“Epochal events remind us that God has His way in life’s storms and shocking moments. We may be stunned in disbelief, but God is not surprised or at a loss to know what to do. His plan is unfolding perfectly.” ~ Charles R. Swindoll
Have you ever faced a trial that was so surprising, unprecedented, and intense that it took your breath away? You never saw it coming, and you had no idea how God would get you through...but somehow, He did!
Such severe trials are rare, thankfully. But they are among life’s most valuable experiences because they reveal God’s saving power in ways we otherwise would not see.
This study is based on an account of an aging father and his son: Abraham and Isaac. After decades of waiting for God to fulfil His promise to provide Abraham an heir, Abraham finally realized his dream when Isaac was born. But then, God issued a shocking command to Abraham: “Go and sacrifice [Isaac] as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you” (Genesis 22:2). It was the ultimate test of faith for
Abraham and set the scene for an unforgettable, epochal event!
Every parent who has choked back tears on a child’s first day of school understands releasing. Every retiree who removed the last picture, taped shut the last box, and said the last goodbye understands releasing. Any who have felt their life savings slip through their fingers, any who have waved at a disappearing moving van, any who have taken a heart-wrenching walk past a coffin understand releasing too.
At the end of his sermon, Chuck made two profound statements:
- God never puts us through a test without a purpose. Usually, the purpose is designed to make us release what we’re clutching
- When we trust God, He provides solutions that quickly loosen our grip. The rewards of holding everything loosely will surpass anything we could have ever imagined
As painful as it is to let go of God’s good gifts, the process of releasing opens our hands to receive the greatest reward—the Giver Himself! As we internalize this biblical account, let’s anchor in our hearts the faithfulness of God who is our Provider. Centuries after Abraham released his son Isaac on Mount Moriah, our heavenly Father released His Son, Jesus Christ. Just as Isaac submitted himself to his father, so Jesus surrendered Himself to the altar of the cross. Only no lamb took Jesus’ place, for Jesus was the Lamb! His sacrifice atoned for our sin, ushered us into an eternal relationship with our heavenly Father, and became the most epochal event of all.