“Why does it seem incredible to any of you that God can raise the dead?”
Paul asked this question in Acts 26:8 as part of his defense in court before King Agrippa. But, when I see those words, it’s like he’s standing right in front of me wanting to know MY answer today. Why does it seem incredible/impossible to you – Emily – that God can raise the dead?
It doesn’t seem incredible/impossible to me that God can raise the dead. I believe that God created the entire universe from nothing – creating life is his specialty.
I think, if I were to be really, REALLY honest, I’d have to admit that I struggle with “WILL,” waaaaaaay more than “CAN.”
- I believe God CAN cure her cancer. But WILL he?
- I believe God CAN put a stop to this war. But WILL he?
- I believe God CAN make me dance better than Beyoncé. But WILL he? (He’s said no to that one so far, just in case you’re curious.)
If you’re with me on this, you might also be with me on the next thing that hit me: My struggle is not about God’s power. My struggle is about God’s goodness.
When things in life get rough, the Devil tries to whittle away at my faith by tempting me to doubt God’s goodness. It becomes [EMBARRASSINGLY] easy to slip into the habit of measuring God’s love and goodness based upon my hopes, dreams, plans, and limited perspective. On those really terrible days, don’t we all struggle a little bit with wondering how we can know that God’s WILL really is good when things seem so… bad?
Then it hit me – remember when Jesus was being crucified and the crowd started mocking him? Remember what they said?
The people passing by shouted abuse, shaking their heads in mockery. “Look at you now!” they yelled at him. “You said you were going to destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days. Well then, if you are the Son of God, save yourself and come down from the cross!” The leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders also mocked Jesus. “He saved others,” they scoffed, “but he can’t save himself! So he is the King of Israel, is he? Let him come down from the cross right now, and we will believe in him! He trusted God, so let God rescue him now if he wants him! For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” (Matthew 27:39-43 NLT)
Here’s what God’s actions said in the moment where it mattered the most: I CAN save myself. I WILL save you instead.
He’s that powerful AND that good.
Prayer: Dear God, I’m sorry for all the times I doubt your goodness and your love for us. The truth is that your power and your goodness are so great that they surpass everything I will ever know. Help me to remember that no matter what. Amen.