Noah listened to God’s instructions and was obedient to Him even when the people around him made poor choices and mocked him. It was not easy, but Noah trusted in God’s plan and knew that following Him was more important than the opinions of people around him. God has instructions for us too. If we spend time in prayer and His Word, He will reveal His plan for each of us.
Daniel decided to walk by faith even though he knew he might be thrown into the pit of hungry lions. God saved Daniel from the hungry lions. God's desire is for reach of us to walk by faith in every season.
Mary said, “Yes!” This young, teenage girl gave an answer that reflected her unconditional faith towards God. It reflected complete trust that God requires of those He chooses. God did not have to ask Mary for her continued obedience. He knew she was committed to her faith and belief in Him. Mary’s life modeled this “yes” type of faith. Jesus’ future was unknown to Mary. She had no idea that she would someday be standing at the foot of the cross holding her beloved son. However, with an uncertain future, she trusted God.
Have you ever played the game “Would you rather?” It is a simple question game where you ask someone, “Would you rather do _____ or _____?” For example, would you rather take an ice bath or swim in a pool of ketchup? It is a silly game that forces you to decide which of the options given is better than the other. Jesus always gives us a choice in life and it is up to us to choose which is the best option.
When we look back at the events leading up to Jesus’ death and resurrection – His betrayal at the Garden of Gethsemane, His humiliation and torture in front of a crowd and His ultimate death on a cross – it seems impossible that Jesus did all of this for us. He went through unimaginable pain physically, emotionally, mentally and even spiritually so we would not have to. He took the penalty for our sin and He did it because He loved us and wanted us to have a choice to love Him in return.
Jesus’ death and resurrection was all a part of God’s plan to invite us into His Kingdom to spend eternity with Him. He hoped and prayed that we would choose Him, but that is up to us. The second part of the story is that Jesus rose again just three days after His death. There is hope! We can choose the life of sin and pain that existed for us before Jesus’ resurrection or we can choose a life of faith and freedom that is available to us because Jesus rose again.
The heart of the Easter story lies in Christ’s love and desire to give us a choice in life. It is a game of “Would you rather?” with a much better option: The chance to love and follow Jesus the rest of our lives.
Joseph forgave his brothers. We can forgive those who wronged us in our hearts and minds, but still maintain healthy boundaries with them until we are sure that it is safe to trust them again. Ultimately, it is the certainty that God is always working for our good that allows us to forgive. We are promised that He will ultimately redeem and use even the evil things done against us. What an amazing God! Being assured of this, we can offer others forgiveness just as we have been forgiven by Him.