But God! Part 2

DSC_0107Once again, we watch our nation struggle as if it rocks on the edge of a precipice.

If all we watched were the sensationalized news/talk shows, men and women bent on creating a narrative based on their own ideological views rather than on what is factual; men and women seeking to promote an ideology based on shifting human wisdom rather than on the unchanging wisdom of God in His Word, we would think there was no hope. We would assume that all consideration of unity and peace is but a vapor, a dream that has died.

BUT GOD!

He is not wringing His hands over or bound by angry mobs, insidious plans, self-loving talking heads, rabble-rousing “inciters,” corrupt and conniving people in authority, or a culture warped by human opinions and driven by emotions.

In little pockets all over the country, there is a quiet rumble of those who will not be manipulated into hate or deception.  Instead, they are reaching across imaginary lines drawn by the enemy of our souls who seeks to divide and conquer; to steal, kill, and destroy not just here on earth but for eternity.  (John 10:10)

And, in those pockets, the love and grace of God is being poured out in Truth; for we, His image bearers, are able to love and forgive because HE first loved us. (I John 4:19)

We are able to speak the Truth that is sometimes hard because we do love well, because we know that “faithful are the wounds of a friend.” (Proverbs 27:6)

We are able to point to the unchanging Word of God as our straight edge because it is what undergirds our lives and the life of a society that will stand. A society built on anything other will not long endure.

We are able to share the full hope of life in Christ – not just acknowledging with one’s head that God exists, that Jesus died, and that He is coming again, but allowing that to transform us, humbling ourselves before the God of the universe and saying, “I am Yours! Change me. Use me.”

And it is what He commands His people to do – over and above what we, in our flesh, want to do at times. Even those who do not acknowledge Him still bear His image because He is Creator; though they mar that image as they exalt themselves.  And, as image bearers, they still have His fingerprints all over who they are no matter how far they seek to run.

The powers that desire division want to stamp out hope.

BUT GOD!

He is Hope!

He is Healer of the broken-hearted and sin-scarred.  Those living in shame and regret need not anymore.

He is Restorer of the breaches. He is able to repair what the enemy of our souls has broken down.

He is Deliverer. He rescues us from ourselves and is ready to bring us from darkness to light, from playing in mud puddles to a castle by the sea. (adapted from a quote by C.S. Lewis)

He is the Mighty One, able to save and redeem, but also Mighty to judge and bring true justice.

His judgement may just be to lead us to repentance rather than destruction, so we must hear His voice and let Him devastate our self-rule and, in humility, say, “Speak Lord, I am listening…

“Create in me a clean heart oh God, and renew a right spirit within me…search me and know me; see if there is any wicked way in me…” (Psalm 51 and 139) and transform me, O God!”

Yes, let it begin with me!

An often heard and argued verse from God’s Word is just an echo of His grace:  “If God’s people who are called by His name will humble themselves and pray and turn from their (own) wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven…and heal their land.”  2 Chronicles 7:14

Is He bound to show us mercy?  Of course not.  His judgment may be for destruction.  But, He commands His people who are called by His name, that’s me, that’s you – individual followers of Christ – to confess and turn from our sin, to God Himself; we His people who so often look at the “bigger” sins of those around us with a shaking head yet coddle our own rebellion against God, justifying our own pet sins. We see their rebellion and make light of our own.

He has promised that if we cherish sin in our hearts (be it an attitude, thoughts, or action), He will not hear us (Psalm 66:18). But, if we will humble ourselves and turn, He has promised to listen and, according to His glory and goodness, act.  All we are responsible for is our own obedience to Him even as we show the way to others still setting their foundations on shifting sand.

We’ve been a nation divided before.  Yes, there was a remnant of noble men and women, but there were also many who wanted to destroy; the spirit of lawlessness appeared to have taken over.

The complete dissolution of our land appeared imminent.

BUT GOD!

It was He who changed hearts and minds and brought reconciliation and healing where there was none and no one believed it would ever be so.

It was He who transformed souls by His grace and brought revival to a thirsty land.

It is in our arrogance that we would deem to exactly know the mind of God, to throw up our hands in resignation and say, “We might as well admit it – all is lost” when God says pray, repent, live before God and man righteously with His grace, His peace, and His love, speak truth in a way that draws men to Himself and restores lives, not watered down or compromised but with the sure hope of the true Gospel of repentance, forgiveness, and restoration!

What we do know is that He is merciful to us when we don’t deserve it, so who are we to think He might not yet relent, soften hard hearts, take the scales from blind eyes, and redeem this rebellious generation? He is able to do exceedingly and abundantly more than we can think or ask.

And because He is…we can have HOPE, we can choose JOY!

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And HOPE does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.  Romans 5:1-5

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Is He Worthy?  (video below: Andrew Peterson)

Do you feel the world is broken? (We do)
Do you feel the shadows deepen? (We do)
But do you know that all the dark won’t stop the light from getting through? (We do)
Do you wish that you could see it all made new? (We do)

Is all creation groaning? (It is)
Is a new creation coming? (It is)
Is the glory of the Lord to be the Light within our midst? (It is)
Is it good that we remind ourselves of this? (It is)

Is anyone worthy? Is anyone whole?
Is anyone able to break the seal and open the scroll?
The Lion of Judah, Who conquered the grave,
He is David’s root and the Lamb Who died to ransom the slave.

Is He worthy?
Is He worthy of all blessing and honor and glory?
Is He worthy of this? He is.

Does the Father truly love us? (He does)
Does the Spirit move among us? (He does)
And does Jesus our Messiah hold forever those He loves? (He does)
Does our God intend to dwell again with us? (He does)

Is anyone worthy? Is anyone whole?
Is anyone able to break the seal and open the scroll?
The Lion of Judah, Who conquered the grave,
He is David’s root and the Lamb Who died to ransom the slave.

From every people and tribe, every nation and tongue,
He has made us kingdom priests to God to reign with His Son.

Is He worthy?
Is He worthy of all blessing and honor and glory?
Is He worthy?
Is He worthy?
Is He worthy of this?
He is!

Is He worthy?
Is He worthy?
He is!
He is!

One thought on “But God! Part 2

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