Friday, July 15, 2016

The Door of Hope is Still Open

Another terrorist attack...
More racial tension...
Further revelations about public leaders...

There's destruction and death, deceit and depravity everywhere we turn.  

In the midst of it all, however, I have good news. God is STILL on His throne.

I know there's a temptation to look at this mess and wonder where God is in the midst of it, to wonder why He doesn't move. 

Some people say that the evil in our world argues against a righteous God. 

I say the evil in our world argues for a patient, loving, long suffering, one-more-chance God. 

At the root of all this evil is a problem we don't even recognize. We've lost something precious, something protective, and we're poorer for it. As I read Psalm 119 this morning, I realized that, as a society, we no longer "tremble for fear" of God. We aren't afraid of His judgment.

We should be, though.

The delay of God's judgment is not an indication of an inability to render judgment. The delay shows us how much He loves us. His Word is clear, though. He will not delay forever.

If we continue on our current path of rebellion toward God, of immorality, spiritual arrogance, and chasing after the gods of this world, we will reap the judgment of God. We are already reaping it. 

God will not let our evil go on forever.

I cringe at the idea of judgment, until I look at Israel. Over and over again, God's people sinned, experienced judgment, and turned back to Him.

It's easy to trust ourselves in prosperity. When we have nothing but God, we come to understand that God is all we need. We turn back to Him. We trust Him again. We embrace the change that comes with repentance and revival.

We are sin-broken people, living in a sin-broken world, but we are not without hope. There's a time-proven treatment for sin-brokenness. When we turn to God with a repentant heart, accept the Lordship of Jesus, and follow Him, He heals us. He cleanses us. He makes us new.

Judgment is at hand.

But the door of Hope is still open. The Message paraphrase translates Hosea 2:15 this way: "I'll turn Heartbreak Valley into Acres of Hope." No matter how hard life gets, God can still turn heartbreak into hope. Judgment into joy.

What should our response be in the midst of unsettled, sin-filled times? Scripture makes it clear. Repent. Return. Pray.

Is there still a chance for things to change? Maybe not much, but yes, we still have a chance, so let's do what must be done. Repent. Return. Pray.

"But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance." 2 Peter 3:8-9 ESV
In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: The Lesson of the Succulents
#hope #ifmypeople #Jesus