Updated: Feb 16, 2022
I once knew a minister who frequently reminded his congregation that “things are not always as they seem.” I sat under his ministry for many, many years, so that phrase, or piece of advice, has stuck with me. It has become a kind of “tool” that I use often. When a situation arises, that tool often kicks in automatically and helps me to examine many angles and perspectives before making a judgment.
One of the best and most glorious examples I can give is when Mary visited Jesus’ tomb. It seemed to her that the stone should be in place, right where the Roman soldiers rolled it, and certainly if the stone was moved, surely Jesus’ dead body would be inside. But even if someone had stolen his body, it seems they would have taken his linens with it. And definitely, if they had left them, they would not have left them there perfectly folded, just as they were when they wrapped him in them. The whole situation seemed odd and mysterious.
True enough, things are not always as they seem.
As I was scrolling through the plethora of posts on Facebook I came across this:
A quick first read and it seems to us that this is right. But it is not. Proverbs 23:23 says, “BUY the truth and sell it not.” This makes it pretty clear that there is a price to pay for truth.
Now, many pastors risk being arrested for speaking out about certain subjects. Have you ever stood for the truth in a situation, stood for what you know is right, and lost a friend or family member because of it? I have. Have you ever been “the odd man out” at work because you don’t enter into stuff going on that you know the Lord wouldn’t approve of you being part of? I have. When we stand for the truth we are not popular. The Living Bible says in 2 Timothy 4:3-5, “there will come a time when people refuse to listen to the truth.” What really causes me to pause and consider is verse 5. “Stand steady and don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord.” That tells us what we need to know. If we stand for the truth we will suffer for it!
Here’s the good news…
Revelation 22:12 says, “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.” So we know that even though we have to suffer in the here and now for standing for the truth, eventually we will be rewarded for it.
James 1:12 tells us “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.“
And Colossians 3:23-24 promises “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ..”
What better example than Jesus? He stood for truth. He IS the truth. All of his friends fled in fear and left him to face Pontius Pilate alone. Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you a king”? Jesus told him, “You speak the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.” Then Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”
You see, the Truth stood right in front of Pontius Pilate and he didn’t recognize it. He couldn’t hear it because he was not “of the truth.”
Jesus is the Truth, and he was crucified for it. But he rose again and is now seated at the right hand of the Father! He suffered during his stay on earth but was rewarded the greatest reward of all…Eternal Life.