Your life ahead will be full of joy and pain, grief and celebration, birthdays and funerals. However, do not let the heartaches take away your zeal for living an eternal quality of life. Life is still a gift to be cherished amid all the hardship.

                                 ~In the Presence of Jesus by Paul Bane and Matt Litton


I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me lives, even after dying. Anyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die.

                                                              ~John 11:25-26     

Death and resurrection are daily occurrences in our life. We may not recognize it, but our cells are dying and being reborn continually in our bodies. So when it comes to Christ, we realize his death and resurrection, in contrast, paint a picture of hope for us that is embedded in the mystery of life and creation.

The good news for all who suffer is that the crucifixion breaks light into a dark world. We replace our fear by trusting that in our suffering and pain, there is hope—a hope beyond our feelings of helplessness and cynicism. The hope found in His empty grave. A meaningful pathway beyond the hatred and violence of the world by following a suffering messiah who reveals the way of transformation and love.

As much as modern medicine and technology help us to avoid suffering, we all can identify with the Buddhist interpretation that suffering is an integral part of our life. Jesus enters our world and identifies with us in our brokenness and pain. The problem is none of us wants to die and give up control, and we continually seek what we think is best for us. (We are all Broken, and That’s All Right)

The good news is we can walk hand in hand with Jesus, knowing that we can turn loose and let go of needing to understand everything that happens to us. Instead, in the highs and lows of life, we focus on the risen Christ and recognize the divine One who relates to us in our suffering. Then, when we are in the midst of painful times, we can have faith and confidence that we do not suffer alone but in union with Christ. (You are not Alone in your Suffering)

God is in solidarity with us, and His love for us allows us to trust that the broken pieces of our lives are transforming us into His image. And as Christ suffered and died, we will also be raised with our loved ones in the glory of the resurrected King.

This week repeat this blessing each day.
“May your losses gently guide you into new ways of loving and caring for yourself and others. May you hold the promise of Christ’s abiding presence tightly even though the pathway forward is never easy. May you embrace the richness of what each moment of this life holds until the heavenly Father welcomes you home.   In the Presence of Jesus

Co-writer Matt Litton

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