Monday, August 31, 2009

Rise Up

Habakkuk 3: 17
Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
13 yet I will rejoice in the LORD;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
19GOD, the Lord, is my strength;

Can you pray this prayer? This is the question Preach closed the message with today. For me, the answer is yes - I can, I have, I do. It doesn’t sound as good, but the idea is the same. It took me a long time to get here, but I know God is powerful enough to rescue – I understand that sometimes he doesn’t – I’m going to rejoice and take joy in Him either way.

This is not something that’s easy, and feel weird saying I can do it (I almost never get to answer rhetorical preacher questions in the affirmative). So, I’m going to try and explain why I’m confident in my answer this time. The reason most people have difficulty with questions like this is that the language is all wrong. The question is not, Can I? The question is Will He? People say God won’t allow you to face anything too big for you to handle - those people are mistaken. It’s almost inevitable He will.

God causes, or by inaction allows, things to happen in our lives that we are in no way equipped to handle. He does this so we have nowhere else to turn but to Him. If you try to take on these things without him you will be devoured by them. You can’t handle much of anything on your own. Can I? No. If you choose to turn these situations over to God, you change the question. Will He?

God’s power is terrifying and his motives often unclear, but He is good. Of that I am sure. Preach made a powerful statement today, I don’t remember it exactly, but basically it was that God only moves in love and always toward salvation. His motivation is love – His goal salvation. When these truths are difficult there are two passages in scripture I carry near my heart to lean on:

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future

Romans 5:20
Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more

Grace is always bigger than sin – God is in control. He is good and so is what he has for me. If you never receive another blessing from God - If you lose everything you have. If in that you never see God’s hand or hear His voice, He will still be there. He will still be good. He will still be God. You may not see Him, but He will be there. God will rise up to meet the storm and absorb the flood because it’s the only way you survive. All things come from Him. There is no faith, no hope, no life apart from God. You can’t. He will.

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