Thursday, February 15, 2007

Surefooted Confidence in God's Power and Goodness

I was emotionally consumed this week with the depravity of the world and the lost hearts of people; saddened by the stories of lives overtaken by sin and wickedness. My heart is heavy, people everywhere are struggling and hurting deeply - - an old friend of our family who has been disowned by her children and husband, people with unwanted pregnancy's, a Christian couple still battling infertility, the horrific method of partial birth abortion being performed every day in our country on innocent living children, disabled and dieing children with no one to love them, death, cancer, war. This week it has seemed like the precious gift of life somewhere along the way has been taken over by sin and suffering. People are hurting, marriages are falling apart, suicide is rampant, illness and suffering surround me and I ask God "Why"?.
Then, in the middle of my musings with God, He softly reminded me about the prophet Habakkuk who penned a short book in the Old Testament just before King Nebuchanezzar invaded Judah in 605 B.C. The prophet Habakkuk lived in a society much worse than what we live in today. I encourage you to read the little book; it is only 3 short chapters that answer the question "Why does God allow wickedness and evil to temp. reign."
In reading verses 1:2-4, Habakkuk describes the times in which he lives, do you see any similarities? God's response to the prophet, and to us, begins in chapter 2:4, the Lord explains that "the righteous man shall live by faith" because the Lord in on His thrown and is awaiting the exact moment that He can assert his power and bring evil into the light, exposing, judging, and punishing wickedness. The power in which Habakkuk speaks is both referencing the crucifixion of Christ and the final judgment yet to come. The Lord's authority is illustrated in chapter 3:4 "His radiance is like the sunlight, He has rays flashing from His hand, and there is the hiding of His power" as he sends forth pestilence, plagues, and earthquakes to destroy much of the earth. God is mighty, has absolute authority, yet chooses out of his mercy and love to allow evil to happen so all humanity will have an opportunity to truly know the Lord Jesus Christ - - Yahweh (Our Creator). As a Christian I sit in wonder over the life I have lived, if my life before Christ had been perfect, without pain, I would never have seen my need for a Savior. I would have been content to live for myself, my plans, my flesh driven desires. It was out of God's love that he allowed free will and suffering so that all mankind would have a need for God. Thank you Jesus for sending me a Savior and helping me see that You are all I need.
God's might and justice will be revealed in His timing, as Christian's our job is not to sit around and wait for God's wrath to come upon those we see doing evil. Our job is to point everyone, including ourselves, to the cross of Christ. The cross brings comfort, convicts, sheds tears, and eternally saves! The cross which saved a sinner like myself, the cross that bridged that gap between God and man, the cross that revealed our personal sinful stated, the cross where we witnessed Agape (Self Sacrificing) love displayed, the cross which promises that "one day every knee will bow and tongue confess that Jesus is Lord." The cross, my cross - - where blood was shed, life was saved, and sin was conquered so that those who believe in the Lord Jesus would be saved. Do you know the cross, have you thought about what the cross means in your life, today, at this very moment?
Below are a few points that I mulled over this week, some brought comfort and others brought conviction:
Have I been praying blessings and repentance upon those I see doing evil? Have I been praying for their salvation? What have I been physically doing to help them see their need for a savior?
Have I been resting in the Lord's promises, resting in the "knowledge of the glory of the Lord and in my Fathers mighty strength"? Am I living with surefooted confidence that everything in my life has been filtered by the Lord and is used for refinement, answered prayers, or preparation for useful service? Hab 2:14 & 3:19
Have I been keeping my eyes pure (Hab 1:13 ) so that I do not approve of evil - watching inappropriate movies or TV shows, reading magazines that are not holy, etc?
Is my financial house in order, am I paying off debts and becoming financially free so that I am not a servant another? (Hab 2:6)
Do I have any idols in my life such as self, money, self driven plans, etc? (Hab 2:18)


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