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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Rise Up! It’s Not Over!

I love the beauty of God’s Word. It’s precision, order, and purpose. God sees everything and is orchestrating events within human history and our individual lives – all for His great glory.

When Hagar and her son Ishmael are cast out into the barren wilderness, the Angel of God calls to Hagar from Heaven. Though her son lay dying, God comforts her with His Presence and then gives her a command:

“Up! Lift up the boy, and hold him fast with your hand. . . . ” Genesis 21:18 (ESV)

The Hebrew verb translated “Up!” is qumi, which means to arise or stand up.

Fast forward to the New Testament. Jesus is traveling from town to town, healing people and even raising some from the dead. The same command that God spoke over Hagar, Jesus speaks to a paralytic, to the dead son of a grieving widow, and again to a little girl who had died: “Arise!” (egertheis in Greek)

God is outside of time and sees everything from an eternal perspective. God saw Hagar and Ishmael’s future. Jesus saw the paralytic’s faith. He demonstrated the hope of the resurrection ... just moments before His arrest, Jesus commands His sleepy disciples, “Rise!”—the exact same verb He uses to foretell His resurrection soon to come.

Hagar, rise! Young man, rise! Child, rise! It’s not over!

Beloved, it’s not over! Right where you are, God is calling to you: rise!

In every scenario, the situation looked hopeless. Hagar’s son is dying, the man is paralyzed, the child is dead, and the King of Glory is about to be arrested, tried, and killed. But God looks down from heaven and sees Behind the Seen. He sees what no one else could believe: they ... will ... rise!

Ephesians 2:4-6 assures us that,

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.” (NIV)

The verbs “raised” and “seated” in Ephesians 2:6 are presented in Greek as a statement of fact. To Him, we are already raised and seated with Christ in the heavenly places, and nothing in all creation can change this truth. This is the foundation of our Christian hope! Our hope of heaven is not wishful thinking or fairy tales, but a fixed, eternal fact.

Rise! “It is finished!” (John 19:30)

Praise the Lord! Jesus Christ has won the victory! The Cross demonstrates His great love for us. His resurrection reveals His power over death and the grave. He did it all so that we could become children of God, holy and beloved in His sight.

Which of these truths do you need to be reminded of today?

Adapted from HAGAR: Rediscovering the God Who Sees Me. Copyright © 2017 by Shadia Hrichi. Published by Leafwood Publishers. Used with permission.

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