Sunday, January 17, 2010

WHERE ELSE CAN I GO?

Life is full of peaks and valleys, or at least that's what my experience of it has been. Just when things are going smoothly and I'm settling into a comfortable routine, something unexpected comes along to shake things up and test my faith. That's where I am right now. Questioning God, and not getting answers.

Aside from some frustrating issues I'm butting my head against, the prayer team at church (of which I am a member) has been getting more and more prayer requests from people going through Job-like experiences. Not just ill health, or the loss of a job or a loved one, but a whole string of such events, one following the other. And then there is my awesome blog friend, Renee, whose life seems to be the brunt of the cruelest imaginable joke of fate, except there is no fate and God does not play cruel jokes.

My powerlessness over all these circumstances, and the seemingly meaninglessness of my prayers makes me so angry I want to scream out to God, are you there? Are you watching? Hearing? Listening to our prayers? What happened to your promises? This is not the way it's supposed to be! Do you even care? Why can't you give these folks even a small reprieve in the midst of their suffering? Just a glimmer of hope?

But, of course, deep in my heart I know that our prayers are never meaningless, and God really does care. It's just that we get so fixated on the piece of the puzzle before us it is hard, at least for me, to trust that God sees the whole picture and is working things out for our ultimate good and for His glory.

I'm thinking of a time about 12 years ago when I was going through another bitter period where many tears were shed as I kept asking over and over again, why Lord did you let this happen to me when I not only prayed, but even begged you to close all the doors if this decision was not of you. In my helpless fury I even started thinking of where else I could go for help, and there was only one answer. Nowhere.

Now that I look back in retrospect to that stage of my life, and even further back to other periods of great anguish and devastation, I can see how death led to newness of life, and closed doors led to better ones opening, even though I would never have believed it had someone told me that would be the case at the time of my hurt. Instead I would have felt outrage at such comments.

So once again, I lay my burdens at the foot of the Cross, and put my trust in Him who gave His life for me (and for you too) so that we could be reconciled with the Father and enjoy eternal life.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A CALL TO ANGUISH

"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those
who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it
is the power of God. . . . For since, in the wisdom
of God, the world through wisdom did not know
God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the
message preached to save those who believe."
(1 Corinthians 1:18,21)




Lord have mercy on my sisters and brothers who come to this blog and do not yet know you. I pray that you would open their eyes and their hearts and their minds to the truth of your word and the incomprehensible love of Jesus that is so great that He would have come and died for any one of them, even if they were the only ones here on this earth. Enable them to grasp the truth that the salvation you bought for us through the shed blood of Jesus is a free gift to be received by faith. It is not something we can earn by our good deeds, lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Friend, if you are reading this and think that what you have done is too bad to be forgiven, or that it is too late for you, that is a lie from the pit of hell. Satan knows his time is short and so the battle he is waging for our souls has become more desperate and intense. He is doing everything in his power to keep those who do not believe blinded, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them (2 Corinthians 4:4).

The Gospel truth is that God did not send His son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned (John 3:17-18a). The Lord is near to all those who have a broken heart (Psalm 34:18), and, If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved (Romans 10:9). The slate will be wiped clean, and it will be as if you had been born again into newness of life. As it says in 2 Corinthians 5:17, If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

Jesus is patiently standing at the door of your heart, knocking and knocking, but He won't come in unless you invite Him to do so (Revelation 3:20). I pray that you would open the door before it is too late.