As I was studying through the second chapter of "Lord, Where are You When Bad Things Happen?" I was thinking about what Jesus would be saying to us. I imagined you all sitting in my family room, sharing coffee with me and together we are listening to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ tell us how much He loves us and how precious each one of us is to Him.
"Come to Me, all you who labor (exhausted from burdens or grief) and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30
Don't you love that? As you work through Habakkuk and Kay Arthur's book I want you to keep in mind who Jesus is. Last week I encouraged you to study the Word of God always in light of the cross where Jesus died, where He took God's wrath and judgment for our sins. Now also study it in light of His character. He is gentle and lowly in heart and gives us rest from our burdens. He doesn't add a heavy yoke, He doesn't increase our burden, He lightens it.
In the second chapter of our study book, Kay poses this question on the first day, "What do you do when you suddenly see sin for what it is - when you suddenly become aware of a holy God who has every right to judge sin in His holy wrath?"
Great question - Let's look at the answer in light of the cross.
Romans 5:8-9 "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him."
I John 2:1 "My little children, these things I write to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world."
Jesus is the answer - He is the only answer!
"Propitiation" means appeasement or satisfaction. The sacrifice of Jesus death on the cross satisfied the demands of God's holiness for the punishment of sin. John 3:16 -18; 36 and many other Scriptures make it clear that we must believe and accept what Christ did for us or else we will one day experience God's wrath. But if we Believe - It is finished!!!
What saves me from God's wrath and judgment is simply faith, simple belief, that Christ died for me. "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." (Eph.2: 8-9) I can't even boast in my repentance for it is Jesus who found me, cleansed me and made me a new creation. (2Cor. 5:17)
So what do we do about the sins we commit since believing in Christ?
1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
Colossians 2:6 "As you therefore have received Christ Jesus, so walk in Him."
When we sin, we admit it and by faith we believe that we're forgiven!
The title to chapter two is "He's There - Admit Your Sin and Embrace Him." That is exactly right. So simple really.
I've spent a lot of time on this point because it is crucial in dispelling the teaching that bad things happen to us because of God's judgment and wrath for sins we have committed. That would nullify Christ's work on the cross. My heart just breaks at the thought that a mother might believe that their child died as a punishment.
I pray you will embrace our Lord Jesus and accept His gracious gift of forgiveness. He loves you so much and wants to carry your burdens for you. Just as He did for Habakkuk, He will do for you. He will be your strength, He will make your feet like deer's feet and He will make you walk on your high hills.