Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Mid-Week Message - A Cup in the Wind

"If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.  But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.  Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do."  James 1:5-8  (NIV)  

Many Christian families do not allow their children to believe in the jolly old elf that is reported to bring presents at Christmas.  I have no problem with that.  We all parent the way we believe we should.  In our household, because we had both believed as children, we did carry on the lore with our daughter.  When she was in Kindergarten, one of her little classmates decided to "educate" all the man in red believers by telling them that he didn't exist.  You know what question I got when she got home from school that day.  What I told her is this, "Santa is real only while you believe in him, but Jesus is real whether you believe in Him or not."  This seemed to satisfy her curiosity and she went back and forth between believing or not, mostly choosing to believe as Christmas grew closer for a couple of years.  

I thought of this story today as I was having the oil changed in my car.  As usual, I chose to sit outdoors while I waited.  It was a bit nippy out and the wind was blowing which made it seem colder.  As I observed all that was going on around me, I caught sight of a styrofoam cup that was blowing through the parking lot.  It kept changing directions as the wind whipped it around.  Sometimes it went from standing upright to being totally upside down.  And I thought to myself how that cup could serve to represent those of us who believe in the Savior.  Depending on what is going on in our lives our faith grows and falters.  

At times we praise Him for His faithfulness and other times we doubt that He is even listening.  Yet, isn't our Father the same yesterday, today and forever?  If that is the case, then how could it be that some days He loves us enough to care and other days He doesn't?  In actuality, according to all He has revealed to us about Himself, this simply cannot be the case.  

John 3:16 tells us that He loved us so much that He sent His only Son and that whoever believes in Him will have eternal life.  Jesus gave up everything in Heaven to come to earth in human form.  He who was there when the universe was spoken into existence took on the form of the most helpless creature there is, a human infant.  There weren't days when He decided He didn't want to continue.  He lived as a man, experiencing all the ills that we experience, until the time came for Him to die a cruel death on our behalf.  He had the authority to call legions of angels to His side, but He did not.  He had the power to remove Himself from the cross and slay all of His abusers.  Yet, He hung there in agony, enduring ridicule and further torture, because of His great love for each of us.  Love that never wavered then and doesn't waver now.  The winds of life never tempted Him to question His grace, mercy and compassion toward us.  Now He pleads for us before the Father because He desires each of us to spend eternity by His side.  

Today I have been examining my own faith.  I have been thinking of times that I accepted the enemy's suggestions that my Lord is not trustworthy and have allowed myself to be double-minded.  When I consider the constancy and consistency of His presence in my life, I feel ashamed for the times when I have allowed myself to be blown about by the winds of life.  Simply put, after all He has done, and continues to do, how could I, or any of us, ever doubt?  

I wish you all a peaceful and faith-filled week.  May we all understand His unchanging love.  God bless.  

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