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April 13, 2015

Jesus made a lot of promises to His disciples. He had never given His disciples a reason to doubt Him. And yet, on the heels of the Resurrection instead of responding in faith and trust with great joy over the empty tomb and expectation regarding what was ahead, many of the disciples lived with DISTRESS, DOUBT, and DEPRESSION. Jesus had never broken a promise. He promised the tomb would be empty, and yet, they were afraid in John 20:19. Thomas doubted it could even be possible in John 20:25. And in Luke 20:17, some of Jesus’ followers were wallowing in depression.Why the reason for distress, doubt, and depression when just a few days earlier they had been on a spiritual high with Jesus? There was not a lack of knowledge about who Jesus was, why He had come, or what they could expect. There was also no lack of experience with Jesus. Jesus had NEVER let them down. So, why then when there was no lack of knowledge and no lack of experience did the disciples give in to distress, doubt, and depression?They did because they let their feelings have authority over their lives rather than the words of Jesus. When they gave their minds over to negative thinking, negative emotions latched onto those ideas and started to distress their hearts.

Instead of relying on the numerous times Jesus had proven Himself to Thomas, he asked for proof in order to believe something different than he could see.

Instead of telling their minds to mind their faith, they let their faith mind their minds and gave into despair.

We have got to learn to live in the light of what Jesus said, and not in the light of what our circumstances or our feelings tell us.

The Resurrection gives us the biggest reason EVER to trust Jesus and to take Him at His Word. He said He would rise from the dead, and He did. Over 500 eye witnesses saw Him after the Resurrection. There was physical evidence to back up the claim. To deny it is to deny hundreds of eye witnesses, physical evidence, and the willingness of His disciples to be killed for proclaiming it was true.

Feelings are natural. You can’t “help” the way you feel. But you can let your faith inform your feelings. If Jesus can overcome the grave, in His name, by His authority, and with His power, we can overcome distress, doubt, and depression.

I’m not telling you not to wrestle with your feelings. I’m not telling you that the storms of life won’t cause you to feel anxious. But I am telling you that if you will take those feelings to the Father in prayer and in faith, He will give you perspective and victory so you don’t have to live life based on your feelings.

We need to raise our respect for and commitment to the Word of God. We need to hold onto it and expect Jesus to move in the ways He has promised to move in our lives.

Let’s walk in faith this week!

Pastor Melissa

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