Thursday, January 16, 2020

When life isn't making Sense

When life isn't making Sense 

This morning, let us hear the Lord Jesus speak to each one of us: “I myself will help you.” Imagine Him saying, directly to you, “It is but a small thing for me, your God, to help you. Consider what I have already done. What? Not help you? Why, I bought you with my blood. What? Not help you? I have died for you—and if I have done the larger thing, won’t I do the smaller? Help you? That is the least I will ever do for you; I have done more, and will do more. Before the world began, I chose you. I made my covenant for you. I laid aside my glory and became a man for you; I gave up my life for you. And if I did all this, I will surely help you now. In helping you, I am giving you what I have already bought for you. If you had need of a thousand times as much help, I would give it; you need little compared to what I am ready to give. It’s much for you to need, but nothing for me to bestow. Help you? Don’t be afraid! If there were an ant at the door of your barn asking for help, it would not ruin you to give him a handful of your wheat—and you are nothing but a tiny insect at the door of my all-sufficiency. I will help you.” Oh, my soul, is this not enough? Do you need more strength than the omnipotence of the Trinity? Do you want more wisdom than the Father possesses, more love than the Son displays, or more power than the Spirit manifests? Bring your empty pitcher here! Surely this well will fill it. Hurry! Gather up your shortcomings, and bring them here—your emptiness, your afflictions, your needs. This river of God is full for your supply; what else can you desire? My soul, go out in this strength: the eternal God is your helper! Fear not, I am with thee, oh, be not dismayed! For I am thy God, and will still give thee aid. “How Firm a Foundation,” —John Rippon (1787)  C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening 

How to begin this aspect of life...I am still learning.  I have moments when I have been shaken to my core. When a curve ball of life hits me.  

I have to wonder if the Disciples were really that much more adept at understanding or if it still took a few decades afterwards to get what they lived through with Jesus.  In some parts of the Gospels the comments made by the writers are definitely after the fact.  

It's easy to look at them and wonder if they were chosen because they happened to be special people.  A really good book to help understand that idea is "12 Ordinary Men" by John MacArthur.  

Our technology may be magical in the eyes of those back then, but it's the heart of man that hasn't changed.  We still are like the over eager Peter.  We are like the forceful go-getters like James and John. We may even yet today hear the words of Thomas in our minds.  They were chosen by the Father.  Not by Jesus, if you have read the Gospels you'll see that.  Jesus thanks His Father and ours for His choices. Consider too, the Father chose Judas. But that discussion is for another day. 

In this devotional it is hitting home with me and a few that I know.  People have seasons in their lives when troubles hit. Or at least perceived trouble.  On the surface it really really looks like trouble but God is the one behind it. 

How can I say such a thing?  

Joseph.  Youngest of Israel's children of the 12 brothers.  Most of his seriously disturbing and dysfunctional family hated him because of his being their father's favorite.  To make matters worse he knew it.  He had several dreams and what's really interesting is Joseph wasn't the only one endowed by God to interpret dreams. All of them could.  All of his brothers and his dad knew exactly what his dreams meant because it's what drove them to try to take him out.  Them? Bow down to him?  The Scriptures make mention in Daniel about a matter being firmly decided because it's repeated.  The dreams of Joseph were repeated but were told in different ways.  

The whole time Joseph was away from his family it keeps saying "The Lord was with him".  In the end the dreams came true. At the time only Joseph got it until they were reminded of it.  Joseph himself looks to have not understood why he was going through what he was, sold into slavery, thrown in jail, etc. Until things went just the right way and it was revealed to him by the Lord. 

We, and I know I have on a great many occasions, have felt like Joseph or even Job. Job went through Hell on Earth.  Read the Gospels about the Rich man and Lazarus.  Read the description of the rich man in Hell. That's not much different than what Job went through.  And you know what? Job, from what the Scriptures say, doesn't find out why he went through it all.  By now he knows because he's been with Jesus for 2,000 years.  But he never knew the battle of his life was all Spiritual. 

Joseph had a mission from God.  Look at Job differently, so did Job. Look at your life.  Every single believer is on a mission from God.  It isn't to warm a pew or chair on Sunday.  To listen to a lesson and a sermon, bring an offering and go do what you want the rest of the week.  It's not to have a warm fuzzy feeling from the music in the service either. 

It's to walk with God. It's to follow in His footsteps.  A Disciple in Jesus's day had a Jewish phrase said over him. "May you be covered in the dust of your Master". 

Jesus said if they hated me they will hate you too because of Him.

Many of the things we go through are for Spiritual purposes.  For growth, for someone else's growth.  In the end our lives as believers isn't to go sightseeing and enjoying life, it's to grow in Christ. 
It's not about football or soccer or television or movies.  It's not about anything but growing in Christ.  The things we face in life can and will be hard. Will be different and difficult.  But Jesus promised He would intercede on our behalf, He would pray for us. He would never leave us nor forsake us.  That we are His sheep. We are His workmanship.  We have a purpose. Which is to grow up in Christ and reach others. We waste our zeal, our passion, our desires on so many things and neglect to remember whose we are and what we are here for.  Job, while he never understood any reason for his torment and lessons for his life, has changed trillions of lives. Joseph while he indeed fulfilled the divine dreams of God, has been saving countless trillions by the example of his life.  Your life, when and only when, you live in obedience, even in the harsh seasons of life, will impact people around you.  Jacob's prayer about his brother Esau changed both of them. 

So remember today just whose you are. 
Reread the opening part from Spurgeon.  

We often struggle to understand the why's of what we go through.  Guess what? That's normal. 

John the author of the book of Revelation was tortured, boiled in oil, was not harmed at all by it, gets banished to an island.  And after a time there gets to understand why he is there.  Sometimes we just won't know.   Because? Because as Daniel was told at the end of his book. "Go your way".
It's not going to be for you to know in this life.  Just trust the one who's got your life in His hands. 

I don't know where my life is headed these days.  I just know that the depth of 'just trust Me' from my intentional walk with Jesus is getting deeper.  Trust and Obey for there's no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey. 

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