Brad Shotts

As we approach Easter, it is interesting to study the events leading up to the crucifixion of our Lord.

There are so many great truths that God gives us pertaining to Easter.  The most important one of course is the forgiveness of sins through the shedding of Jesus’ blood and death on the cross; Him paying the price for all of our sins, so that as we invite Jesus into our hearts, we can stand blameless before God; and defeating death, Hell and the grave by being resurrected on the third day.  Amen.  

As I studied scripture, something else was revealed to me through the Easter story. 

Satan was working diligently around the clock to stop the ministry of Jesus and ultimately have him killed.  He would stop at nothing to get it done, even placing the temptation on Judas, one of those closest to Jesus, to betray Jesus so He would be arrested by Roman guards and taken into custody.  Satan thought his plan was working perfectly, sitting back and watching Jesus go on trial and then being beaten and whipped so severely, He was not recognizable.

Just like back then with Jesus, Satan still uses those closest to us to hurt us doesn’t he?  He loves to come in and cause hurt and division among family and friends.

Satan rejoiced when Jesus was being nailed to the cross and he watched as Jesus took his final and last breath and died. I can only imagine the thoughts Satan must have had that day?  Thoughts of being victorious; thinking he had finally won the battle and had defeated God. Little did Satan know, all that had transpired, every single bit of it, was all part of God’s perfect plan. 

This is a perfect example of how we as Christians go through storms and hardships.  We pray just like Jesus did; we call out to God to help us through a hard time. Everything may seem like it’s falling apart around us, just as it was through the eyes of so many regarding Jesus, but God is there and He is working behind the scenes, on our behalf. He’s working everything for our good, just as He fulfilled the perfect plan of salvation through Jesus.

When you are in the middle of the storm, it’s almost impossible to see, but later down the road, you’ll  be stronger and wiser, and you’ll be able to look back and see just how God worked all this out for you.

Can you imagine how defeated Jesus’ disciples felt, being there and watching the one they loved so much, being beaten, whipped and crucified?  Jesus tried to warn them but they didn’t understand.

Maybe you are going through a storm right now.  Maybe you are right in the middle of a big one and you have cried, you’ve hurt, you’ve been hurt and you literally just feel lost! Let me tell you, God sees exactly where you are and he knows exactly where you are as well. There is no one more ready or equipped to help you better than Jesus can.  He has been right where you are now.

Also, God is not surprised by this trial.  He knew it was coming and He also knows right now how He’s going to pull you out of it.

Did you ever think that maybe you are going through this storm for a reason?  Perhaps God is molding you, changing you and making you stronger, making you into the person He wants you to become; a transformation is in process; bringing you through to the other side.

Maybe He’s answering that prayer you prayed. I know I have prayed a prayer very similar to this and perhaps you have as well…..

“Dear God, I want nothing more than to be what you have created me to be.  Remove things in my life that you do not want there.  I want you to be pleased with everything in my life…..”

Those are very important prayers to pray, but we need to remember that sometimes (most of the time), when God begins moving things around in our lives because we’ve asked Him to, it can be a very painful process and it takes a minute to get it all done!

Be open to what God has for you.  Remember that when you are hurting the most, it’s not because God has turned His back on you, He’s right there with you carrying you the whole way, giving you the strength you need to survive it!

Another truth to remember about storms; He never promised you that you would understand, He just asks that you trust Him every step of the way.  I know that is easier said than done, but you can do it!

God sees today, He sees tomorrow and every day after.  There is no one better to lead you!  Amen!

Satan is a liar.  He comes to steal, kill and to destroy; stop listening to him and focus your eyes on the one who created you and who loves you and who wants the very best for you.

You may be in the middle of the battle on Friday, just like Jesus was on that horrible day; but remember, Sunday morning is coming; your victory is near.

Do something to make a difference in someone’s life today.

 Bradley Shotts is a member of the Rotary Club of Waxahachie; attends the Oaks Fellowship Church in Red Oak where he serves on the ministry team and loves serving his community.

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