Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do super-abundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes or dreams] EPHESIANS 3 : 20
BECOME AN ETERNAL OPTIMIST !!
The Messiah, Jesus Christ knowing that the time of His sacrifice was drawing near retreated to the sanctuary of The Garden of Gethsemane to spend time with His Father in prayer.
Prayer time as you know it is an inspiring, refreshing, peaceful, calming time. For Jesus however this prayer experience was anything but that.
As Jesus threw Himself on the ground on His face to pray, he showed signs of grief, distress of mind and He was deeply depressed, as He wrestled with the reality of going to the cross .. Jesus Himself unashamedly admitted .. My soul is very sad and deeply grieved, so that I am almost dying of sorrow.
The prayer that Jesus was praying was to ask God, His Father, if it was at all possible to have the cup of His crucifixion removed from Himself .. Jesus prayed this prayer so earnestly and intently in fact that His sweat became like great clots of blood dropping down upon the ground .. And Yet .. Although Jesus so reverently prayed this prayer, He did however dedicate Himself to always follow the will of His Father rather than His own.
And So It Happened .. Betrayed by a friend, Jesus was given into the hands of the enemy.
As Jesus was arrested and led away, He offered up no fight and no resistance .. Jesus unselfishly understood and graciously accepted the sacrifice that awaited Him.
Jesus did indeed lay down His life as a sacrifice, however it was a sacrifice that came at an insurmountable price to both Jesus and His Father .. Understand that Jesus’ enemies had a point to prove and they were steadfastly determined to expose Jesus to as much brutality and humiliation as they could muster up.
Amidst the loud cheering and chanting of the on-looking crowd, Jesus was dragged into a palace courtyard where He was chained up to a concrete block, which stood solemnly in the centre.
All around Him the soldiers busied themselves with gathering up their whips of choice .. Whips of various lengths, each with a strong, sturdy handle and each equipped with metal claws on the end.
With their whips in hand each soldier boastfully stepped forward to take up his place, ready to begin their savage attack.
And Savage It Was .. In what must have seemed like an endless onslaught, the metal claws were repeatedly plunged into Jesus’ back only to be gouged right back out again, each time shredding His skin wide open and tearing the flesh off His bones.
As if this wasn’t enough, Jesus had to endure being stripped of His clothes, being beaten over the head with a reed staff, having the hair ripped off His cheeks, being rebuked and abusively spoken to, being taunted and jeered at and being spat on.
Still not satisfied and without the slightest morsel of regret, the soldiers carried out their final act of brutality by piercing a crown of thorns deep into the already disfigured head of Jesus.
Thereafter they were content enough to lead the naked, butchered, bloodied, disfigured Jesus away to be crucified.
Filled with integrity and dignity, upon His mutilated back Jesus carried His heavy, splintering cross with the help of a Cyrene man named Simon, as He journeyed to His final destination of Calvary.
Into a body that had already been tortured beyond recognition, the soldiers added three more holes as they drove the massive steel nails that would hang Jesus from the cross by His hands and feet.
After all was said and done .. After having endured all that He was able .. In a moment of deep isolation, Jesus cried out with a loud voice .. My God, My God, why have You abandoned Me [leaving Me helpless, forsaking and failing Me in My need]
A desperate cry from a Son to His Father .. A desperate plea from Jesus that evoked absolutely no response from God.
Through all the suffering and torment, God turned His back on Jesus .. God removed His focus and took His eyes off Jesus .. And He did this so that He could look at YOU !!
God drew YOU into His sight and when He was totally focused on YOU, He knew without a shadow of a doubt, that if it was to save YOU, that the sacrifice of His beloved Jesus was well worth it !!
After being reminded of God’s insatiable love for you .. How can you possibly believe that after enduring all that they did, that God would now be capable of walking away from you, leaving you high and dry ?
God Will Never Leave You !! .. God Will Never Forsake You !!
You need to set your attitude upon eagle's wings and allow it to rise to unbeatable heights !!
Change Your Attitude !! .. Change Your Expectations !! .. Change Your Life !!
You have to stop living your life as the person who is just so petrified of receiving bad news that you just never think to pray for good news !!
As He has very clearly demonstrated, you have a Father Who absolutely adores you .. And .. If you are eager to be a beneficiary of hearing His gentle voice and experiencing the magnitude of His great power being released into your life .. Then .. You need to be willing to live with an attitude that is pleasing to God !!
If there is one thing that God is Not a big fan of, it is Negativity !! .. It is an atmosphere that is so far removed from Who God is, that it is impossible for Him to flow and operate there.
A positive attitude on the other hand, one that carries with it positive expectations is the perfect environment for God to show Himself mighty and strong !!
So .. Your basic, best and most rewarding approach towards life needs to be full of faith, hope and great expectations !!
Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us .. Romans 5 : 5
God Is Love !! .. Not a trace of negativity in any shape or form exists in His DNA !!
There is absolutely nothing within Him or in His actions that will ever disappoint you .. There is no capacity for that !!
Everything that God does, He does Only for His good .. And .. This is precisely what you need to Expect as you pray !!
When you pray, do not speak to God and then spend your days and nights wondering if He will actually do anything at all.
When you pray, you communicate with your Father and then you boldly and confidently Expect God to do even more than what you ask.
God Say’s .. I can do super-abundantly, far over and above all that you would ever dare to ask or even think to ask .. And .. I can bless you infinitely beyond your highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes or dreams !!
Now, that does not sound like the kind of decleration that should leave you wondering and concerned about anything .. On The Contrary !! .. God’s decleration to you is more than sufficient to fill you with all the confidence you need to pray with Great Expectations !!
Ponder On This For A Little While !!
Wouldn’t you rather pray big prayers with great expectations and receive half of what you prayed for .. Instead Of .. Praying frail, weak prayers without any faith and get it all !!
Clothe yourself in positivity !! .. Dress-up with an attitude of faith and hope .. And .. You Expect Big Things From God !! .. And remember: God looks at you with loving, caring eyes because of what Jesus did for you on the cross !!
Amen (so let it be) !!
UNTIL GOD OPENS THE DOOR .. PRAISE HIM IN THE HALLWAY