He Is Alive

 In Sara Humphrey

As I write this blog, another mass shooting at a school in America is in the headlines.  Social media has once again turned into a platform of finger-pointing and debate.  I am not here to fuel debate over our legal rights or personal opinions.  I am here, as we approach Easter Sunday, to offer encouragement and remind us of this: God is alive, and he is near.  We proclaim it boldly on Easter morning, but what about the other 364 days of the year?  Do we truly believe this in our hearts?  Do we live our lives as living examples to this testimony, or, in times of challenge and suffering, do we forget who God is?  A few phrases have caught my attention this past week, reminding me that the enemy would love to shake our confidence in God.  But we, as followers of Jesus, need to live our lives with confidence in the One who is alive and in control.

Phrase No. 1: “No wonder this is happening.  We took God out of schools.”  Um, no.  We humans are not capable of removing an omnipresent God from anywhere.  He is still alive and present in our schools, among the pain.  God himself came down from heaven to live and breathe as we do.  He experienced doubt, fear, grief, and extraordinary pain.  He understands what we are going through.  We live in a broken, sinful world where hate, anger, and suffering exist.  They are real, but so is God.  He walks alongside us through our pain, and “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard our hearts and minds” (Philippians 4:7).  Do not be anxious.  He is near.

Phrase No. 2: “We need action.  Praying doesn’t work.”  First of all, no one can possibly know or measure the effects of prayer except God.  He alone is in control.  Second, if praying didn’t work, then Jesus wouldn’t have modeled this for us when he was here on Earth. If God doesn’t hear or ignores our prayers, then there was no need for Jesus to cry out to him in the garden in Gethsemane.  Or again on the cross.  There would be no reason to encourage us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) or to “pray for one another” in faith (James 5:16).  Praying is action.  It is an action of faith in a living God.  He hears our prayers and answers them according to his plan and purpose.

As we approach Easter, let us live our lives with confidence in a living God.  Love one another.  Serve one another.  Pray for one another.  Remind one another that the tomb is empty, and he is risen indeed.

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