Knowing Christ in His Resurrection Power

by Mary Somerville

Women, we could have no greater hope because of our oneness with Christ in His death and resurrection! We are not on a "mission impossible." We died and rose again with Christ (Gal. 2:20). We have the power of the risen Christ, and because of His victory over sin and death we have hope for the wandering child and the abused child. We have hope for the drunkard and the adulterer. If God can raise the dead, then He can change those lives in answer to our prayers. We can be and do more than we imagine in our lives and ministries through the power of Christ.

We can get up in the morning with hope and we don't need to fear what may happen next in our congregation, family, or world. What is the worst that can happen to us as believers? Our last and worst enemy is death. We will have power over the worst enemies that we have to face.

My dear mother chose Romans 8:28 for her "life verse" when she came to Christ at age 16. She trusted in the goodness and sovereignty of Christ throughout the rest of her life. She would say, "Let's trust God. He is working it together for good." When she was in her 50s that faith was put to the test when she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. As was her practice, she turned to God's promise without wavering. She showed me how to live trusting the Shepherd and she showed me how to die—full of faith and hope that she would dwell in His house forever. Her home-going exalted the Savior.

Three months after her death my father wrote our home church the following letter that I keep in the album of his life story.

"I thank God at this Thanksgiving season for sins forgiven, for a great Priest touched with a feeling for my infirmities, for the privilege of being a small tool in His mighty hand, for His guidance, for His ear that hears my prayers, for His arm on which to lean, for His precious Word in which He speaks to us explicitly and for the blessed, blessed hope of His soon coming!

"I thank Him, more than all else, for utter safety. In the past I have known what it was to be afraid, but now I know that I am entirely and perfectly secure. I feel that I have come into a safe place, a safe harbor. Nothing, absolutely nothing, not my own deeds nor those of others, not the works of devils, or circumstances, or so-called fate, nothing can separate me from the love of Christ. Sorrow and bereavement can come, death can even put my body and that of my beloved in the grave, but whatever comes, it passes first through His tender hands, and so I can love it because it comes from Him!

Affectionately yours till He comes,

Robert L. Gates"

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What a legacy of faith! My dad lived to the ripe age of 90 and is now with Jesus also. Nothing can separate our loved ones or us from the love of Christ—"not death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing" (Rom. 8:38-39). That is the kind of peace and assurance we have to model and share with those in our churches.

Do you find yourself forgetting the riches that are in Christ and, like me, going down the path of self-pity, self-justification, self, self, self? Do you battle with discouragement? Do you often feel like quitting? (My husband says he does, about once a week.) Does your mind center on all the problems instead of the goal—God's glory?

Dear sister, the answer is Christ. He is before all things and in Him all things hold together. He is the Chief Shepherd who will care for His flock. He is the vine and you are the branch. Be one with Him through His Word. Be one with Him through prayer. Be one with Him in His sufferings. And be one with Him in the power of His resurrection. If you are one with Him, there is no defeat.

"Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen" (Eph. 3:16-21).

He will sustain you in your role! It is only for this short life and then you'll spend eternity with Him. Peter looked forward to Christ's second coming with these words, "When the Chief Shepherd appears." (1 Pet. 5:4), and that is how he spurs the shepherds on in shepherding the flock entrusted to them. Jesus is coming back! Our husbands will turn over their flocks to the Chief Shepherd. 

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