This Easter, I was reminded so clearly of the paradoxical nature of our faith. We are people who rejoice in suffering, we are victorious in surrender, we are strong when we are weak, and we are alive in death because we know that death is not the end for us. This year, Easter took on an entirely different significance for me and for my family.
On March 2, 2015 my grandmother took her last breath on earth. She fought a long and hard battle with Alzheimer’s, and that fight finally came to an end. This experience has taught me more about the character of God than I ever thought possible. However, what the Lord continues to press into my heart is this idea of His relentless faithfulness despite my relentless unfaithfulness.
We see traces of God being faithful to His covenant people throughout all of the Old Testament, and ultimately His faithfulness is personified in the person and work of Jesus. Easter Sunday is a time when the body gathers to celebrate the fulfillment of a promise God made to His people. (Genesis3:15; Zechariah 9:9) Ultimately, we gather to celebrate the atonement together and that celebration is only possible because we serve a God who is faithful to His promises.
Mark 9 tells the story of a man who is pleading with Jesus to heal his demon-possessed son. The man does not fully trust that Jesus can heal his son, and after a gentle but stern rebuke from Jesus, he cries out “Lord, I believe! Help my unbelief!“ (9:24).
How often do I find myself in the same precarious situation as this man?
I believe, but I do not believe enough. The weight of doubt clouds my mind and I quickly begin to devise my own plans instead of trusting that the Lord is the one who orders my steps. (Proverbs 16:9) I believe the gospel, but I do not believe it enough to let it saturate my heart and inform my decisions. A heart that is full of doubt and unbelief is a heart that wanders, worries, schemes, and makes decisions based upon calculations or emotions rather than the truths and promises found in God’s Word. A heart that has cast aside the weight and burden of doubt is a transformed heart that loves, waits, accepts, listens, and learns.
He is a God that heals the son of a man who admits he doesn’t fully believe he can do it. He is a God that keeps covenant promises from Adam to Abraham to Moses to Jesus. He is a God that not only comforts those who mourn, but makes a promise that one day we will mourn no more. He is the God of life and death, a God that is sovereign over memory and disease. He is a God that enables us to live with joy and to die with hope.
The way to inform and correct a heart of unbelief is to spend time studying all the ways that God has shown
Himself to be a faithful God.
The way to trust the faithfulness of the Father is to know Him, and the way to know Him is to study His Word.
This Easter season has been a time for us to remember the sacrifice that was made on our behalf and to rejoice that sin and death have been defeated. But it doesn’t stop there. What was done at Calvary has massive implications for how we are to live our lives. May we be men and women of the Word who live in light of the gospel and who let the truths of God’s Word transform our hearts, mouths, and lives. May we be people who believe the Word of God and aren’t burdened by the weight of unbelief but have a confidence in our faithful God.
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:12
– Courtney Powell
I have been married to my amazing husband, the worship pastor at Springdale Community Church, for 1 year as of this April. I currently work as a Business Analyst for the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where I graduated with a Master’s in Church Ministry in December. I love music, lounging on the couch, reading any book I can get my hands on, and taking very long baths in the evening. We are newlyweds who are navigating this adventure of life by the grace of Jesus.