4We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ
was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
5For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with
him in a resurrection like his.
Roman 6:4 – 5
It is with great joy that we serve a risen Savior. And even more that we can take on the mantle of grace and become Christ-like in our daily living. As Paul tells the Romans, when we are buried with Christ through baptism, we have symbolically faced death, just as He did. The glory of the moment is when we emerge from the “death” and accept new life in Christ. How wonderful it is to know that Christ now lives and that in turn we too live in Him.
But what of those moments when it all seems so far away? Faith feels like our Mount Everest. How can we climb that mountain and really trust in the Lord? Circumstances of this worldly life can obscure the mountain top. High winds of despair blow our trust down the mountain side, maybe even off the mountain. How then do we lift our eyes up to the Lord and feel again His loving arms?
Look for comfort in the scripture and the blessed joy of the music God has given. There is no failure in moments of darkness. Those moments come to all of us. There is no lack of faith in those time we feel alone and outside of Jesus’ love, only human emotion. Darkness only last for the night. The great gift of hope in Jesus is that the daylight will come and in great joy we will again be able to sing praises to our God.
How dark it must have been for Armenian Christians locked in burning churches as they were persecuted in the late 19th century. In fact, how dark it must still seem to many Armenians as battles erupt from time to time between them and Turkish backed Azerbaijan. Yet, Christianity grows and strengthens, not because of the world around them, but because of the promised hope of resurrection in Christ.
Seldom are we faced with the threat of death because of our Christianity in America, still faith can seem so far away at times when the things or our world turn on us. Overcoming that sense of lose is where the Holy Spirit’s work begins in our lives.
When we open our hearts to the true power of the resurrection, we open our minds to the hope that can never be dimmed. Faith may seem fleeting, but with the Holy Spirit’s help, the small flame of hope can burn eternal in our hearts. There are days when we can not sing the old hymn He Lives, but with the guidance and help of the Holy Spirit a verse or a chorus will jump into our minds and that small flicker of hope is rekindled into a fire that warms our faith and even helps us grow stronger. Let the chorus wash over you:
He lives (He lives), He lives (He lives), Christ Jesus lives today
He walks with me and talks with me
Along life's narrow way
He lives (He lives), He lives (He lives), Salvation to impart
You ask me how I know He lives?
He lives within my heart
It may take more than a few words. More than a verse or two, but when we dwell in the presence of the Lord and work as disciples together, in pairs of two or more, our faith can be restored. Our hope becomes a roaring fire warming our very being and reaching out to the world around us.
There is no shame in moments of doubt and fear. We are given the book of Job as an example of how it is ok to question God. But just as God spoke to Job out of the whirlwind, the Holy Spirit speaks to us today, if we just listen. When the moments of doubt, darkness and loneliness threaten to overcome, turn to the Lord, in scripture, in song and in companionship of other disciples. The darkness will only last for a night. Soon the bright light of day, the shining of the Lord will set your mind at ease. Because we have been resurrected in the way of Jesus.
We're Park Hill Christian Church in KC MO. We seek to follow Jesus by praising God, loving those we meet and serving the vulnerable.
6601 Northwest 72nd Street, Kansas City, MO 64151 | 816-741-1851