It’s Good Friday, So Think About This

by | Mar 28, 2013 | Blogs, The Strang Report

For Christians, this is the greatest time of year—Good Friday, when we remember Christ’s death for our sins, and Resurrection Sunday, when He rose from the dead! We close Charisma Media to commemorate Good Friday.

On this special day, I dug into the archives and found this special article by my late friend and mentor, Jamie Buckingham. Share it and let me know what you think:

Following Jesus Requires Genuine Faith

By Jamie Buckingham

A quiet pebble beach is located on the northeastern shore of the Sea of Galilee. It is under the shadow of the Golan Heights, not far from the ancient village of Bethsaida.

It was here, early one morning, that Jesus stood and shouted across the water to His friends in a fishing boat. “Catch anything?”

Peter recognized His voice, jumped overboard and swam to shore. It had been several weeks since Jesus had risen from the grave. He kept appearing and disappearing. By the time the other fishermen got to shore, Jesus and Peter had a fire going and breakfast was almost ready.

What followed was one of the most personal and poignant encounters in the Bible. Pulling Peter aside, Jesus predicted the kind of death he was going to die: “When you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go” (John 21:18, NIV).

It was a disturbing prediction. Peter was going to be crucified. Peter’s reaction was similar to the way many of us react when we get a glimpse into the future of unpleasant things—we divert attention away from ourselves to someone else.

Pointing at John, Peter asked, “Lord, what about him?” Jesus’ response was instant. “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me” (John 21:22).

Like all of us, Peter was hoping for a guarantee of long life. He didn’t like the possibility of early death—especially if it included suffering. He wanted to hold to all the healing verses of the Bible but omit the verses about Christians having to suffer if they follow Jesus.

I understand that feeling. Last summer, I emerged from my healing experience with cancer feeling invincible. Almost immortal. The doctors had told me I was going to die, but God intervened.

I not only survived—I was healed. But I didn’t get what I really wanted: a guarantee the cancer would never return. That is the heart of Jesus’ response to Peter: “God allows no guarantees. He does not want you to walk by knowledge—but by faith. “I alone control the length of a man’s days,”

Jesus told Peter. “How long John lives is none of your business. You must follow Me.” Following Jesus means risky living. God, however, is far more interested in what we become than whether we reach the goal.

In fact, the goal is really found in the following—not the arriving. That, sadly, goes cross-grain to the American concept of success. But God is more interested in building our faith than providing mental security.

The new cancer, pressing on my spine, caused pain in my hip and leg. I finally reached the place where I couldn’t stand upright in the bathroom to brush my teeth. Instead I had to lean back against the wall.

Reluctantly, I started radiation treatments. Within two weeks, the pain was almost gone. It was a good sign. The tumor was shrinking. Then, three weeks later as I was completing the treatments, I developed a new set of pains in my back and leg. The doctor reminded me it could be “good pain.”

The nerves damaged by the tumor could be regenerating, But there were no guarantees. “Father,” I prayed, “I’m in trouble. I need Your help,” He answered gently. “Would you call on Me for help if you were not hurting?”

Why does God ask rhetorical questions? He already knew how prone I was to become self-sufficient the moment I began to feel better. “I don’t like it when you hurt,” He said softly, “but I do like it when you ask Me to help you.”

Corrie ten Boom once told me that as a child she had asked her father when God would give her the courage to be a martyr for Jesus. Her wise father replied, “When you take a train trip from Harlem to Amsterdam, I give you the money for the ticket just before we get on the train.”

And so it is with God’s strength. Today you do not need the strength to be a martyr, but as soon as you are called upon for the honor of facing death for Jesus, He will supply the strength you need—just in time.”

Most of us are like Peter. We want to follow Jesus on our own terms. And we always like to know where we’re going before we start. God, however, does not reveal the future, He reveals Himself.

From 1979 until his death, Jamie Buckingham (1932-1992) wrote the “Last Word” column for Charisma magazine, which originally published this article. He was the editor of Ministry Today magazine at his untimely death in February 1992—21 years ago.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

The Church Revived: 3 Keys to the Emerging Move of God

The Church Revived: 3 Keys to the Emerging Move of God

During the past two years, I believe the church at large has been in a season of returning to God. Repentance is crucial when it comes to revival. Scripture shows a clear pattern that repentance precedes the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (see Joel 2:12-28 and Acts...

How Divine Wrestling Changes Our Identity

How Divine Wrestling Changes Our Identity

All of us at some point will hit a place of getting the wind knocked out of us. We all experience unexpected detours and times when there seems to be no way out. But there is One who lives in us, the Lord Jesus Christ, who gives us the strength to overcome obstacles....

Spirit-Filled Pastor: How Does God Lead Us Today?

Spirit-Filled Pastor: How Does God Lead Us Today?

Whether it is the Spirit leading or forbidding in the book of Acts, or the Spirit leading throughout Christian history, it’s clear that the leading of the Spirit is important. In the Old Testament, it appears that the Spirit of God could be withdrawn completely from...

Joyce Meyer: Keys to Winning Your Race in Life

Joyce Meyer: Keys to Winning Your Race in Life

Everyone has a race to run. That just means we all have a life to live. The apostle Paul says in Hebrews 12:1 (NIV), “Therefore...let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for...

Prophetic Word: The Lord Says, ‘I Am the Consuming Fire’

Prophetic Word: The Lord Says, ‘I Am the Consuming Fire’

God says that during this season, He is turning up the heat, finding the gold and bringing His refining fire. Job makes a powerful statement of faith as he says of the Lord, "When he has tried me, I shall come out as gold." God knew Job's heart and Job knew the heart...

What Is ‘The One Thing’ God Wants From You?

What Is ‘The One Thing’ God Wants From You?

In 1971, I was invited to spend one month in Singapore at a new institute that had been started by John Haggai. It was still in the formative stages then—a place where Asian church leaders would be trained and challenged to witness for Christ. Today, more than 40...

RECENT ARTICLES

Bill Johnson: Reformers Are Arising to Transform Our World for Christ

Throughout history, reformers have lived with the conviction of the superiority of the gospel of Jesus Christ to transform individual lives, communities, and ultimately, nations. Recently I had the...
37 Prayers for the Suffering Persecuted Church

37 Prayers for the Suffering Persecuted Church

It was a Pentecost bloodbath and most Christians never heard about it. More than 50 Christians were killed in one of the deadliest terror attacks on Nigerians this year. Scores of gunmen rushed in to kill Christians in the midst of worship. All told, over 360 million...

The United States: Birthed in Prophetic Symbolism

The United States: Birthed in Prophetic Symbolism

One of the most amazing facts about the Founding Fathers of our nation is this: The one referred to as the "voice" of the revolution (John Adams) and the one referred to as the "pen" of the revolution (Thomas Jefferson) both died on the same day—July 4, 1826—exactly...

Why Did God Give ‘This’ to Me?

Why Did God Give ‘This’ to Me?

It’s a question I frequently hear. It’s one I’ve asked. And maybe it’s one you’ve asked, too. The question is, “God, why did You give this to me?” This can be any number of issues, from emotional or psychological struggles to symptoms or sicknesses, disabilities or...

No Evil Can Stop What God Has Planned

No Evil Can Stop What God Has Planned

I sense it. And I perceive a growing number of people in massive proportions sense the increasing momentum of power and might worldwide. Something is on the horizon—something more eerie and ominous than what the people of the world have ever before experienced. Even...

Pin It on Pinterest