#EasterSunday: Is Real Life-Change Possible?

Alongside billions of other people, our family celebrated the resurrection life of Jesus. For those who follow Jesus, this isn’t just another holiday in the calendar but the watershed of all history where everything changed! Or has N.T. Wright put it, “The Day The Revolution Began.” The resurrection isn’t solely about Jesus rising from the dead (though that in itself makes a statement in itself), but it is also the impact of that resurrection has on the whole of creation. The resurrected life of Jesus is something that has real power to change the very reality around us (both in our own lives, our neighbourhoods, and our world)!

I was reminded intimately of this reality while taking in our service, and while listening to stories of life change, the idea of a resurrected life came for the forefront. As each story was being shared and a break for singing came, the same line would be repeated, “The resurrected King is resurrecting me!” By the same power that rose Jesus from the grave is the same power that raises us to new life — a resurrected life!

And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you. — Romans 8:11

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! —2 Corinthians 5:17

What a simple yet profound promise that Paul gives us. That through Christ’s resurrection, we too can have a resurrected life. But if you are like every other person in human history, you don’t always feel like a new creation. What is with that? Consider the following passages:

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. — Romans 8:37

I can do all things through him who strengthens me. — Phillipians 4:13

I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” — Matthew 16:19

Have you ever read these verses and thought, “man, I wish that was true in my life!” If so, you are not alone. There seems to be a disconnect between what we believe is true and seeing that truth becomes a reality in our lives. So what is stopping us from seeing a resurrected life come to reality? Or maybe it already has, and we have not recognized it.

See, the good news is that this new life is available to anyone who puts their trust in Jesus and His Resurrection, but new ultimately means change and change are never easy.

Change is never an easy thing because change involves killing old things, making sacrifices, healing old wounds, and involves the unknown. Change is hard work, and it is scary; it involves facing the people and things that victimized us as well as the demons of our own making. Or maybe for some of us, we have this insatiable desire for change but all the efforts in the world have failed, and you are tired of trying any longer and have lost all hope.

Can I encourage you, that no matter what you are facing, real life-change and a resurrected life is possible. Do you know how I know? Because I have seen it in my own life and countless others, I have walked alongside.

Let me drive this home with the power of addiction. One of the most basic steps for addicts to move towards freedom and victory is believing that change is possible. Please track with me on this. I know this sounds a bit too simple, but the impact of this simple truth is powerful nonetheless.

While studying the impact of groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, researchers were intrigued by the success rate that such a program had. Many factors played into the why, but a hinge step in seeing real movement forward was the idea that if a person could believe that change was possible, it could become a sort of domino effect in actually realizing that change. The simple phrase “If Joe can do it, maybe I can” has such a simple power to it that it creates a chain reaction in the person’s mind and ability actually to take the risk to try.

Add the momentum of things like one’s higher power, easy wins for continued motivation, support networks of meetings and mentors, changing and rewiring of habit loops, and the inner spirit of the personal will and the person who was previously controlled by their addiction has the some of the beginning building blocks to finding newfound freedom and power to see real change and success in their life. But it all started with the anchoring truth that change is possible and believing that something new and different could be accomplished.

To be clear, I am not saying it will be easy. Even when Paul penned the words that we are “more than conquerors”, he didn’t assume that wouldn’t be without trials. Earlier in Romans 8, he says we will face trials, but those trials would not compare to what God has for us on the other side of the change found in the Resurrected life.

“I consider that our present sufferings are not comparable to the glory that will be revealed in us.” — Romans 8:18

Remember, all this takes hard work, but all the hard work in the world will fail if you have already resolved in your mind that it will fail. If we can cling to the desperate idea that change could be possible, it could be just enough to spark the small flame needed to get the fire started in your mind, soul, and spirit. Add the power of new life found in the Resurrection and the verses quoted above won’t only be a nice theological idea but a lived-out reality.

And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you. — Romans 8:11

Are you willing to surrender to this new resurrected life? As you reflect o the Easter season today, can I challenge you also to see the life-change that it speaks of for your reality and the reality around you?

Take a second to pray and ask God to help you see this. And better yet, have Him reveal to you the things that may be blocking you from believing that change could be possible. Don’t rush this; take your time to hear what God may say to you.

If you are unsure of where to start, I would recommend picking up the book Soul Care by Dr. Rob Reimer, or You Are What You Do by Daniel Im. They are not only chock full of truth and principles to help in this journey but real practical steps in actually getting there. I can’t recommend these books enough!

Follower of Jesus, husband, father of four, & Executive Pastor at beulah.ca. Here are my musings on leadership, faith, life, and being #AddictedToHope!

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