About a month ago most of us likely strolled into our local churches ready to rejoice in the jubilation that is Resurrection Sunday. No matter how your church or parish conducts worship, both the hymns and worship songs were probably sung with an extra bit of delight — and rightly so — for it was a time to celebrate the colossal miracle of Jesus Christ’s resurrection.
The final fight has been won for our salvation, and eternal life has been sealed by Jesus’s blood and an empty tomb.
Although, if you’re like me, you may have filled your pew with some extra baggage that life seems to heap on us. The baggage comes in all types of flavors: family tensions, girlfriend problems, college stress, work demands, and more.
My personal baggage came in the form of a spinal condition called Spondylolisthesis. In short, two years ago, my L5 vertebra had an undiscovered and unhealed fracture that caused it to slip forward. The result was permanently pinched nerves and chronic back pain, and being a runner and an avid dek hockey player, this was pretty devastating.
Ever since then, I have trusted God for a complete healing; yet being young and impatient, I often find myself frustrated with the daily battle that comes with back pain.
We’re Never Alone In Trials And Pain
However, whenever I looked across the aisle on Easter Sunday, I viewed the sublime scene of fellow believers — some of whom I know are in the midst of trials far worse than mine — reverently worshipping despite the hard knocks they face outside the sanctuary.
How could these people have found hope when their lives were rupturing all around them?
They worshipped freely and it encouraged me to do the same. I realized, no matter the tragedies or triumphs, nothing should rob me of the joy in Christ that comes with His resurrection.
Fighting The Good Fight
The question becomes, “What does eternal life mean for those grappling in the here-and-now?”
King David is an excellent case study. He could adoringly worship God during his most excruciating tribulations due to his unwavering faith, and he believed in God’s goodness no matter the obstacles or outlook.
He captured this commitment in Psalm 28:7, stating, “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him” (NIV).
If we want to see God work in our tragedies as well as in our triumphs, it is necessary to trust like David did.
In his book The Problem of Pain, renowned author and lay theologian C.S. Lewis observed,
“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
I’d add that the proverbial megaphone on Easter Sunday was meant to direct our hearts to the delight found in salvation through Jesus Christ, for the acceptance and promise of eternal life are realities to cling to in times of confusion and disorder.
By listening to the small, still voice of the Holy Spirit through prayer and reading of scripture, we can seek our heavenly Father’s guidance amidst the pains and pressures of our earthly existence.
This is why Resurrection Sunday provides such a powerful rallying cry: it stands as a reminder that each of us has been adopted into the Kingdom of God. Having been made worthy by the blood of Christ, we not only have eternal life but also a Savior who intercedes for us in heaven, knowing what we face in our earthly interim.
Real-Life Worship Of A Real-Life King
Want a song that can bring you back to the cross and empty tomb post-Easter Sunday? Check out rapper and pastor Trip Lee’s song “Sweet Victory” from his 2014 album Rise. Here’s a preview:
[Verse 3: Trip Lee]
They like I hear you talkin’ wins but I see your losses
You celebratin’ crowns but I see your crosses
That’s the paradox that don’t fit in your merit box
You might not understand if you walk in this pair of socks
The victor ain’t the one that’s winnin’ seventh inning
Trophies don’t go to ones that got a good beginning
When I say I win I don’t mean the state I’m in
I mean that day when the gray skies fade out then
I’m winning cause I reign with Him
You may have even filled the aisle with your own tribulations on Easter Sunday, but just remember that the new life inside of you is designed to overcome the battles ahead of you.
Momentary falls and failures will be a part of our lives as long as we draw breath, but never forget God’s ability to work miracles amidst devastating occasions.
The same spirit that raised Christ from the tomb is within believers, and that’s a gift worth celebrating!