Quest for Hope
A Soul in Turmoil 3-23-16
Yesterday, on our quest for hope, we read Jesus’ instructive words that his followers must die to self in order to live for God. Today, Jesus applies that specific teaching lesson to his own life. His soul is in turmoil as he faces his upcoming physical death to save humanity, as well as humanity’s increasing distrust and misunderstanding of God’s real redemptive purpose for him as Messiah.
John 12:27-36 (NLT)
27 “Now my soul is deeply troubled. Should I pray, ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But this is the very reason I came! 28 Father, bring glory to your name.”
Then a voice spoke from heaven, saying, “I have already brought glory to my name, and I will do so again.” 29 When the crowd heard the voice, some thought it was thunder, while others declared an angel had spoken to him.
30 Then Jesus told them, “The voice was for your benefit, not mine. 31 The time for judging this world has come, when Satan, the ruler of this world, will be cast out. 32 And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.” 33 He said this to indicate how he was going to die.
34 The crowd responded, “We understood from Scripture that the Messiah would live forever. How can you say the Son of Man will die? Just who is this Son of Man, anyway?”
35 Jesus replied, “My light will shine for you just a little longer. Walk in the light while you can, so the darkness will not overtake you. Those who walk in the darkness cannot see where they are going. 36 Put your trust in the light while there is still time; then you will become children of the light.” After saying these things, Jesus went away and was hidden from them.
Jesus clearly is a soul in turmoil, but he is determined to live for the will of God in order to save humanity from the destructive influence of evil. The soul refers to the human mind, will, and emotions. We understand how a soul in turmoil feels; we have all tasted it. Life presents so many areas of suffering; and, many times suffering seems pointless. It is hard to do the right thing when the right thing is not happening to us. We question why God allows certain things; our trust in him is fragile if we do not invest in ongoing spiritual growth to more fully understand his heart. Honestly, I have asked God that question many times over the fifty years I have loved and served him. I believe God weeps at humanity’s deception and lack of love; he made us in the Light of His image, but we prefer the darkness and righteousness of our own souls which always lead to death of some kind (physical, emotional, spiritual). Please remember God made us free; how we live is our choice. We are connected in God’s creation, so each choice brings an effect to the whole.
Darkness leads to destructive choices and behaviors and we will witness during Holy Week how it is possible for people to think they are exalting and pleasing God with their hatred and violence. We do not have to look far for a current example either; the terrorist attacks yesterday morning in Brussels in which ISIS has taken credit. Innocent people were killed, hundreds of others injured, and all of us suffer in our souls as we witness the hatred and misdirected anger. God, who is Love, is never glorified in such behavior. Evil unleashes such things to discredit the love of God for humanity. It is a classic example of how even religion that has been separated from the indwelling love and compassion of Jesus Christ can reveal the actual darkness in the soul of humanity. Please don’t miss it. Evil exists within the realm of deception apart from Jesus who is Truth; so if we do not welcome Jesus into our lives, evil will come to overpower our weak and unprotected souls. Jesus came and died to impart the spiritual power that changes the soul of humanity; he is the First kernel of wheat to fall to the ground, so we can benefit from Truth. When we allow the change, that is when the name of God is glorified; when God writes His name on our lives. If you find your soul suffering, please cling to Jesus. He will bring you through it and God will be glorified in your soul.
Prayer: Father, help me to look to Jesus in order to better understand my identity and role as your daughter in this fallen world, rather than look at this messed up world and allow its darkness and deception to influence or define me. Keep me resolved to move forward in your will despite the turmoil I experience at times in my soul. You are Love and I desire to forever serve you by loving you and your creation. Holy Spirit, please keep me on that quest for Hope. In Jesus’ name. Amen.