“He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.’” (Acts 1:7-8)
As I read about the ascension, I have questions. I ask the Lord “Why? Why did you have to go back to heaven when we need you here on earth so much?” I think it would have been so much easier for all of us if Jesus was still physically present here on earth. Then whenever we needed Him, we could go right to Him. He would always be there for us with the right words to say to comfort, strengthen and encourage us. He would be there to give us a hug, to touch us and heal us of all of our diseases and infirmities. Wouldn’t that be great? We would never have to worry or lack for anything. There would be peace, no wars, no murder, no fighting if Jesus would just have stayed and established His kingdom at that point rather than ascending to heaven. Why did Jesus have to ascend to heaven? Why didn’t Jesus just set up His kingdom then and there?
The major reason why Jesus did not establish His kingdom 2000 years ago, why He had to ascend to heaven, why He commissioned His followers to establish His kingdom on earth, is because it is the Father’s will. It is not given to us to know the specific answers, the specific reasons. It is enough to know that it was the Father’s will. He does things in a different way than what we would do, like, or think.than what we would do, like, or think.
This may sound like a fatalistic answer to some of us. Maybe we think that it is a cop out that doesn’t really help us at all. But this is not so. It is an answer that requires faith for it forces us to trust Jesus completely. Even though we are in pain, even though we may be in the midst of difficulties and impossible choices, even though we may feel that God is absent and far away, even though we may think He does not know what He is doing, faith assures us that He is in control. It is such steadfast faith even in the midst of terrible suffering that brings glory to the Lord. All things happen for the purposes of God’s will and for His glory, not according to our will, unless it is in line with His, and not for our glory, although ultimately we will share in His glory. For the praise of His glory is the one answer that should sustain us as we endure our trials.