PASTOR'S PEN: This side of the grave

Associate Pastor Ron Witbeck, Resurrection Life Church Big Rapids

Associate Pastor Ron Witbeck, Resurrection Life Church Big Rapids

Courtesy photo/Ron Witbeck

While we are still on this earth, we can experience some times of sorrow, times of feeling that we are walking through the valleys instead of on the high ground. During those times we need to rely on God and His Word. He tells us during those times to have patience, then trust Him and praise Him.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:33-34, "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."

My mother used to tell me that "Worry is interest paid on something that has not happened yet," and another was "be thankful when going through troubled times, because there is someone else facing a bigger challenge."

As true as that was, it didn’t seem to comfort me at times.

Our Father God tells us to seek Him when facing the difficulties of life. Jesus oftentimes would get alone with God in prayer to be strengthened and for guidance.

Jesus tells us of one of the hardest times he faced before His arrest in Garden of Gethsemane, found in Luke 22:42-44, "'Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.' Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground."

Jesus knew what He was about to face ‘This Side Of The Grave’ and knew that the grave could not hold Him captive, that after three days He would be resurrected. He knew that he would be completely healed, with exception of the scars remaining where nails had pierced His flesh.

Jesus paid the price for the sins of mankind, through this sacrifice He has given us the opportunity to have a restored relationship with Father God. With Jesus we can be released from the past, and given the authority to use Jesus’ Name when walking in those valleys called life. We must make the decision to accept Jesus ‘This Side Of The Grave,’ after our death it is too late!

— Ron Witbeck is an associate pastor at Resurrection Life Church in Big Rapids