horizon, things do start to get easier as well. Let me pose a few questions to you that I would love for you to answer in the comments below.
- How have you found ways to endure even when it seems like things are impossible?
- Have you had your own impossible situation? What was the outcome? (you don’t have to get too personal on this.)
- Is there a scripture that God has placed in your heart for when the moments get tough?
Feel free to answer one or all! I would love to hear your input!