Now when they had fulfilled all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a tomb. But God raised Him from the dead.
Acts 13:29-30 (NKJV)
Also refer Acts 3:13-15 and Acts 10:39-40.
Throughout Scripture “But God” appears 61 times. (including 3 times in relation to Jesus being raised from the dead)
- Men killed Him, But God raised Him from the dead
- The purpose of God is unstoppable
- Throughout our lives, we will inevitably encounter difficult times
- The devil will attempt to destroy us
- People will attack us, try to take advantage of us, disappoint us
- Sickness may try its hand against us
- We will have good days and bad days
- We will make mistakes, stumble and fall
- Yet none of these things will succeed because of God in our lives
As we face an unprecedented time, where countries are closing their borders, nations are put into lockdown and children are kept from school etc, we cannot afford to let these times block out the God factor.
Isaiah 51:13 God made the entire universe. When our problems get big, we need to spend time with God – praising, worshipping and meditating on God. We need to get our telescope on God and magnify Him so that He is our focus. For it is He Who gives us the peace and strength to endure and be victorious.
Nehemiah 4:14 In the book of Nehemiah, even as the walls of the city were being rebuilt, there was opposition. Even as we build the church, opposition will come. But God brings blessings, peace and His presence. The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7) We need not be afraid for God is alive and is able to exceedingly and abundantly. (Ephesians 3:20)
Colossians 1:27 “Christ in you, the hope of glory." Jesus died and rose again. So, we are to build our faith on God. The best predictor of victory is Christ in us. (Psalm 49:15)
But God is more powerful than any force of the enemy. (Psalm 73:26) But God is the strength of my heart.
Romans 8:31 "If God is for us, who can be against us?". As we put our eyes on God, and off the problem, His Spirit and His power empowers us towards victory. (Isaiah 17:12-13) Also, even as we face temptations, we are able to overcome them, by the grace of God. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
In the book of Esther, there is a story of Haman who is plotting evil against God’s people and is trying to wipe them out. He even builds gallows with the intent to hang Mordecai who is a man of faith in God. But God brings a series of “co-incidences” or “God-incidences” where He uses Esther the queen to get Haman exposed. The enemies plan backfires and Haman was hung on the very gallows he had made for Mordecai. Thereby signifying that all things work together for good to those who love God and to those who are the called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)
Another story is that of the prophet Jonah who was in the belly of a large fish but miraculously resurfaced after three days. Even before we have our problem, God has a solution. So, we must keep our eyes on God, for that leads us on a collision course with the miraculous.
But God preserved Moses. Even though Pharaoh wanted to wipe out an entire generation of the Hebrew nation by killing every male child under 2 years old, God turned that situation around and guided Moses to lead His people out of bondage and into freedom.
In the book of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were three young men of faith, thrown into the fire because they refused to worship idols and other gods. But they did not get burnt in the fire and a fourth person likened to the son of God, was seen walking amidst of them in the fire. No matter what we are facing and even if we feel like we are drowning or burning in the fire, But God is with us. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God. (Romans 8:28)
"Fear not, for I am with you."
SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT
- Share and reflect on issues that are of concern in this current season.
- Discuss practical steps we can take to focus on God instead of the current issues that are around us (eg Spending time in prayer, worship, meditate on scriptures, etc)
- Consider one thing to focus on/commitment to make, as part of our next step in drawing closer to God.
- How can we reach out to those in our community to encourage them during this season?