Alive Forever

Apr
2018
07

I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend.
And I know that Thou art with me,
Wilt be with me to the end.
—Louisa M.R. Stead

I love that old hymn. Trust isn’t easily achieved, and it doesn’t survive unchallenged. It’s tested when life dumps you in a dark patch where the wind blows cold, and your world is lonely.

The words of ’Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus were written in the darkest stretch of Louisa Stead’s life. Louisa, her husband Malcolm, and their four-year-old daughter Lily were enjoying a beach picnic when a boy’s cry for help came from the waves. Malcolm rushed into the surf but was no match for the pull of the tide and the terrified youth. Malcolm and the boy drowned as Louisa helplessly watched.

In the excruciating days of emotional convalescence, the young widow wrote: “’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus . . . and I know that Thou art with me, Wilt be with me to the end.”

Jesus knows the helplessness—and desertion—you feel when your world is falling apart. He knows how painful it is to pray and wonder if you’re being heard. In the inky loneliness of Gethsemane, he prayed—three times—to be delivered from the agonizing ordeal coming at him.

The answer to his prayer was silence.

Instead of being saved, he was seized. Instead of being defended, he was denounced. Instead of being acquitted, he was convicted.

Instead of being answered, he was abandoned.

A few hours later he was impaled on a cross. Battered and bloody. Suffering and dying.

Had his trust been misplaced? “He trusts in God,” antagonists sneered; “let God deliver him now, if he wants to” (Mt 27:43 NRSV).

Silence.

“My God . . . why have you forsaken me?” he cried.

Silence.

Still, with his last breath, he declared his trust: “Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!”

Three days later, God honored that trust with a spine-tingling, heart-stirring, world-changing Sunday. Grieving women who had watched him die on Friday trudged to the tomb on Sunday. It was empty. “Why do you look for the living among the dead?” an angel asked—“He is not here; he has risen!”

You, reader, are in that triumphant story. Jesus is “the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep . . . in Christ all will be made alive” (1 Cor 15:20, 22). “I am the resurrection and the life,” Jesus said. “Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live” (Jn 11:25 NRSV). “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life” (Jn 6:47 NKJV).

Experiencing a tough time? Clothed in trust, you’ll get through it.

‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His word,
Just to rest upon His promise,
Just to know, “Thus saith the Lord.”

Trust him. Take him at his word. Rest upon his promise.

Here is his promise: “Because I live, you also will live” (Jn 14:19).

And that life, my friend, will be forever.

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