The Bible tells us that forty days after Jesus raised from the dead he ascended back into heaven to sit on his throne at the Father’s side. Because of the journey Jesus made from Christmas to Resurrection Sunday to Ascension day, we have hope in our own journey from suffering to glory. The Psalmist wrote:
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me up in glory.
Who do I have in heaven but you?
And I desire nothing on earth but you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart, my portion forever. (Psalm 73:24–26, CSB)
The Psalmist came to this conclusion when he looked at the prosperity and victory of the wicked over the righteous. He couldn’t make sense with any earthly wisdom why he should remain afflicted & punished in this world while trying to live righteously. “When I tried to understand all this” -- I love his honesty -- “it seemed hopeless” (73:16).
In the aftermath of the bombings in Sri Lanka on Resurrection Sunday, I bet many of you said those same words. “When I try to understand why the Lord would let this happen, it seems hopeless.” But the Psalmist continues.
“…it seemed hopeless
until I entered God’s sanctuary.
Then I understood their destiny.” (vv. 16b-17)
The reality of God’s presence provides a different perspective. The destiny of the wicked, should they remain unrepentant, is to face the judgment of Christ when he returns. Ours is to be guided by the Lord’s counsel -- His Word & Spirit -- while we endure suffering till we reach glory; just as Jesus said (Matt. 5:10-12).
Therefore, we ought to pray for the Lord’s counsel, strength, and guidance; for his peace beyond understanding (Phil. 4:7) for our brothers and sisters who are suffering while they too wait for glory. In particular, the International Mission Board has suggested the following ways to pray for Christians in Sri Lanka (read more at bit.ly/IMBsrilanka). Join me in praying for our brothers and sisters.
- Pray for those who have lost family members to be comforted by the God of all comfort.
- Pray for those who are injured to receive needed care.
- Pray for those who are unable to locate family members to be reconnected.
- Pray for believers to be the hands and feet of Christ during this time of disaster.
- Hearts are hurting. Pray God would use this situation to draw men, women, and children to himself, for his glory and honor.
- Pastor Jonathan