Thursday, December 24, 2020

I send good times and bad times. I, the LORD, am the one who does these things

“I create the light and make the darkness. I send good times and bad times. I, the LORD, am the one who does these things” (Isaiah 45:7 NLT)

Both day and night belong to you. Psalm 74:16 NLT 

Lord, you do not abdicate your throne when the sun goes down. Nor do you allow the world, through these long wintry nights, to be the prey of evil. Your eyes watch us like they watch the stars, and your arms surround us like the bands of the zodiac encompass the sky. The kindly dews of the evening and the helpful influences of the moon are in your hand; the alarms and fears of the night are equally with you. This is a sweet thought to me when I fret through the midnight hours, turning back and forth in anguish. There are precious fruits put forth by the moon as well as by the sun—may my Lord make me a favored partaker of them. The night of affliction is just as much under the arrangement and control of the Lord of Love as are the bright summer days when everything is bliss. His love wraps the night around itself like a cloak, but to the eye of faith that rich robe is hardly a disguise. From the first watch of the night to the break of day, the eternal Watcher observes His saints, overruling the shadows and dews of midnight for His people’s highest good. Christians don’t believe in rival deities, good and evil battling for supremacy—we simply hear the voice of Jehovah saying, “I create the light and make the darkness. I send good times and bad times. I, the LORD, am the one who does these things” (Isaiah 45:7 NLT). Even our gloomy seasons of spiritual apathy and public sin are not exempt from the divine purpose. When the altars of truth are defiled and the ways of God forsaken, the Lord’s servants weep with bitter sorrow—but they don’t need to despair, for the darkest times are governed by the Lord and will come to their end at His bidding. What may seem a defeat to us may be victory to Him. Though enwrapped in gloomy night, We perceive no ray of light; Since the Lord himself is here, ’Tis not meet that we should fear. “When We Cannot See Our Way,” Thomas Kelly (1815) - C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening 

It's with bitter regret that I can look back on my life and see where I jumped onto either a bandwagon of my own creation or someone else's to rage about life's circumstances. 

I also see many people who claim to be Christians, seriously give Christ a bad name by what comes out of their mouths. 

How do people see Christ when they hear vile language and see anger and contempt all the time? 

Many years ago God brought me face-to-face with me about my anger issues.  I was simply asked by Him some questions similar to what He asked Jonah towards the end of that book. Do I have a right to be angry?  

Read that passage again that Spurgeon went to above. "I send good times and bad times. I, the LORD, am the one who does these things"

This too: "Even our gloomy seasons of spiritual apathy and public sin are not exempt from the divine purpose."

Do we really think we are that powerful enough to mess up God's eternal plans?

If you do think that, my friend, you are certainly thinking more highly of yourself than you ought to. 

Some come up with a bunch of what if's. 
What if Judas hadn't betrayed Christ? One, it was appointed for him to. He wasn't necessarily assigned the task of being doomed, but rather, God already knew his heart and exactly what would he do under those circumstances.  When you have a board the right size for something you don't go back to the pile to keep looking. Once you find what you lost you stop looking as well.
What if this happens...what if that happens. 

Ok. God created time for mankind, not for Himself. He stepped down into time over 2,000 years ago to be born, live a sinless life, die on a horrible cross.  To arise 3 days later from the dead. Defeating sin, death and the grave.  Could it have been done differently? Was it necessary? No it could not. Every minute detail, some of which we cannot fathom now, had to be satisfied in the eyes of the Father. Not the eyes of the Son, or the Holy Spirit...but the Father.  The original sin that doomed mankind originated within the concept of time.  The response to it, to save mankind, likewise must occur within time. Even that overlooked detail. Can Jesus just think it and take us straight to the New Heavens and new Earth?  Yes. But we humans need time to run its course. It's part of our DNA. The Spiritual DNA. Our physical is doomed to ashes due to sin and we will receive a glorified body later. Sin permeates out full physical existence. It's curse began with Adam and Eve but was overflowed to the Universe. 

Our lives must be lived, as Christians, to glorify God. Not ourselves.  Our lives have absolutely nothing to do with our successes in light of finding people who haven't come to Christ yet.  

We are duped into seeking fame, fortune and health here on Earth as being more important than saving lives. 

It would be comparable to having life rafts in the water after a ship went down, people spread out to save people, but the perishing must wait until those in the boats finish eating, enjoying themselves and get their hair done. 

We can be upset about life as it is happening or we can realize what we called this post.  We can force ourselves to be ignorant of what God wants done or we can be an Isaiah. Here am I, send me!
Your life can indeed be all about you, as a Christian, but you will sacrifice your treasure in Heaven.  The Spiritual successes you could have had in helping see people find Jesus will have gone to someone else. 

If you are a Christian, claim to be one, live like it. Quit with the swearing. Quit with the loose living. Quit trying to avoid working with Jesus in saving people.  Quit thinking this life is all about you. It's about what we saw Andrew doing. Hey! There's someone you need to know! Jesus is here!

We can be as much of a group of complainers as the rest of the world or we can live as visitors who've got a real home in Heaven that we want others to see too.

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