My daughter doesn’t know this one nor had she heard it. And as we’re going over it, because of the current circumstances and state of our world, the message gripped my heart in a way that it never has before. (Song linked below.)
Because He lives.... because of resurrection power, we have a precious hope. Even right now amidst these unprecedented and uncertain times.
Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:19 (KJV), “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.”
Paul was speaking in regard to his opponents who were teaching that there is no resurrection. These Corinthian opponents were contradicting the essential teaching that Christ had been physically raised from the dead and that believers in Him will someday also be resurrected.
The Message translation says it like this:
"If corpses can’t be raised, then Christ wasn’t, because he was indeed dead. And if Christ weren’t raised, then all you’re doing is wandering about in the dark, as lost as ever. It’s even worse for those who died hoping in Christ and resurrection, because they’re already in their graves. If all we get out of Christ is a little inspiration for a few short years, we’re a pretty sorry lot. But the truth is that Christ has been raised up, the first in a long legacy of those who are going to leave the cemeteries," I Corinthians 15: 16-20 (The Message).
Oh, what a glorious day that will be!!! As we’re eagerly anticipating that day, here is a little message of hope God recently shared with me.
God specializes in resurrection. He specializes in impossible situations. He specializes in speaking life into dead, “long gone”, way beyond the expiration date, hopeless situations.
Let’s consider Genesis 1:1-2 (KJV). At the very beginning, we already see resurrection power, power over death, already at work.
"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."
The original meaning of “without form” and “void” is described as formlessness, wasteland, place of chaos, indistinguishable ruin.
Darkness was upon the face of the deep.
Strong’s concordance for the meaning of darkness here lists: misery, destruction, DEATH, sorrow, wickedness.
His Spirit moved upon the face of the waters. My NKJV study bible commentary provides a beautiful picture of this.
“The Spirit of God was hovering like a mother stork might hover over her nest— a portent of LIFE to come from the dark, murky depths of the chaos below” (New King James Study Bible, page 4).
And immediately following, in verse 3, He speaks light. And there was light.
Already, we see His power and His sovereignty. At His word, we see LIFE and beauty rising up from the ashes of darkness.
Paul urges the Romans to consider Abraham, known as father of faith.
He had a word from God and He believed that HIS word could bring even the deadest situations to life.
Romans 4:17 KJV
"(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were."
The word was given to Abraham as if it had already been done. “I have made thee a father of many nations.”
Now his faith would bridge the gap between the spoken Word and its manifestation.
Romans 4: 18-21 KJV
"Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be," (vs 18).
“Against hope believed in hope.”
The Amplified Bible says, "hope against hope."
What a powerful description of faith in resurrection power!
Abraham dared to put his trust and hope in the promise of God.... even when his circumstances told him, “It’s over. You are over. You are a nobody. It’s hopeless. You are hopeless. No way. No how. You are a fool for believing such nonsense. These are the facts. Your body is dead. Impotent. Your wife’s womb is dead. Hope is gone. Expired.”
"And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb:
He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform," (vs 19-20).
I want to encourage someone today to consider not your current circumstances. The message around us is one of fear, unrest, death, and hopelessness.
The hope of the world, Jesus Christ, was beaten, bruised, pierced, crucified, and buried. Hope was dead. Or so it seemed.
But after three days, Hope arose. Hope defeated death. Hope defeated hopelessness.
Hope, Jesus Christ, always has the last word!
If you have a word, stand firm on that word as your faith is enlarged! Your promise is not dead! You're being set up for a glorious resurrection! Continue to speak it! Life and death are in your tongue! Stagger not at the promise!
Romans 5:3-5 (NKJV)
"And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us."
Scripture quotations taken from the Amplified (R) Bible." www.lockman.org/
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright (c) 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from The Message. Used by permission.
Scripture taken from King James Version of the Holy Bible, public domain.
Commentary taken from NKJ Study Bible, second edition. Copyright (c) by Thomas Nelson, Inc.