The title of S. M. Lockridge’s famous sermon, “It’s Friday, but Sunday’s Coming”, has been used by thousands of preachers to bring hope to the hopeless. Few sermons are a more powerful reminder that God can change everything and anything.
However, the fact of the matter is that when we are experiencing the pain and frustration of Friday’s cross, we don’t “feel” the good news of Easter. Unfortunately, knowing that Good Friday’s pain is a necessary prelude to Easter, does not lessen the pain. Even Jesus cried on the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me.”
Unfortunately, I know too many pastors and too many lay leaders who want their churches to spring forth full of Easter life without experiencing the pain and grief of Good Friday. Such a thing is not possible. It doesn’t work that way. Let me be so bold as to say I know of no minister or church that has experienced significant ministry effectiveness that did not first pay the price of personal and organizational pain.
Years ago, as a hurting young preacher whose church was struggling, I felt like a failure – to say the least. God used a sermon by Chuck Swindoll on Daniel in the lions’ den to help me understand that God was at work – even though it didn’t feel like it. Hearing this poem brought tears to my eyes and healing to my soul.
When God Wants to Drill a Man
When God wants to drill a man,
and thrill a man and skill a man,
When God wants to mold a man to play the noblest part,
When He yearns with all His heart to create so great and bold a man
That all the world should be amazed,
Watch His methods, watch His ways:
How He ruthlessly perfects whom He royally elects;
How He hammers him and hurts him,
And with mighty blows converts him into shapes and forms of clay
Which only God can understand,
While man’s tortured heart is crying and he lifts beseeching hands;
Yet God bends but never breaks when man’s good He undertakes;
How He uses whom He chooses,
And with mighty power infuses him,
With every act induces him to try His splendor out, God knows what He’s about.
Now that the Easter crowd has gone back home, if you still feel like it’s Friday, don’t lose heart: “It’s Friday, but Sunday’s Coming.