Clarity Comes with Hindsight: Learning to Trust in God

Read This: “But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here, for he has been raised, just as he said. Come and see the place where he was lying.” Matthew 28:5-6

Think: Clarity comes with hindsight. Jesus’ disciples, followers, and even his own mother didn’t understand how God’s plan of salvation was going to play out. How would he establish his kingdom? They believed his message and believed he was the Son of God, but were sometimes confused by his actions and teaching. Jesus didn’t stick to the status quo. He had been found talking with a Samaritan, sworn enemies of the Jews—a woman, and a loose one at that! He talked about people eating his flesh and drinking his blood (Jn. 6:53-59), and destroying the temple which took years and years to build and rebuilding it in three days (Jn. 2:19-20). Later, the disciples remembered these things and put them in to context, but at the time it was difficult teaching.

Through all of this, Jesus’ followers were faithful, trusting and believing even when they didn’t understand. Certainly Jesus’ crucifixion was a blow to the small group although he had predicted it. How would his kingdom be established now? Had they misunderstood everything? How were they supposed to teach about Jesus without Jesus? They invested their whole lives in someone who had been tried, found guilty, and put to death. Afraid, confused, and heavy hearted, they hid.

But a brave group of women took a risk and went to the tomb early Sunday morning. They were rewarded beyond all measure. Oh the joy, the honor, and the privilege to be the first to witness the fullness of the gospel. They felt the earthquake, heard the angel proclaimed Jesus’ victory over sin and death, and saw the empty tomb. The truth was revealed and it was more profound than anything they could’ve imagined. Jesus the Conqueror. Jesus the Redeemer. Jesus who could right all wrongs. Jesus who came to seek and save the lost. Jesus our eternal hope. Jesus King of Kings. Yes, clarity often comes with hindsight.

And yet, even though we have the benefit of the gospel and the whole New Testament, at times we still struggle to understand what God is doing in our lives. Maybe we find ourselves confused by the circumstances he’s allowed. Maybe he’s not showing up the way we think or know he could. Maybe he’s not righting the wrongs fast enough for us.

Whatever our confusion, let’s hold fast to the truths we know in our hearts to be true and wait patiently for God to reveal his perfect plan in his timing. Jesus’ own disciples and followers didn’t always understand either, but they stuck with him and believed. His plan is guaranteed to be better than ours. “For now we see in a mirror indirectly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, just as I have been fully known,” I Corinthians 13:12.

Ask: When is a time in your life that God worked unexpectedly? How did you feel when you saw his hand in the circumstances leading up to that? In what ways do you need to exercise faith like the disciples today?

Pray: Praise God that his word is true and his promises never fail. No matter what things look like from where we stand, God’s perspective is bigger. Ask him to give us faithfulness, like Jesus’ first followers, and to grant us endurance and strength as we need it for each day.

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