I am studying the book of Jeremiah, a sobering look at God and the world He created. I’ve struggled since I was a child wanting to have understanding, wanting to know TRUTH, recognizing very early on that there are difficulties for my mind to grasp and heart wrenching realities with which to grapple. I think many times people like to brush aside the difficult parts of God’s Word, or think the hard stuff was all for the days of old before Jesus came and brought in the new covenant, but clearly much of the old testament is yet to be fulfilled and there are difficulties ahead for this old world we live in.
After several days of avoiding the news, I decided to turn it back on this week only to find it as it was when I left. I was devastated by learning about the “poet/rapper” that was invited to a poetry reading at the White House who has written offensive and vulgar words and spread them around as his means of supporting himself. More evidence of the depraved condition of the governing authority in our country.
Jeremiah was appointed a prophet to the nations and God made known to us through His message to Jeremiah that He had “a controversy with the nations” and that “He is entering into judgment with all flesh” (Jeremiah 26). To think that because of grace we are free to live as we choose without accountability is foolishness. Grace was given out of God’s great love for us and His will to free us from the bondage of sin so that we might walk in righteousness and live according to TRUTH.
My heart is saddened each time I hear or see contradictions that evidence deceit. Claiming to be “Christian” and living in opposition to Christ and His teachings is destructive for the person who lives in such a way as well as to those the person influences. We are to be careful how we live, what we support.
Over the past few years, I’ve given much thought to what it means to truly honor and worship God. Part of it means that we hold fast to the TRUTH of His Sovereignty, His Righteousness no matter the circumstances. People want to say “God is Love” and not acknowledge that He is also “Righteous Judge” and The One who “will meet out justice upon the earth”. He is God. He Himself made the earth and everything in it. It ALL belongs to Him and is His to do with as He sees fit. As surely as there is a heaven, there is a hell. If any of His Word is TRUTH, ALL of His Word is TRUTH. We don’t get to pick and choose. We must honor Him and exalt Him as King and Lord over all, without wavering and without fail.
We praise Him when He does what we like. Are we not to praise Him when He does what is difficult for us to bear? What about when His Word convicts us, calls us away from what we desire, when His Will is to take from this earth those we love and breaks our hearts? He is still God. He is the God of all grace in pleasant times and in what we experience as horrible times. His grace is sufficient for us when He is our strength. He is our strength when we are fully surrendered to His authority recognizing our full and complete dependence upon Him.
The Lord sees all and knows all…sometimes it is necessary for us to be broken in order for Him to accomplish His purposes in us. Compassion is one of those things that we may need to have that we won’t learn any other way other than through the deep valley of personal suffering. I’ve often questioned the purpose for some of my own experiences only to begin to see God’s Hand at work as I was able to look back long past the time of my trouble. This has helped me to trust HIm when more difficulties come my way.
God’s patience astounds me; the patience He has with me, and the patience He has with all of creation. I want to love Him more daily, to know Him and honor His ways, while recognizing all along that “His thoughts are not my thoughts and His ways are not my ways” but surely He knows and does what is right and what is best according to His perfect will and eternal purpose.