Now here is what is ironic about the whole situation. Everything that happened to Jesus in the midst of this trial positioned Him to fulfill prophecy. As God brought Israel, His son, in a corporate sense, out of Egypt. This trial was the set up for Jesus, the new representative of Israel, to come out of Egypt, thus re-living their history. We pick up the story in verse 19…
Three times Matthew says in this one story alone, “That it might be fulfilled…” “That it might be fulfilled…” “That it might be fulfilled…” This is one of the central themes of the book of Matthew, that everything that is happening in the life of Jesus is actually Him fulfilling prophecy as the Messiah. Nothing is just happening to Jesus. Because He wants to model for you, that if you’re going to make it through your trials you’ve got to…
Trust that even the trials are working out to fulfill His plan
Even when the attacks seem to be increasing. Even when your tempted to despair and quit. Even when it seems like depression wants to rob you of your joy. Even in those moments when it seems like the devil is winning. That’s when God wants you to know that He can turn your trial into triumph!… your mess into a master piece! and your obstacles into an overwhelming victory! That’s the story God is writing in your life!!
Everything I went through in Atlanta was God setting me up for my purpose. The loss of my job. The near loss of my house. The wrestling with my calling. All of the ministry experiences. It was God’s way of getting me to a place where I trust Him through the trial. When we moved to the seminary we had no place to stay, but God worked it out. We miraculously ended up moving from a 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom 2 car garage house to a one bedroom one bathroom graduate apartment…and were happy. God was teaching us to trust Him. Everything I did in ministry while at Andrews was a set up for me to come to RPC. And God’s still not done with me! You see every test is just a tool that God uses to bring you closer to your destiny.
Jesus had to be born in Bethlehem in order to fulfill prophecy, so God allowed Cesar to cause all the world to be taxed and registered in the city of their ancestral origin. Therefore the difficult journey to Bethlehem fulfilled scripture. Jesus needed to be in Egypt to fulfill the scripture “Out of Egypt I called My Son” so He allowed Herod to attempt to kill Him, so He would flee to Egypt. Jesus needed to move to Nazareth to fulfill the prophecy “He shall be called a Nazarene.” So God permitted Archelaus to reign over Judea, so Joseph would be uncomfortable with going back there and thus follow God’s instructions to move back to Nazareth. Because Nazareth was in the region of Galilee, Jesus fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah that the Messiah would be in the region of Galilee as a great light to the Gentiles. You know what’s funny is that, it must have been really frustrating for the devil, because every attack and trial he threw at Jesus, just kept getting turned into opportunities for Jesus to ultimately bring about our salvation. Jesus could have peace at every step of His trials because He trusted in His Father.
Some of you are going through some real trials right now. And God has sent me to tell you He sees you. He knows what your going through. He wants you to know that He is at work in your situation. Your trial is a call to a deeper trust in God. It’s a call to get serious about spending time with Him in His word. For He knows that if you spend time with Him daily in His Word your faith and trust in Him will grow strong. You’ll start claiming promises like Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Now this doesn’t mean that everything that is happening is good. Nor does it mean that God is causing it. But it does mean that He is working in the midst of it to turn it around for your good. He says if you’ll trust Me, I. Will. Bring. You. Out!
That’s why this message is titled “Making it through your trials.” Because if you are in Christ, you are just going through a trial. You are not going to stay there. You going to come out! God works through trails to accomplish His purpose for your life. In Genesis, when Joseph forgave his brothers for selling him into slavery in Egypt, he said to them, “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.” God to him from being a prisoner to prime minister so he could save his family from famine.
This story of Joseph is just a small picture of the life of Jesus. The last week of His life on earth was the greatest trial of His life. He was betrayed, beaten and abandoned. The devils strategy was to make His experience so torturous, that He would act on His own behalf and give up on saving you. That’s why he inspired the people tell Christ to save Himself and get off the cross. Yet in the midst of Jesus being crushed by our sin, separated from the Father, He looked at you and said you are worth it. He choose to hang there on that cross and die the second death, so that you would be saved! His trial, His death, looked like an apparent defeat, but it was an overwhelming victory! His one death God used to accomplish your salvation and render the devil utterly defeated!
This is why Jesus could say, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
As you meditate on Jesus giving you peace through your trial, enjoy this song...
“CJ” Claypole S. Cousins Jr. is simply a man who is in love with Jesus. His passion is to live, preach and teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In addition to preaching and teaching, CJ also loves to sing and write about Jesus. He also serves as the pastor for Grow Groups and RPCtv at Restoration Praise Center SDA Church.