Have you ever considered the shock and devastation the disciples must have experienced when their hero, Savior and Messiah was brutally tortured and executed on Easter Friday? They had seen Him perform never-before-seen miracles; they knew that no one could stand up to His responses to the questions His enemies presented to entrap Him; they had seen Him walk on water, and untouched, through mobs of angry people bent on killing Him. He was the real thing and they knew it.
And yet, not a single one of them understood why He suffered and died until after the shock and disappointment. But with Easter Sunday something happened within their hearts and minds that transformed them and their understanding of the Messiah and His Kingdom. They became lions for Jesus Christ.
In the final years of the Judah, Hezekiah, a very good king, became ill and was at the point of death. “The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, “This is what the Lord says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.” Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, “Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. Before Isaiah had left the middle court, the word of the Lord came to him: “Go back and tell Hezekiah, the ruler of my people, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the Lord.” Kings 20:1-4
Hezekiah was supposed to die, but cried bitterly to God and God relented and added 15 years to his life——-and then made the sun go back ten hours to prove it! Is this the same God you and I pray to? Is He able to turn our anguish, broken-heartedness and despair into indescribable joy? He certainly did this for Hezekiah and more so for the disciples. Those eleven young men were never the same brawling, whining, scared young men they were again after the resurrection.
We’re not supposed to live our lives based upon how we feel at the moment but rather based upon our trust that He will do what He promises. David said, “The Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;……Psalm 37: 3-7
So is it true or false? It can’t be both ways? Can these words from David, the record about Hezekiah and the narrative about the disciples be trusted?
David learned that if he did his best and honored God, that God could be trusted to hover over him. But David still had sorrows, setbacks and disappointments even after this Psalm was recorded. People betrayed him and his own kids were rotten at times. David is talking about life in perspective—-not under a microscope.
Funny how I often think that God is required to answer at beck and call as if I alone understand the severity and timeliness of my troubles. How often do I allow small things—-truly tiny matters—to steal the peace of God from my heart? The disciples suffered for three days—-but Jesus kept His promise—-He always does. That gives me peace and keeps trouble from my heart.