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Lenten Devotional: March 24, 2024

by Elsa Houtz

The air crackled with excitement. On that day we now celebrate as Palm Sunday, Jerusalem was filled with anticipation. Devout Jews, and just curious ones, lined the streets, shouting and cheering for the arrival of the Messiah, their King, the One who would deliver their nation from Roman oppression. Finally!

But a few days later, He was dead, and the Romans were still in power. In short, the Jews’ long-awaited King was a big disappointment. Some were so angry that they joined the crowds demanding His crucifixion.

The events of our lives often don’t turn out the way we expect, either. When we’re in a difficult situation, we envision our desired outcome, believing that it will solve our problems. If circumstances don’t pan out that way, we become disappointed and frustrated, and maybe even angry with God.

The Jews didn’t understand God’s plan. They didn’t know that Jesus hadn’t come to overthrow the Romans, but to conquer sin and death on their behalf—and ours.

Like them, we are rarely able to fully see and understand God’s plans for our lives. That’s where faith comes in. Even when we can’t see a situation ending well, or we can’t picture any other solution except the one we want, faith tells us God has a plan for our good. Our vision is limited; His is not. Faith enables us to trust His vision and His love, not our own limited imaginings.

“The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed; a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know Your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you” (Psalm 9:9-10 NIV).


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