June 14, 2018
It finally clicked while participating in a Bible Study that provoked the participants to remember the ways the Lord has more than provided in our lives and the good things he has done. Reflecting on his goodness and the ways that he has worked out this goodness helped to ground my chaotic emotions and uncontrolled thoughts.
I thought of Job and of David. Men who experienced incredible and painful times in their lives and responded in faith and knowledge of God. And I thought of Rahab, whose entire life was uprooted at the command of God. Her hometown was destroyed and she took on a new culture, a new (and true) religion, and a new identity.
These people faced extreme and hard circumstances. Circumstances that would make most question God’s goodness. But they chose God. They recognized his goodness and acted on their faith (though perhaps not always perfectly in their humanity).
And of course, I considered Jesus. Jesus, who “though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. (Philippians 2:6) Jesus, our God, who had already chosen to humble himself by laying aside his rightful, glorious position and power and becoming a servant to that which he had authored, humbled himself (yet more!) by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (v. 8). He willingly experienced a depth of pain that we will never have to endure. And though he knew that pain was coming, the time he was here on earth, preparing to suffer and die, was spent glorifying the good and just Father and walking in His provision with complete and perfect obedience.
And to think I should have ever doubted.
Not to trivialize my own circumstances or those of anyone else, but when I consider Job and the complete and utter ruin he went through, or my Lord Jesus and the total and utter rejection he faced, and their ultimate and overarching responses, I wonder how I could doubt my God. (see part 1 of this post)
But I have doubted.
And God in all his mercy worked on my doubting heart and turned it around.
It just clicked.
God is good and he does good.
This is the God that I worship and serve.
And so, with the author of Psalm 119 I say to my God, “teach me your statutes.”
Each day will be another day to learn from the creator himself what it looks like to walk in this life as his child.
The writer of the portion of Scripture we’ve been meditating on for the past two weeks also says, “I have chosen the way of truth; your judgments I have laid before me (Psalm 119:29).”
Perhaps I could say, “I have chosen the way of truth; your judgments I have laid before me…Teach me your truth (statutes)!”
This is what I am choosing as well. Daily. When I begin to doubt whether the Lord will provide for us after we’ve cut our income in half, I will remember the way of truth and what he has already taught me. And I have begun again to be in His written truth, learning about and seeking him out. And I hope you’ll do the same.
So, the truth here, today, is simply this: God is good and does good. And while there will be things that hurt, and loss and pain will always intrude while we live in this place, his goodness will be a blanket over those of us who chose him. A blanket of warmth and comfort and rest. So that even when we grieve and our hearts are laid bare and exposed, God will do good.
All this being said, I’m going to alter the direction of this blog by a degree or two. I’m going to make it a little more personal. Let’s take things a day at a time, and learn to walk in the way of truth and to lay God’s statues before us as a foundation for our paths. Let’s learn who it is that we have chosen to trust and live a life that transcends all circumstances, through and with the Author of Life.
I’m inviting you to take a minute to pray about this. Are you interested? If so, follow this link to the page I’ve created for discussion and encouragement as we’re seeking to follow the Lord. You’ll find snippets from these blog posts to comment on and converse over as we grow together, the body of Christ, to be used by him for his glory and to reach this world.
But It Won’t Come Naturally!
This is a daily investment. A daily decision. And something we’ll have to train our minds to do.
Romans 12 is a beautiful portion of Scripture where we are admonished to live in relationship with God, with other believers, and towards those around us in general. It’s here that Paul points out to the reader that because of God’s great and eternal love, and his goodness and complete wisdom which surpass anything we can comprehend, we should offer ourselves as living sacrifices to the one who has saved us! It reads like this,
I appeal to you brothers, by the mercies of God, to present you bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
He follows this appeal with a command,
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may be able to discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Now, there is a lot that can be said about what the author has written, but my only point is this:
In order to daily chose to walk in truth, we have to have our minds renewed by the Truth. If we want to daily remember that God is good and does good, we have to have been saturated in the truth of his goodness. If we want to lay his statutes before us in order to follow them, we have to have chosen to learn them on a daily basis.
If we want to emotionally and mentally survive the moments of pain and loss and navigate the testings that Paul mentions in Romans, then we have to have already been living out and walking in the Word, renewed.
If we want to see the transformation of our minds and hearts into the image of Jesus Christ on this side of eternity, we have to be renewing our minds in the Word.
The world daily and easily saturates our minds with lies and distractions. But if a sponge is already full of clean water, unless you squeeze that water out, no other water can saturate it any more than its current state.
God is good. He does good. Let us allow him to teach us his statutes through the ingesting and the living out of his Word.
I’m so glad you’re reading these posts and I invite you to continue to learn and grow with me. None of us our perfect, and like Paul, we’ll never be able to claim to have reached that perfection on this side of eternity. But God did not save us from sin and death to allow us to remain enslaved and weighed down under the lies of our adversary. Let’s chose this moment to walk in the truth and together seek the Lord and listen as He teaches us his statutes.
Until next time, my friends,