Friday, March 23, 2018
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On the September 11th we'll never forget, she was the last person brought out alive from the rubble of the World Trade Center. Fleeing down the stairs from her office on the 64th floor of the north tower, Genelle Guzman got as far as the thirteenth floor when the building collapsed around her. Suddenly, she was in total darkness, she was buried alive and she was unable to move much of her body. Well, Genelle cried out to God for help. And that help came in the person of a rescuer breaking through the rubble and grabbing her hand. In her darkest moments, Genelle Guzman promised her life to Jesus Christ. Her emotional miracle was the total peace she has had every day since then; a peace that her psychiatrist, who's worked with many nightmare-plagued survivors, simply couldn't understand. In his book "Breakthrough Prayer," Jim Cymbala quotes Genelle's bottom line on what happened to her and as she told it to her amazed psychiatrist. She said, "The tragedy I suffered was something I needed to go through in order to know Him."
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Why Things Are Caving In."
You've never had a September 11th, but you know what it is to feel like everything is caving in around you. You've had your share of pain, discouragement, darkness. Someone you trusted has failed you, or maybe you've failed, or your health has let you down, maybe things are in turmoil at work, or even worse at home or your personal life. You're really under it, and you're wondering why.
Maybe, in a way, it's Genelle's story reenacted on the stage of your life: the tragedy you're suffering is what you've needed to go through in order to know your Creator. See, He loves you too much to lose you, and He will do whatever it takes to bring you to Him; to get your attention so you can finally find the relationship you were made for. So you can move from your religion to a personal relationship with Him. So you're ready for eternity, whenever it comes.
For one man, it took a death sentence for him to experience the love and forgiveness of God. He was a hardened criminal, nailed to the cross next to Jesus Christ. At first, he had no use for Jesus. The Bible says, "The robbers who were crucified with Him also heaped insults on Him." But then he heard Jesus say of the men who had nailed Him to that cross, "Father, forgive them." And this dying man suddenly realized that Jesus was his only hope.
In Luke 23:42, our word for today from the Word of God, this man says, "Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom." Jesus said to him what I hope you'll hear from Him one day, "Today you will be with Me in paradise." Like the last survivor at Ground Zero, this man's suffering brought him to his Savior.
That might be why things are caving in around you. The pain you're going through now is God's way of saving you from the awful pain of an eternity without Him; a penalty for your sin that Jesus has already paid. The Bible says Jesus was "a man of sorrows ... pierced for our transgressions," "crushed for our iniquities" (Isaiah 53:4-5). But some of us are so self-reliant, so proud, so stubborn, even so religious that we refuse to acknowledge our need of the Savior who is our only hope until everything's coming down and everything’s out of control.
Now, like the rescuer who reached into the rubble and grabbed a dying woman's hand, Jesus is reaching for you. Isn't it time you surrendered the steering wheel of your life and said, "Jesus, I now realize You are my only hope. I'm sorry for all the years when I've done it my way. From this moment on, though, I'm Yours."
If you want to experience that love, that peace for yourself today, I would encourage you to go to our website ANewStory.com. It's a place where many people get this settled once and for all.
You may never be this close to Jesus again. Please don't miss Him.