Holy Week Devotional
“Blessed is God, the Father of our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One! Because He has raised Jesus the Anointed from death, through His great mercy we have been reborn into a living hope— reborn for an eternal inheritance, held in reserve in heaven, that will never fade or fail. Through faith, God’s power is standing watch, protecting you for a salvation that you will see completely at the end of things.”
Back in February, I had the privilege to take a trip to Israel where I visited many of the sites where Jesus himself stood and taught God’s Word. And to be honest, if I knew then what I know now about the pandemic that has so easily taken over our world, I probably wouldn’t have gone. I would have missed out on the opportunity to see Jesus’ ministry unfold before my very eyes. I would not have gotten the opportunity to walk down the Via Delarosa, or shed tears of peace alongside the Sea of Galilee, or set foot in the city of Jerusalem.
Today, as I share with you about that experience, I want to encourage you to hold onto hope and faith during these days of uncertainty. Before I left for Israel, I had people telling me that I was going to come back changed, that this would be the greatest experience of my life and that I would look at ministry differently than I had before. To be honest, this frightened me. Several questions ran through my mind. What if I don’t come back changed? What if I go and am so busy looking for ways to change my life that I forget to be? What will people think if I don’t feel like they felt? These questions of doubt confused me and left me feeling a bit nervous. I had almost lost hope that this trip would change me and, if I’m being honest, I was placing my faith in the experiences of those who had gone before me. But once I was there, I quickly realized that I couldn’t allow the experiences of others to influence and shape my experience. I had to be completely present and in the moment. I had to remain hopeful that God would reveal to me what I needed to gain from this experience, and I had to remain faithful that He would speak to me.
Much like my faith and hope faltered before I went on that trip, I believe the state of the unknown that we find ourselves in now can cause us to wonder. How can we be changed people, how can we hope for the best, and how can we move forward? While these are all valid questions, I want to remind you of a passage that leads us to hope and encourages us to strengthen our faith. 1 Peter 1:3-5 (the Voice) says, “Blessed is God, the Father of our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One! Because He has raised Jesus the Anointed from death, through His great mercy we have been reborn into a living hope— reborn for an eternal inheritance, held in reserve in heaven, that will never fade or fail. Through faith, God’s power is standing watch, protecting you for a salvation that you will see completely at the end of things.”
With this being Holy Week, and the days ahead serving as a reminder of the great sacrifice that Jesus made for His people, what is more fitting than talking about the hope of the resurrection and the example that faithful followers of Christ can be for others? Friends, the one way I can encourage you is to remind you to keep the FAITH in God, His promises and His Word. HOPE for a better tomorrow. And, do your part to remind others that it may look dark and gloomy—as I imagine it did on Good Friday all those years ago as Jesus carried His cross to what would ultimately be His death. But rejoice in the fact that we know Sunday is coming and our God is alive and He has not forgotten His people. When we lose sight of God’s promises, we lose sight of God’s HOPE. My prayer for you all is that you will remain hopeful for a better tomorrow and remain faithful to our Heavenly Father.