We teach our children the prayer, “God is good, God is great.” How about we include in that prayer, “God is deceptive”? The Bible declares it not once, but twice. (More …)
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There are times when the situations of life can make a person wonder if they’ve been forsaken by the God that they have trusted. Things ranging from health scares to family issues to financial crises can strain our understanding of God’s promise to never leave or forsake us (1 Kings 8:56-58, Hebrews 13:5). But when one considers many of the people that we read about in God’s word, we can see that bad situations don’t equate to being forsaken by God:
- Joseph was thrown down into an old dry pit
- Jonah found himself down in the belly of a whale
- Jeremiah was thrown down into an old muddy pit
- Daniel was cast down into a lion’s den
Various things were going on in the lives of these people, and their experiences were for various purposes, but regardless of how they may have felt about their circumstances at the time, none of them were forsaken by their God.
When the river of peace seems to have been swapped for the overwhelming floods, remember that the same God who made walls out of the Red Sea and who cleared a path through the flood stage Jordan River still stands by our side. Temporary circumstances, no matter how endless they may feel, cannot separate us from the love of God that’s found through Christ Jesus.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:35-39
You can find the monotheistic God of the Bible describing his love and faithfulness towards his people, in the face of his people’s rejection and faithlessness in him, in pluralistic ways all-throughout the Old Testament. But when it comes to driving this point home, if I were to think of one book of the Old Testament in particular…I’d think of Hosea! The book of Hosea describes something that only an individual who has loved another, with a deep and sincere love, can understand. When it comes to sin many people think of God’s anger and judgment (and rightly so in many circumstances), but there are times replete when God reveals that our sins grieve him at his heart with a pain that is brought on by the feeling of betrayal! But despite that, the Lord returns faithfulness for unfaithfulness in order that we may see that godliness contains a love that not only wants the best, it gives the best chance for another opportunity, through grace, to return the love that has been so freely made available. The consequences of sin are real, but so is the faithfulness of the grace that deals with it.
“For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.” (Psalm 100:5 – ESV)
We don’t often post editorials over on Brotherhood News. Nor do we often post them on controversial topics, at least, that I recall, nor as lengthy as the one that appears today. So this rare bird might just be worth your while.
The Lord’s church is blessed not to be a company, nor to have a hierarchy where men lord it over others, nor even to have means to settle an issue across the brotherhood, but I play with the idea of naming “culture” as the word of the year, as one dictionary publisher has just done.
The wisdom of God has not lashed us together in such a way that if a few go astray, all sink with them them. What does unite us is the Lord Jesus Christ himself, who is our center and who permeates the whole out to the very edges. So my Forthright Magazine editorial goes, from yesterday.
Our times seem critical, but each age possesses its challenges. I long ago tired of presidential elections touted as being the most important ever, with more at risk than before. Perhaps. Or perhaps it’s a mere election tactic. Let us not fall for our own fearful thoughts that our age is worse and more critical than at any other time in history. Let us meet the progressives and counter as we may their influence, while we rejoice in the faithfulness of God toward his people in this and every age.
In the darkest moments, when the Psalmist cries to God for help, his words of despair are permeated with a deeper belief that God is there and that God will answer. He believes, against all appearances, that God will hear him.
Rescue me from the mud! Don’t let me sink!
Deliver me from those who hate me,
from the deep water!
Don’t let the current overpower me!
Don’t let the deep swallow me up!
Don’t let the Pit devour me!
Psa 69.14-15 NET
Confusion may reign, the hurt may throw him at the foot of death, circumstances may appear hopeless, but underneath it all lies a bedrock of faith in the benevolent purpose of God.
Many are the reasons why he possesses such a faith, but its essence derives from his knowledge of history, his own and his people’s. God is faithful. He holds to his promises. He has never failed his people.
Israel told the story of her creation and redemption time and again to her children. That story was preserved in Scripture.
Let the church tell, without shame nor revision, the inspired story of the faithfulness of God in Christ. It is this history, contained in the pages of Scripture, that will secure us to the Rock and feed our hope in the darkest hour.