Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Mid-Week Message - Love and Hope

"The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing."  Zephaniah 3:17  (ESV) 

I had a classmate in college who told me once that he had such faith in God that he believed that if a person had brown eyes but wanted blue eyes, and prayed fervently for them, that God would eventually change those brown eyes to blue.  His reasoning was that the Lord's love for His children is so great that he would want to delight that child by honoring his prayer.  

That has stayed with me for many, many years.  I don't know that God would change my eye color, but I do not doubt His love for me.  He has walked with me, and carried me, through a lifetime of joys and sorrows.  At times He has felt so close that I could feel His hand upon my shoulder.  Never has there been a time that He was not near.  

We are witnessing some difficult happenings on this earth.  Following a pandemic that seemed to stretch on and on, now we see war across the ocean.  Lives are being forever transformed.  Children are losing their homes, being uprooted and carried to unfamiliar countries as their parents do what they can to provide safety.  As history is written, people are dying horrific deaths.  As we ask why, we also wonder where God is.  How could He allow this to happen?  

My friends, our Creator is exactly where He promised He would be.  Always with us, always in charge.  However, when He created man He gave us free will and He will not deprive us of that.  Adam and Eve had to leave the garden because they chose sin over obedience.  Every generation since then has carried on the sinful practices that have caused unspeakable pain and suffering.  Not only has it wrought strife between men, it has separated us from the One who loves us with unequaled love.  

It is because of that love that a provision was made for our redemption.  Jesus died so that our sins could be forgiven and our relationship with the Father restored.  In Romans 10:9, Paul tells us, "If  you declare with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.'"  

Thankfully, this world was not designed to last forever.  Whether we like the color of our eyes or not, or whether there are wars, pandemics, or hate, everything about this earth will pass away.  The hope we have is the hope which comes from the unmistakable, unbeatable love of God.  When we turn our lives over to Him, we have the promise of eternity where there is no sin, no fear, no sorrow, no pain.  

Please remember that nothing happens outside of the knowledge of our Lord.  He has already seen and already knows how to lead us through.  As we pray for those in turmoil and danger, let's praise Him and look forward to the day when Jesus will return and take us home to be with Him forever.  God bless.  

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