"When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord."
Talk about 20/20 vision in 2020! If your eyes are on the Risen Christ, your days will be filled with gladness. I’ve always thought John 20:20 was one of the most understated verses in the Bible. This event occurred on the night of Easter Sunday. Rumors and speculations about the Lord’s resurrection were swirling around the apostles, and then suddenly, behind closed doors, there He was! He showed them His scars to prove He was alive.
And they were glad!
Wow! What emotions are summed up in those four little words. They were excited, exuberant, overjoyed, amazed, thrilled, relieved, and elated.
The resurrected Jesus is just as alive for you as He was for the apostles, and when we see the Lord, our heart is glad, to say the least — every day of the year!
“Into Every Life A Little Rain Must Fall.” So goes the familiar saying about the inevitability of hardship. But what if the rain turns into a torrential downpour, a life challenge that requires strength beyond what is humanly possible? Paul describes such a situation in his second letter to the Corinthians. He wrote of an affliction that weighed so heavily on his heart and body that he didn’t expect to survive.
The apostle’s approach to his problem still works today: “We would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead… and will deliver us” (2 Corinthians 1:9-10). The strength that we need during trials is available through Jesus Christ, whose supernatural energy flows through every believer’s mind, body and spirit.
How does this happen? When someone receives Jesus as Savior, His Spirit comes to live inside the new believer (John 14:17). As a result of this indwelling, the power that Christ demonstrated while on earth prevails in those who now call upon Him for aid. God’s supernatural strength is accessible to all believers, if only we’ll trust His promise to supply what we need when we need it (Philippians 4:19). As long as we attempt to muddle through using our own abilities, we will prevent His Spirit from unleashing divine help.
Jesus Christ’s power is released into our life when we acknowledge our helplessness. The effect is immediate. As soon as we surrender to the Lord, His might is working within us so we can endure hardship while maintaining our joy and peace.
—Dr. Charles Stanley, In Touch Ministries
This Month's Scripture
When difficulties arise, how can you be sure you’re responding in a way that would please the Lord? Here is an acrostic, based on the word adversity that suggests the steps you should take:
Accept the events of your life as part of how God equips you (James 1:3-4).
Decide to follow Jesus’ ways of responding to trials (Philippians 2:5-8).
Veer neither to the right nor to the left from the path of obedience (Proverbs 4:26-27)
Expect the Holy Spirit to help you grow through your difficulties (Romans 8:26).
Remember how the Lord has helped you in the past (Deuteronomy 31:8).
Set your face like flint (Isaiah 50:7) to endure the trial without wavering.
Invest additional time in your relationship with God (James 4:8).
Trust the Lord, especially when you do not understand (Proverbs 3:5).
Yield yourself unto God, do not resist Him in the time of trouble. (2 Chronicles 30:8).
"1Let all that I am praise the LORD; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. 2Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me. 3He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. 4He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. 5He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s! 6The LORD gives righteousness and justice to all who are treated unfairly." NLT