Monday, May 31, 2010

Hope Because of Sovereignty

This morning I’ve been thinking about the Sovereignty of God, the infinite reasons that God allows difficult things to happen to us in our lives. The questions seem to always niggle in the back of our minds. In those moments when life is the hardest, when our hearts are broken, when we are wrestling to understand, and accept unchangeable circumstances, or wait through the pain to get to the other side of a problem, to make sense of unfair things that make no sense. With hearts ripped out, pain that seems unbearable, frustration that brings us right to the edge we cry out. Where are you God? Why this? Why now? When will it end? Are you really there? Deep longing threatens to overwhelm, fear nearly consumes us. All that we believe and know to be true feels fake and unreal. We doubt, we struggle, we flounder around trying to find God in it. It is in those moments, those pivotal, most important moments that we get to the bottom of ourselves and faith is all that is left. We either shrivel and faint in weakness, fear, anger and discouragement, or we look up, and run into the safety and truth of His Sovereignty. We cling to the truth, we take courage in His words, our mustard seed like faith is bolstered by words of encouragement. We believe Him when He says:

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;” Isaiah 43:1b-3a

“We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” Romans 8:28

“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble, but take heart. I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

“He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all His ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is He.” Deuteronomy 32:4

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9

In those moments we believe because we have walked through lesser things with Him before. We know Him. We can feel Him comforting us, hear him whispering “It is I, don’t be afraid.” Our hearts are heavy and yet His presence helps. We know He will carry us through it. The questions get quieter and quieter as we begin to rest in His Sovereignty knowing that somehow some way God has intended this heartache, this terrible undesirable problem to draw us to Himself, to speak of His power, to further His kingdom and or reputation, to grow us to be more like Himself, to give us a story with which to encourage some other hurting soul in future days when we are on the other side of this. Desperate hope in His plan, His way, His vision holds us together.

Hang in there my friend, cling to Him. Believe in Him. Do not lose hope, do not give up, do not let the fear paralyze you. Do not get tired and lose faith. Hang on. He knows, He sees, He loves you. Believe. Tell yourself the truth…run into His arms and believe Him when He says: “So do not fear for I am with you, do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand!”

Know that I love you. My heart breaks for you. I am holding you up in prayer…standing with you, supporting you. I’m praying for wisdom, for hope, for strength, for faith, for answers, and for peace. Lord come, surround with overwhelming comfort, peace, and love. Encourage and give hope. Make paths straight, and open eyes to see Your purpose. Help them to hold on, to accept, to work through, to grow and have faith.