Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Hope, Faith and Love in 3's

As I have been reading my bible I came across the scripture of Paul praying three times for the thorn to be removed from his side. (2 Cor. 7-10) As Paul prayed, God did not ignore his prayers. He answered him saying that His grace was sufficient for him. Now, that got me to thinking more deeply into just what that meant.

I then turned to Mark 14:32-42 and read about Jesus praying to the Father asking that the cup He was about to drink be passed from Him. We see again, God did not ignore His prayers, but Jesus said during that third prayer He wanted His Father's will to be done.

Now we have Peter. Peter denied Christ three times. (John 18:13, and John 18:25-27) We too see that Jesus warned Peter that he would deny Him when the crow was heard three times. (John 13:38) But then we see something beautiful in John 21:15-23. Peter is restored. Jesus asks him again three times if he loves Him. Peter tells Him so three times.

So, what is it with all these 3's? Think about this. We have the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. (Isaiah 61:1 and Luke 4:14-19) We have faith, hope and love in 1 Corinthians 13:13. We see that the angels are singing, "Holy, Holy, Holy". (Rev. 4:8 and Isaiah 6:3). What does three mean? It denotes divine perfection. I am seeing all of this and I must tell you, I am thinking this is pretty amazing scripture before my eyes.

But, we aren't nearly finished! What about Jonah in the belly of the big fish? Wasn't he there for three days? (Jonah 1:17 and 2:2) The cool thing is we see this again in Matthew 12:40. We are told that the Son of man would be in the earth for three days and three nights just as Jonah was in the belly of the big fish!

What about Christ Jesus? He was resurrected on the third day! (1 Cor. 15:1-4) What can I take away from this? We have hope, my friends. We have faith to lead us in our times of distress and loneliness. We have Christ's love to redeem us. That in itself makes us complete. When we admit, confess, and believe, we have Christ in our heart. We are complete in Christ alone. Nothing else completes us.

Again and again we see where Paul and Jonah cried out to God. He was with them. He was teaching them. He was using them for His glory and honor. We can look at their lives and see how God used them greatly. He brought them through the difficult times and into redemption. He brought grace into their lives.

We have the beautiful portrait of Jesus praying to His Father. He knew what had to be done. He knew there was no other way. Why did Christ die? That was because of His love for us. He not only saved us, He redeemed us. He gave us hope. He restored our souls to Him! On that third day He was restored and made whole! That gives us the perfect picture of our Father's love!

Look at Peter. Did he ever once think he would reject Christ? Not on your life! But he very well did. He did just as Christ prophesied he would do. But in that denial, Christ takes Peter and redeems him. He restores their relationship and makes it whole.

Each of these people were on a journey just as we are here on this earth. Every single day Christ is reaching out to us. He is trying to speak to us and use us for God's glory. He wants to have a relationship with us. He wants His very best for us. Sometimes that means walking through the fire of restoration.

Whatever is present in your life today, look and see if there is a reason. Is God calling you to higher ground? Is He asking more of you? Is there something He wants you to lay down? We have hope in life everlasting with the King of kings, Lord of lords. Our Savior gave ALL for us. God gave us His Word so that He can reveal Himself to us. He isn't hidden at all, but He is here present and alive in our lives if we will only seek Him today.

Those no answers we often receive are not meant to hurt us, but in fact are opening a door for the yes that Christ wants us to accept. Like Peter, I would never want to admit I would deny my Savior, but in fact, I have through the years. Mostly in my disobedience to Him, like Jonah. But praise the Lord, we have a God of grace. A God of forgiveness and mercy. He wants to cover us in His mighty love. We see it over and over again in scripture. I see in my life. We simply see what we want to see. Sadly, we do what we want to do. God is calling us to a higher standard. We are to obey our Lord and Savior. In doing so we find great blessings to be reaped for the harvest.

As long as we still have today it isn't over. It isn't over until He calls us home. For today, make it count. Make every single moment be about Him and in turn He will make every single moment about you!
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