In this desperate situation a hero rises: Jonathan. But, he’s not a hero Israel has known for generations. Nor is he a hero that has been common in Israel’s history. He is not the great warrior that Samson was, who was able to slay thousands with a donkey jawbone. He is not the great tactician that Gideon was, who was able to rout the Midianite army with his elite zealots. Rather, Jonathan is a man of faithful risk, placing his own life on the line in the confidence that such a gamble will not be overlooked by God.

What’s incredible about this gamble is that the outcome is far from certain: men, both before and after Jonathan, have tried to call on the Lord, and He has not always answered.

This is devastating for those of us who want to trust in God but find it difficult. God already seems to ask the impossible of us. Why would He then be unreliable?

The apostle Paul didn’t shy away from such a dilemma. In fact, he was very familiar with it. Tasked with the impossible, Paul faced against Roman officials that sought to imprison him, Jewish leaders who sought to stone him, and rival teachers who sought to depose him. He was a man without a secure livelihood and no family as far as we know. He was familiar with all sorts of disappointment, close calls, and the threat of death.

But what he declares to the Corinthians gives us a window into what kept him going. He writes, “[All these tragedies] happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us,” (2 Corinthians 1:9-10).

For Paul, whether he died or lived was beside the point (Philippians 1:21) because God’s ultimate victory over the tomb was certain. All of our little defeats get swept up in the greater victory of Christ’s resurrection! No matter how life goes for us, may the hope of the final day in Christ permeate all of the sad, and dark, and dreary days we live through.

Every single one of them serves a purpose: to force us to depend on He who raises the dead to life.

Ryan Lunde

Subscribe to the Daily Fill