- We are a part of a prevailing Kingdom. Jesus said, "I'm going to build My church... hell itself will not stop me." Note that He didn't say He will build our churches, but His Church. When we take part in Christ, we take part in an unstoppable mission.
- Simultaneous to prevailing means living in a reality where heaven and earth and hell collide... while we do have victory, sometimes life hurts. God essentially says, "When my reality and your reality connect you will have peace."
- John 16:33 - "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
- Interesting timing here... for Jesus had not yet conquered death at the cross. What does this mean when He says it?
- People usually see the world one of two ways... "Life is hard, so get used to it" or "Being a Christian is smooth sailing if you just claim power against the evil." There is instead of these an overlapping reality of Jesus ruling over all things, using even the backward and broken to allow the good and the graceful to happen.
- Saying "God does everything for a reason" and "You just have to trust God" can only go so far... they are true statements, but we have to acknowledge that life hurts, too.
- The cross mashes freewill and sovereignty together. On the day that the people freed Barabbas instead of Jesus, it looked like freewill hijacked the day. Not so, for a God who operates within and yet transcendent of time used the choice of man to bring about His ultimate desire of redemption and Trinitarian glory.
- The cross proves that God can use the greatest evil for the greatest good... the cross tells us God loves us.
- The perspective of God gives us hope to look at something tragic and see its beauty - God says we can give Him the worst tragedy in the world and watch Him lift it up to something beautiful.
Louie then closed by sharing a story of a girl far from God who came to trust in Him as Lord and Savior during her last year of college. Along the way of coming up to graduation, she lost her life in a tragic car accident. While her divorced parents differ in how they see faith, her mom (who is also a Christ-follower) forwarded emails her daughter and Louie exchanged on to her husband. Her husband, an atheist, wrote Louie and said that while he disagreed with the idea of faith he appreciated watching who his daughter had become before she died. He and Louie are still exchanging emails, and while there is no tidy bow on the end of this story... it is anchored in the cross - even if the dad doesn't know it yet.