Hear me loudly and clearly on this: God is for you on a level that you do not understand. He loves you with a depth that no human on this side of Heaven has fully fathomed. His plans for you blow away the miniscule little sandcastle dreams and goals that you formed for yourself. His goodness toward you towers like Hercules above the Seven Dwarves of how you understand Him. You are 100% in correcting that it sounds too good to be true. Yet it is, it really is. You and I just don’t have full ability to comprehend it right here and now because we do not always remember that the “big picture” is so big that it cannot all be fitted into this present life.
“But I will deliver you on that day, declares the Lord, and you shall not be given into the hand of the men of whom you are afraid. For I will surely save you, and you shall not fall by the sword, but you shall have your life as a prize of war, because you have put your trust in Me, declares the Lord.” – Jeremiah 39:17-18
The fact that God is for us, loves us, has Herculean plans for us is not always easy for us to grasp. We assume that would mean that God would supply us quickly with all we ask, prevent discomfort from ever finding us, and repay all of our enemies and hang a sign on them painted in blood from their own wounds which says, “This pounding from Me came on behalf of Jeff Lyle (or your name)!” Something is burrowed deep in our hearts that preaches to us that, if God is really for us, then everything should be moving in line with our personal rights to comfort and ease. Friends and love ones should not die. Jobs will not be lost. Possessions will not be diminished. Sickness will never rule the day. Abandonment may occur against others, but not against us. When these things happen, we can learn to say in hurt, anger, fear and pride, “Why Me?”
Here is a better question: Why not me?
You are living as a sinner in a sin-cursed world – that is more than just a theological truth, it is an environmental governing force. Everything you can see is tainted by sin to one degree or another. Paul said that the entirety of creation is groaning under the weight of fallenness and is desperate for redemption (Romans 8:22-25). We ache for things to be now as they should be. We are born with an inward desire for things of eternity (Ecclesiastes 3:11). We hunger for (and sometimes live for) the more, for the better, for the beauty, for the perfection, for the wholeness. Is it any wonder that we find ourselves so often disappointed, hurt and tempted to despair? Yet the reality is that God has not offered us the perfect fulfillment of these good desires while we are here below. In order to have this desire for “rightness” consummated we have to fully escape the one barrier that stands between us and it: sin. I am not speaking of the simple fact that we do bad things which impede our experience of God’s goodness. I am going way beyond that to tell you that the whole reality of living as sinners in a sin-saturated realm has to be done away with before we can enter into the very soul-expectation that we all long for. Friends, we wait and we wait and we wait. It is never a matter of if you are waiting but, rather, how you are waiting. It is not going to happen here because full redemption has not occurred. God fights for you, transforms you, chastens you, blesses you, teaches you, adds to you, takes from you, speaks to you, tests you, affirms you, prospers you, resists you, loves you, confronts you and…eventually…undeniably… if you trust Him, redeems you. Until that redemption comes to eternal perfection He says one thing over and over to us: Trust Me.
Today I want to encourage you to believe the words above from Jeremiah 39: “…you shall have your life as a prize of war, because you have put your trust in Me…” There is a real war and you are in it. Trust God again today and recognize that He will be as He has declared when the war is over. Until then, expect some shrapnel. Do not turn loose of your desire for wholeness in your life and the life of others because that is consistent with what God is accomplishing. But do not give up when it comes slowly. He is fighting for you. He is for you. In the end, if you are with Him and trusting Him, you WILL enter into the very thing that you long for. It cannot be otherwise because God has given His word that He will bring it to pass.
Kari Jobe put this same thought to song in a very helpful way. Enjoy below.
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