Is Your World Exploding?
I find it stunning how God strengthens us through the most painful times of our lives. I don’t always feel that way…some days it just hurts. It doesn’t make sense to me, I am exhausted with it and…it just hurts.
When my world feels like it is exploding, or one of my family members is in pain, I wish I could tell you that I stand right up and say… “It is the Lord! I trust Him do what seems right to Him!”
Even though I don’t always feel strong like that…in my heart I know this to be true: Even if we who are being crushed don’t see the evidence that God is at work…He is, nevertheless, at work. There is eventual rest in that knowledge. Maybe it takes minutes to come to that faith-rest. Maybe hours, days or weeks. But our God…offers rest.
Like the Israelites, we can stubbornly look at things our own way. We can disobediently handle the fallout our own way and stay caught up in the sadness and continual (often false) drama of what has happened or what “probably will” happen.
Matthew 23:37-39 (ESV) 37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! 38 See, your house is left to you desolate. 39 For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”
When the breath gets knocked out of us, when the unthinkable happens… we are going to “feel it”. We are created to feel. We may even feel a (temporary) sense of hopelessness. We most assuredly have some questions and confusion.
But isn’t it stunning that when we call out to God, He gives us what it takes to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and move forward with the assurance (the faith) that He knew this was coming. He is ever before us, beside us, behind us, under us, above us. He was and is and will be with us!
If we choose to call on Him…obediently walk in His steps…not only does He give what it takes to move forward, He builds in us a faith that is permanent and strong. We gain strength and courage, which takes us through the next blow and the next. We now have a certain amount of confidence that we are going to be okay. Not just okay…but stronger, more full of faith. We somehow sense that we have more to offer those in our sphere.
We live in a broken world. The enemy of our soul is constantly prowling around looking for someone to devour. But…He can’t devour us, unless we choose to believe his lies and buy into them…live them out.
God is sustaining us. He is with us. He wants to give us wisdom and has a better a plan. He has in mind a future and a hope. Most likely not the future and hope we had in mind. But The Future He has had for us all along. He knit us together. He knows what we need in order to have a sense of joy and purpose. He knows what rings our chimes.
Sadly…we have it so completely backwards. He isn’t here first snd foremost to ring our chimes.
He hasn’t held back His hand of destruction because He is here to serve us.
He has held back His hand of destruction because He loves us and all of those in our sphere. We have all sinned against God. We deserve destruction. The chasm between His holiness and our terrible awful sinful choices should be fathomless.
Yet…in His mercy, He has redeemed us. Then, amazingly, He has made us a part of His purposeful plan to redeem those around us from an empty, feckless life here on earth and an eternity of complete separation from anything that resembles love, peace and joy.
Where He is absent …only emptiness can reign. Whether right here on earth or once we no longer have life in our bodies and have gone on to eternity, it is the same: Where He is absent…fear, confusion, hate and terror reign.
Yet…His love can reign in us because of the cross. When we choose to walk repentantly, honestly, closely with Him…faith, hope, love, purpose and strength will ultimately reign!
Then, when your heart is imploding and nothing seems to make sense…you can honestly say, “It is the Lord!…I can trust Him do with this what seems right to Him!”
1 Peter 5:6-11 (ESV) 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
1 John 4:15-21 (ESV) 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.