Pastors  Joe's Blog

Living with Hope and Purpose

Jesus appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at table, and he rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen. 15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. (Mk 16:14–15).

Unless we have an encounter with the living Christ, that He is risen, that we have a hope for the future, we will often be filled with unbelief and even hardness of heart.  That was the predicament that the disciples found themselves in in Mark 16:14, when Christ revealed Himself to them. 


They believed Jesus was dead and as a result, their hearts were hardened, filled with doubt and as a result they began to be filled with disappointment and pain instead of a hope for the future.   But it was in that situation that the disciples see the resurrected Christ and receive what is called the Great Commission, which was to preach the gospel to “all of creation.”


I believe there principle at work here if God is going to use us.  Before God can entrust to us a great responsibility, we must be broken and emptied of our own ambitions and dreams.  We must be empty of our worldly desires and our hearts must be humbled.  God understands that if the vessel is first not broken, the light of Christ will never shine through.      


Christ wanted the disciple’s confidence in their future and the purpose for their lives to be tied to Him, not to their own selfish ambitions.   If we let loss and disappointment or brokenness or trauma to define us,  we will never have the courage or power to do what God has asked us to do, to be ambassadors to a world in darkness that there is a hope for our future and a reason to live.    


I love how the Psalmist in Psalm 147 put it, “God’s delight is not in the strength of a horse, nor His pleasure in the legs of man, but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who hope in His steadfast love.”  Do you have that hope?  It begins when we realize that the Jesus who went to a cross to die for our sins is no longer in a tomb, but is resurrected and will one day also give us resurrection.