Friday, December 27, 2013

Change our Situations

Change is never easy. And it is rarely painless. But it is inevitable. We all go through different times and seasons that require us to change. Some changes we hope for, and other change we reluctantly go through. But often we pray that God would change our situations, rather than praying for a change within ourselves.

In May of 2008, Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife, Mary Beth lost their five-year-old daughter in an automobile accident. They were deluged by messages of kindness. One in particular gave Steven strength.  It was from a pastor friend who’d lost his son in an auto accident. “Remember, your future with your daughter will be greater than your past with her.”

Death seems to take so much. We bury the wedding that never happened, the golden years we never knew. We bury dreams. But in heaven these dreams will come true. Acts 3:21 says that God has promised a “restoration of all things.”

All things includes all relationships. Our final home will hear no good-byes. Gone forever.Let the promise change you. From sagging to seeking, from mournful to hopeful! From dwellers in the land of good-byes to a heaven of hellos!  You’ll get through this! *

We don't need to understand every detail of how God works in order to have perfect confidence in his absolute power over evil and his total goodness toward us. Yet there are times when we feel overwhelmed by the injustices we see. Doubts lead us to question God. But God isn't shocked by our doubts or anger. He waits to provide a fresh perspective.

People with a  zeal for receiving fresh perspectiveness from the Word of God are simply prepared people—biblically prepared and equipped for whatever might come along. People become wise when by God’s grace they are humble enough to accept how unprepared they actually are in themselves. Sacrificing the false god of their own independence, they run to the one place where actual certainty can be found. Then they’re able to live hopefully, productively, and courageously. Then they’re prepared for whatever comes along—not because they saw it coming, but because they’ve been students of the Word of God. They don’t know more about the future than anyone else does. But God, through the wisdom of the Bible, has made them ready for it.

"Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”

"And he said to the disciples, “The days are coming when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. "And they will say to you, ‘Look, there!’ or ‘Look, here!’ Do not go out or follow them. "For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation."
(Luke 17:20-25)

One of the sobering realities of Scripture is the prophecy of judgment on mankind at the end of time. While theologians debate timetables and exact meanings, they generally agree on one thing: Judgment is a central feature of the end times. While the depiction of judgment in Revelation is shrouded in symbolism and mystery, it is clear that it is paralyzingly unpleasant. Accounts of judgment are accompanied by warnings to men to take heed and prepare themselves to meet the Lord.

Jesus' ultimate act of service was to give His life as a ransom for many (Matt. 20:28). The word describes the price paid to set a slave free—Christ voluntarily purchased our liberation. There was only one way our holy God could remove our guilt yet remain true to His own law: Someone sinless had to pay our sin debt for us.

Jesus' sacrifice spared us the penalty we deserve. Instead, we receive the gift of grace and have been declared no longer guilty. Moreover, we are elevated from slaves to sons and daughters of the Almighty!

Jesus served the Father's purpose faithfully. He gave up His righteousness to carry the weight of all our wickedness—and endured a crushing separation from His Father. To meet our needs, the Savior held nothing of Himself back, and thereby set a powerful example of servanthood for us follow.

God gives you many little signs of His presence with you, many little messages. Instead of ignoring them, focus on them. Ask Him to open your eyes and ears to what you’re missing. Respond to the incredible God who is speaking to you. Realize that you are involved in something so much bigger than you. Get excited about it.

God wants you to know Him.

*  Mournful to Hopeful, From You’ll Get Through This, by Max Lucado


Raj Kosaraju

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