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Special Easter message

It is often as I quietly lie in bed at night, that I replay in my mind the day’s events and news from friends and loved ones, which helps guide my prayers. Once again this past month has produced much to pray about: a tornado destroyed the home of my niece in Texas (thankfully the family is safe!); an extended family member was killed when a tree fell on his home during another storm; some family members have required unexpected surgery; and we received urgent prayer requests for healing for both Pastor Sika and also Pastor Honore’s young son, Brian Blessing (see below). At times it seems that we are in a “dark season” when trial after trial keep coming our way, and things seem to be going from bad to worse! There is so much to pray for, and we may even feel trapped in deep despair or mourning, with no chance of hope: we USED to believe, but somehow are now really struggling with our faith.

As we re-read the story of Holy Week I am reminded of just HOW dark that season was for the disciples and followers of Jesus. From the joy and excitement of Palm Sunday, they were suddenly plunged into a series of confusing events and teachings (the tables in the temple being overturned, the strange events at the Last Supper…) and finally of course, the nightmare of the Crucifixion. They must have all been stunned and in total confusion!! Their hopes and faith in Jesus as the Messiah were completely dashed! Had he misled them? Perhaps he had meant well but just wasn’t strong enough! They probably lost their faith in God too – after all, He COULD have sent angels to save Jesus, but He didn’t! Perhaps it had all been just a fanciful dream! They were mourning both the loss of their friend AND the hopeful future he had painted for them.

THe cross on St. Clements Island, MDBut that wasn’t the end of the story! Right in the midst of the darkest despair when even the “best” people had given up, God showed His full authority and released Resurrection power – proving His everlasting love and confirming that Jesus IS the Messiah! Even to this day, although we know WHY He did it (His loving plan to atone for all sins and reunite us with Him), we still have no idea HOW he did it! I believe that can continue to give us all hope, even in the darkest season when we cannot understand why God didn’t intervene and prevent a tragedy, or save us from great suffering. Even when the situation seems unending and totally impossible, we can remind ourselves that God truly does love us and that is WHY He will enable us to get through whatever comes, even though we may never know HOW!

 

As it promises so clearly in Hebrews 13:5-6 (AMPC): “….for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!] So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently and boldly say, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm [I will not fear or dread or be terrified]…..”

I pray that this Easter season, YOU will experience that Resurrection power in the form of renewed hope and strengthened faith that will enable you to continue to stand strong no matter what you must face – because our Heavenly Father already has planned how you will get through it! Blessings, Shirley

The Spirit of the God who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you. So the God who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your bodies. He will do this because of his Spirit who lives in you.”  Romans 8:11 (NIRV)

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