Faithfulness in an antagonistic world.
Date Published: 07 / 6 / 2022 |
But now, this is what the Lord says—
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, 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 the 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 nation of Israel was surrounded by enemies in a world that did not value their God, their view of sexuality, their morals, their humanity. In fact, throughout t
heir history they were continually attacked, mocked and harassed by these nations to the point where they were tempted to despair and give up.
It is hard to live in a world that is antagonistic to your faith.
If you follow Jesus closely in LA I bet you feel this way sometimes. It can feel like you are almost alone in a sea of millions of people that look at the world in a drastically different way than you.
How do we follow Jesus when it seems like we are following him alone?
Where do we get the emotional strength to push through the discomfort of being different?
How do we follow Jesus when knowing Jesus could be a threat to our job, our friendships, and our comfort?
It is exhausting and scary to swim against the current.
“But now, this is what the Lord says…”
I created you.
I formed you.
Do not fear.
I have redeemed you.
Think about your commitment to something you have created. It is a treasure to you. God feels that you are a treasure to him. So much so that he purchased or “redeemed” you from the slave market of sin and death.
God feels deeply moved by you, enough to deliver you from the world around you. You are not alone. Don’t fear, Jesus is there.
He promises here “I will be with you.”
When you pass through the waters.
(Think, chaos and confusion)
They will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire.
(Think, trials, temptations, and unfortunate situations)
You will not be burned.
He is not only with you, but he wants you to know it, feel it, believe it. Why? Because he deeply loves you and wants your good.
His love for us and his feelings toward us are a choice he makes. He is not obligated to us.
But because he feels deep love for us,
he reaches down into our lives and gives us his presence.
If you ever find yourself wondering if it is all worth it, remember your Lord Jesus on the cross and ask yourself,
"Has anyone ever loved me this way?"
"Does anyone understand me like him, the good and the bad?"
Yet he still goes to that cross. Don’t let your feelings (that are up and down and untrustworthy) define for you God’s feelings about you.
Instead look over to the cross and up to God and know, I am loved.
Grace and peace,