The After Affect - Part Two
In yesterday's blog I wrote about the after effect sermon series and how it had spoken to me.. ...weeks later. I shared a devotional that I had written 24 years ago. As I thought about all of the changes in my life since that devotion, I felt God wanted me to share with you. So many friends have lost loved ones this year. As I have prayed for some of you as you go through recent losses, I am reminded of when I lost my dad. As we grieve we are reminded, again, of the after effect.
My family has had some tough times since I wrote that devotion and we have had a lot of deaths that have changed our lives forever. Things will never be "normal" without them around. The after effect from the deaths are the lives that were changed by remembering that life on earth is short. James 4: 14, “ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” Another Easter after effect is that we will get to see our loved ones again if we have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Romans 10: 9-10, "that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."
The hardest death I have gone through is my fathers. The after effect of his death was being a prayer warrior for others, just as he was for me. Also, praying and encouraging others who are going through the grief process. God will always bring good from bad things for us. Romans 8: 28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Because I feel led to pray for those mourning, God has blessed me with some precious friendships.
Another after effect in my life comes from my diagnosis of stage III breast cancer. I learned things will never be "normal" and that is ok. That time spent leaning on God made me “above normal”. I do not want to go back to that normal before. I learned how precious life is and how much more I have to do for God. I learned to prioritize. I learned to look for the blessings every day! My prayer, at the time, was that it would be a bump in the road with many blessings and it was! As we all go through our tough times, let us remember our after effects. God brings so many good things to our life through our hard times. He also gives us many opportunities to serve, encourage and pray for those around us.
The after effect of Jesus’ resurrection in our present life is so great! The after effect of Jesus’ resurrection is the Holy Spirit residing in us. The after effect of the Holy Spirit living in us is that we can do great things through His power. Think about it, none of us have exhausted the possibilities of what God can do through us. Even though we have messed up over and over! Paul said in Ephesians 3: 20, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us…” That power is identified in Ephesians 1: 19-20, “and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms.”
John 11: 25-26, “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” The after effect of this promise makes our present life joyful - regardless of what is going on in this world. This joy is an all-knowing that God is in control. We are free from fear and have confidence and hope in Jesus. Peter said in 1 Peter 1: 3, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
Pause and reflect on the "after effects" in your life.