So Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.” —John 19:10-11

 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” —John 20:21

 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. —John 20:30-31

 Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.  Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus.  Jesus said to them, “Children, do you have any fish?” They answered him, “No.” He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish. —John 21:3-6

 Great are the works of the LORD, studied by all who delight in them. Full of splendor and majesty is his work, and his righteousness endures forever. —Psalm 111:2-3

             As I ponder the above verses I am greatly comforted, confounded, courage challenged, contemplative and catapulted.  Comforted because just as Pilate had no power over Jesus unless Pilate was given that power from above, from our Father.  Yes, I am comforted to know that nobody has power over me unless our Father gives it to them.  And He gives it to them to accomplish His purposes in and through my life.  Yes, power was given to Pilate to hand Jesus over to be crucified, but this was in the plans and purposes of God, for our God and His glory.  So too when God works in our lives, even through the most difficult of circumstances, take courage because He is as work.  Trust Him!

            His work is confounding at times.  Even with the most difficult work ever to be known on this planet— Jesus being crucified for the past, present and future sins of the whole world— He knew Who was ultimately in control.  He was sent to bear witness of the Truth and to accomplish the work of redemption.  Yes, He was sent to do this difficult as it was.  So too we are sent just like Jesus was sent.  God has work for us (Ephesians 2:10).  Difficulty does not change that work.  The difficulty goes along with the race He has marked out for us (Hebrews 12:1-2).  We do not understand so many of His ways— why He does what He does— but we can fully trust Him and that is what He calls us to do in the most difficult of times.  Will you?

            I am challenged to be courageous in the midst of difficulty.  I read His Word and all that happened to Jesus and He did not shrink back and run from the horrendous work of the cross.  No, because He knew the plans and purposes of this work of the cross and because of His great love for us, He courageously and willingly went to the cross “for the joy set before Him” (Hebrews 12:2).  This is why He endured the cross.  Whatever difficulties you are experiencing remember that this is not outside the sovereignty of our God.  He is working through it.  Be patient in your trusting Him.  He will do greater things than you know!

            I contemplate in these times of difficulty and remember how He has directed people as I read His Word.  I contemplate how He has directed the lives of others past and present.  I contemplate how He has directed my life in the past and know He will do that now and in the future.  He will direct me where to “catch fish” for His glory.  It may not be the place I am presently at, but He will direct me to the place where His work of fishing is awaiting my arrival.

            I am catapulted in the direction of His ways and works for me.  Oh, that I would be sensitive to how and where He is directing me.  Let’s face it, we would rather not have difficulties in our lives, but He works through these to move us in the direct He desires.  We can get stuck in looking at our present situation and be discouraged and allow it to distract us from what our Lord has for us in the future or we can trust Him and allow an excitement and expectation of what He has for us next to be in our lives.  Yes, let us look to Him for the next move!

            Now, emotions are not just put on the side.  Look at Jesus in the garden.  He was heavy with emotion.  He was wanting another way.  But there was no other way and He submitted to the most difficult of circumstances ever to occur on this planet.  He will bring you through whatever it is you are going through, however emotional it is.  Keep your eyes fixed on Him!

Dear Father whatever comes my way help me to be comforted, confounded, courage challenged, contemplative and catapulted according to your plans and purposes.  Oh, that I would not take my eyes off of You.  May this be so by the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.  So be it!

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