“For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” (2 Corinthians 5:14-15)
My wife and I went through a terrible storm several years ago, one of those storms that life brings your way. It was ferocious. Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse for us, the wind would pick up and the rain would begin to pelt even harder.
She handled it much better than I did because her faith was stronger than mine. In fact, I remember the day she told me she had decided the only way out was to give it to the Lord.
I already knew she made that decision. I watched her at the altar the Sunday before and prayed for her as she finally turned that one last part of her life over to him.
Peter once preached, “And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Acts 2:21) It’s one of the Lord’s greatest promises to us. The problem with many Christians is that while we believe that Jesus died on the cross to save us from the death and eternal condemnation that sin will bring, we have not surrendered fully to the lordship of Christ. In other words, while he is our savior all of the time, he is our lord only some of the time.
That’s exactly what my wife meant when she said that she had decided to give this storm in her life to Jesus. And you know what? The Bible promises that while those storms will inevitably wear us down, it’s those “lows” in our lives that the Lord can use to build a bridge to help us cross the raging waters from those storms. “For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10)
C.S. Lewis knew all about the struggle that comes with surrender. He fought it for a long time. But he learned that the surrender to the lordship of Christ gives us much more than it will ever require:
“The Christian way is different: harder and easier,” Lewis wrote. “Christ says, ‘Give me all. I don't want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want you. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half-measures are any good. I don't want to cut off a branch here and a branch there, I want to have the whole tree down. I don't want to drill the tooth, or crown it, or stop it, but to have it out. Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked — the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you myself: my own will shall become yours.’”
When Jesus died on the cross, he was alone for a brief but dark time. God the Father turned his back on him because of the sin that his death represented. But that’s the last time that God will turn his back on any of his children. The finished work of the cross promises that we will never have to face the storms of life alone.