“The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at Him. They said, ‘He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.’ One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at Him: ‘Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!’” (Luke 23:35-39). “Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into Your kingdom.’ Jesus answered him, ‘I tell you the truth, today you will be with Me in paradise'” (Luke 23:42-43).
I was looking at the Easter story and these verses in Luke, of the taunts that were thrown at Jesus on the cross, seemed to parallel what is so often the signs of today’s self-absorbed society. People are just interested in themselves.
While people may–and I hope they do–trust in what God can do, they are often also critical when they don’t get what they want.
The thieves on either side of Jesus were said to be guilty, and no doubt would have clutched at any way to get off those crosses. Some of the other taunts were more about if Jesus was “the King of the Jews”–then why couldn’t He do anything about what was happening to Him.
He could have–but He was fulfilling the plan God knew was best–for Him and for us.
During Jesus’ time on earth, He healed many. God showed He is all-powerful and all-knowing, yet He didn’t heal everyone He met.
We too, may not be walking, seeing, hearing, living, with no pain or suffering. Is that unfair? Do we taunt God about what He hasn’t done for us?
God knows all. We don’t. Yet He still promises that if we believe and trust, we will be with Him in paradise . . . fully healed.
God’s power is not just about signs and wonders. The greatest miracle, or sign of God’s ultimate power, was still coming–in His timing. It wasn’t just responding to wants and needs.
Does it take more faith to trust in God when we don’t just get our own way? If it was easy, we wouldn’t need faith.
Jesus’ death on the cross was an awesome example of trusting God’s ultimate plans, even amid terrible pain and suffering. We should still trust Him too.
Prayer: God, You are all powerful and You know us so well. Thank You for the example Jesus gives us of trusting You, even in the worst times of suffering. As You cared about His suffering, You care about ours too. Help us to trust You, even when we don’t get the answers we want, or when we don’t understand why. Amen.
About the Author:
Fiona Burrows lives in Melbourne, Australia. She is thankful that God walks each step of her life with her, and that He continues to teach her new things as she learns to live with chronic back pain. She enjoys finding time for reading, writing, and photography, and to share those things with others. She has been writing devotionals for Rest Ministries for a number of years. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael W Smith has a song “The Same Power”. Have you had times where you cried out to God that your illness or pain was unfair? Do you still believe and trust that His power is enough, even if you haven’t had physical healing? Fiona thought this may encourage you today. -Lisa