So I've realized something the past weeks, as we drew closer and closer to Holy Week and Palm Sunday...
Satan really, really hates Easter.
And I mean, truly, you can't blame him. That's where he finally realized, "I'm beat". He knows, for sure, his end now, and while that end isn't quite yet here, it got started in the tomb and sealed his eventual fate 3 days later. As John Eldredge wrote in his novel "Beautiful Outlaw", Jesus sauntered out of the tomb with the keys to Hades swinging on his belt. AMEN!
Any doubts the devil had about his ultimate end were confirmed with Easter. Beautiful, glorious Easter.
So I think its safe to assume (and my life the past weekish has been proof) that he fights hard against the Beloved (us as believers) at Easter time. (The thief has come to steal, kill and destroy...) He wants to steal our joy in the resurrection, wants to kill our hopes for the future and destroy our desire to praise and worship God at the time of year it's most expected and needed of us to do so. I mean, even people who never come to church tend to show up on Easter! There will be more souls exposed to the gospel in churches around the country this upcoming Sunday than any other week of the year, even Christmas. Because as powerful and needed as Christmas is, (Jesus came for us!) the resurrection is the exclamation point to the Gospel. It's essential.
The enemy knows he's going down, and he's scratching and clawing at everything he can get on his way. Families. Marriages. Health. Ministries. Friendships. Relationships. All those things that matter most, he's against. And against HARD.
So we fight back. With praise to God. With worship songs to Jesus. With continual prayer, with thanksgiving, and gratitude in our hearts to our Redeemer! WHO IS RISEN! He is risen indeed! What joy, what glory. What hope!
And guess what? That same power that rose Jesus from the dead resides in YOU as a believer, as a follower of Christ. And that power is not dead or on hold or inaccessible. It's there, it's real, it's vibrant and pulsing and beating. (But I have come that you might have life abundantly...)
That same power that rose Jesus from the dead can heal your broken heart. Can restore your marriage. Can eliminate cancer. Can replenish your bank account. Can provide. Renew. Redeem. Protect. Can breathe life into dry bones.
So have hope today, dear friends. Not in circumstances, not in faith itself, but in faith in JESUS. Because He IS alive. And He has good for you. He will never leave you or forsake you.
He DIED for you. And He ROSE for you.
Hold on to that.