When I am walking through a valley in my life, I sometimes lose sight of the hope I have and feel such despair and hopelessness. This world is so unfair and can be a really horrible place. It is easy to become discouraged and want to give up, or give in.
I would imagine that the disciples felt that way when they lost sight of Jesus when He died and was buried. They had completely forgotten all of the times He had warned them this was coming, and they also forgot He had told them to have hope- because He was going to defeat death.
“For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.” ~John 10:17-18
“A little while, and you will no longer behold Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me.” ~John 16:16
But not only were the disciples discouraged, they were terrified and hiding. Only John and Peter are mentioned as being nearby during Jesus’ 6 mock trials, and only John and the women are mentioned as being at the crucifixion. (John 19:25-27)
“Behold, an hour is coming, and has already come, for you to be scattered, each to his own home, and to leave Me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” ~John 16:32-33
The Enemy, Satan, was victorious, or so he thought. The Son of God, Messiah, the only hope that God’s people had, was dead and gone! But Satan should have known better, for he also had been told. In Genesis 3:15, God tells Satan, “…He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.” Satan would deal a blow, but the blow he would receive back would be fatal.
Whenever I am struggling with despair and discouragement, I need to remember that comes from my enemy, Satan. He loves it when I lose my joy and my focus and my hope, and I turn my thoughts upon myself and this rotten world and misery. I am useless for God’s glory and purpose, because I am only living for myself.
Then I remember my Hope, Jesus, and His promises- the Bible is chock full of so many good and faithful promises! And I remember that all of my troubles, they, too, shall pass, and “Sunday” will come, just hang in there!
When the tomb was found empty, and Jesus appeared to the disciples- ALIVE!- they began to remember those words and promises that Jesus had told them, and they began to understand and believe, and they rejoiced! “When therefore it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst, and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples therefore rejoiced when they saw the Lord.” ~John 20:19-20
Sunday had come! Easter Sunday, the day Jesus conquered death, so that we can have life eternal with Him! He lives!!
And when life is hard, remember Easter Sunday, and remember that the “Sunday” when all of the trials will be over, is coming! Jesus has promised! “In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” ~John 16:33b 🙂