Wednesday, July 7, 2010

He's There - You Can Live By Faith

There are some important principals in the last chapters of our book that I want to emphasize so we all can be confident in answering the tough questions of "Lord, Where Are You When Bad Things Happen" and "Why do Bad Things Happen?" The Biblical answers to those 2 questions has provided me with peace and confidence in my God, and has given me great anticipation for this life and the life to come.

"I will walk by faith even when I cannot see because this broken road reveals Your will for me."
Luke 24:13-32 After Christ's resurrection He appeared and spoke to two men on the road to Emmaus. These men were devastated and sad because Jesus had been condemned to death and was crucified - all their hope was gone. Their road was broken. They couldn't see clearly. They expressed their confusion,"But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel." Jesus says to them, "O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?" He then expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.

These men had been expecting an immediate earthly kingdom. They didn't get it - they didn't understand God's plan and purpose in the suffering and death of His son, Jesus Christ by the hands of evil men. They did not understand that it was necessary to enter into His glory and that His suffering, crucifixion, death and resurrection was a necessary part of the plan for them and for all of us to be able to enter the Kingdom of God. They could not see beyond their circumstances to see that God had a far greater eternal plan that far exceeded their earthly plan. The broken road revealed God's will for them, for us.

The same was true of all His followers. After His resurrection they assumed He would stay and set up His Kingdom but God again has bigger and better eternal plans. Acts 1:6-11 "Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, 'Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?' And He said to them, 'It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.' Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, 'Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.'"

Are you getting it? Are you seeing the big picture? God has a better plan than we could even imagine. Remember Habakkuk 1:5, "Look... Be utterly astounded! For I will work a work in your days which you would not believe, though it were told you." God's perfect, beautiful, glorious plan for Christ's suffering and death included you, me, our children and an eternity in Heaven! God's plan for his mourning, despondent followers was to change the world!

God also has a beautiful, glorious plan for the "bad things" that happen to us. Our challenge is to see beyond our earthly circumstances and to trust that God has a far greater eternal purpose. Just as with His disciples, His plan for us includes empowering us through His Holy Spirit to be His witnesses to the end of the earth. We are a part of His plan to touch the world with His love, His comfort, His peace and His salvation.

Kay Arthur states, "To Habakkkuk, God gave the key, the key of all of life, the key to the whole Word of God: The righteous, the just, will live by faith." (Hab. 2:4) The key: Believe God's Word, surrender to it, and live accordingly! Have faith, believe, trust that God has a plan, a glorious plan for all that has happened in your life. You matter to God! You are precious to Him and He will not waste your child's death or your pain and suffering. Jesus said that He came to heal the brokenhearted and to comfort and console all those who mourn. "To give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified." (Isa.61:1-4) You are a part of this beautiful plan to bring glory to God. Paul stated, "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us!" (Romans 8:18) You may not be able to say that yet - but I'm certain you will one day.

"I will walk by faith even when I cannot see because this broken road reveals Your will for me." (Jeremy & Melissa Camp)

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