Sunday Entries

by Addison Bevere

Separator Words with God by Addison Bevere

March 25, 2024

Overcoming the Greatest Temptation

“Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour.”

— John 12:27

As I was praying about what I should share with you this week, I started flipping through the Gospels, taking inventory of Jesus’ final days. And I couldn’t help but notice his desperate prayers. There’s even that bewildering instance when Jesus questions why God has left him: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

We struggle with the idea that Jesus could let out such a prayer, so we develop different theories to cleanse the messiness of that moment. But at some point, these efforts are a mistake. Maybe we should sit with the tension and see what Scripture and Spirit can offer us.

The author of Hebrews claims that it was through pain, suffering, and ultimately death that Jesus fully entered the human experience, and for that reason he can sympathize with us when we are tempted (Hebrews 2:17–18; 5:15). Even Jesus, God’s perfect son, had to live through the greatest temptation, which is to believe God has abandoned us.

The One who lived in perfect union with the Father, the One who only did what he saw the Father doing, joined his voice to the universally human cry, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

When our Savior prayed these words, he was quoting Psalm 22, a Messianic psalm found in all four gospels. But there’s more to this psalm’s narrative than the theme of abandonment—rather, it weaves a complex story of reconciliation and restoration, of intimacy and promise. Here are some of its finest threads,

For he has not despised or abhorred
the affliction of the afflicted,
and he has not hidden his face from him,
but has heard, when he cried to him. (v. 24)
The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied;
those who seek him shall praise the Lord!
May your hearts live forever! (v. 26)
All the ends of the earth shall remember
and turn to the Lord,
and all the families of the nations
shall worship before you. (v. 27)

While Psalm 22 may start with despair, it ends with delight. God’s promises are fulfilled, and Life is renewed.

Response

As we move into Easter, I want to challenge you to be real with God. Don’t just skip ahead to what happens on Sunday. If you feel abandoned by Him, pray into Jesus’s journey to the Cross. Of course, be humble before your God but for heaven’s sake be honest. He already knows your thoughts and can handle your words. Never forget that Jesus’s holiness creates space for your humanity.

Closing Thoughts

When we lay aside our pretenses and religious inhibitions, and lots of people like to play “religious” on Easter, we find the One who meets us in the messiness of our sin, pain, and desperation. I can promise you, God does not despise you, He has not turned his back on you. The darkness is part of this week, but it has no place in Easter’s finale. Your moment of disorientation will become a monument to his grace and faithfulness. But you must first offer your cry to Him.


Praying with you,

Addison

Separator Words with God by Addison Bevere

P.S. I want to welcome those of you who’ve recently joined us on this adventure of rediscovering prayer as a way of life. And if you don’t have the Words with God book yet, just to click here to get yours.

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Sunday Entries

On most Sundays, I share a few words on prayer as a way of life, words that help us open the conversation so we can see, hear, and experience more of God in our daily lives. I’d love for you to join the conversation.

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As we move into Easter, I want to challenge you to be real with God. Don’t just skip ahead to what happens on Sunday. If you feel abandoned by Him, pray into Jesus’s journey to the Cross. Of course, be humble before your God but for heaven’s sake be honest. He already knows your thoughts and can handle your words. Never forget that Jesus’s holiness creates space for your humanity.

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06.11.23

“I’ve been thinking a lot about circles lately. So much of life is defined by circles—our days, week, months, and years form circles for us to move in and through. We’re constantly reminded that the end of a thing has a way of taking us back to a beginning. It would seem the cosmos announces the Circle as God’s shape of choice…”

Addison Bevere is the COO of Messenger International, a ministry founded by John and Lisa Bevere in 1990 that exists to develop uncompromising followers of Christ who transform our world. Messenger is dedicated to providing people with access to life-transforming messages regardless of their location, language, or financial position.

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Addison Bevere

Husband, father, author, poet, speaker & follower of Christ

addison-thumbnail-2021
Addison Bevere

Husband, father, author, poet, speaker & follower of Christ

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