GOD IS STILL LOVING YOU EVEN IN THE BAD SEASONS

GOD IS STILL LOVING YOU EVEN IN THE BAD SEASONS

Here’s a situation for you to think about. Your dad’s been shot. Now, you have two choices; go get an ambulance or run a gauntlet of three medieval obstacles, all of which can get you killed, just so that you can get the Holy Grail, the cup of Christ, which can supposedly heal any and all things and give everlasting life. Which would you choose?

Sounds like a scene right out of a movie right? Well, it is. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, to be exact. And as I was watching it, I wasn’t questioning Indi’s decision to go through the gauntlet. In fact, during the movie, it was the most natural thing to do. But it was after the movie that it hit me, why didn’t they call for medical services? They were in Petra, for crying out loud. Yes it’s in the desert, but it’s a highly populated, famous place. It would have been a more sure thing for them to call medical services, right?

And that got me thinking. When we are in church, it’s like we are in the movies. The worship team puts on a good show and the choice of music hits the right chord in our hearts and makes us more open to the pastor’s message. So when we hear things like ‘run to God now’ ‘He is the cure for all your conditions ‘He is the solution to all your problems’, we get it, we buy into it and turning to God becomes the most natural option. Then Monday morning comes around and we come face to face with our problems again and we start thinking, ‘whatever was I thinking yesterday’?

But beloved, that could not be further from the truth. Yes, alright, the music was designed to get you into a right old state when you were in church, especially churches that have a live band on stage. And yes, the worship program was specially designed to evoke emotions in your heart. But when all that is said and done, even if we removed all that, the message is still real. Jesus really is

“…the good shepherd” who “…gives His life for the sheep.” John 10:11

And for your dying situation, Jesus really is “…the resurrection and the life.” John 11:25

And for those of us looking for a way to spend our ‘afterlives’ in heaven, Jesus really is “…the way, the truth and the life.” John 14:6

And while we are here, Jesus has given us so many promises of provision that we can be confident that He truly is “the bread of life.” John 6:35

So let’s spend a bit of time looking at why we can be confident that Jesus is still loving us, even in the bad seasons.

The first verse of the first Psalm begins this way.

“How well God must like you—
you don’t hang out at Sin Saloon,
you don’t slink along Dead-End Road,
you don’t go to Smart-Mouth College.
Instead you thrill to God’s Word,
you chew on Scripture day and night.” Psalm 1:1-2 [MSG]

When was the last time you thought to yourself, ‘Man, God must really like me’? I dare guess it was when you caught your last big break, wasn’t it? I mean, think about it, when things are going well, it’s easy to think that God likes you and is blessing you. So if your child falls down and scrapes his knee right after you came home from getting your promotion, it’s easy to tell him that it’s alright, let’s clean that wound up and ask Jesus to take away the pain and heal that wound. But how easy is it to do that same thing when you just came home from getting the sack?

But let’s pause here for a moment and think. Between us getting the promotion and us getting the sack, has Jesus’ love for us changed?

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever;” Hebrews 13:8

No. So that means that getting the promotion wasn’t because He loved you more, and getting the sack wasn’t because He loved you less. His love for you has never changed. So then, that therefore means that He is just as accessible to you in the bad times, as He is in the good times.

But you are sitting there thinking, hang on, there’s more to Psalm 1. There are conditions to God liking us. Well, beloved, there are, and here they are;

“Blessed (happy, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable) is the man who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly [following their advice, their plans and purposes], nor stands [submissive and inactive] in the path where sinners walk, nor sits down [to relax and rest] where the scornful [and the mockers] gather.” Psalm 1:1 [AMPC]

You’ve got to avoid trouble like the plague. And not only that,

“But his delight and desire are in the law of the Lord, and on His law (the precepts, the instructions, the teachings of God) he habitually meditates (ponders and studies) by day and by night.” Psalm 1:2 [AMPC]

You’ve got to be living like a monk.

But let’s think about this a little bit more. Yes, none of us are that perfect. We want to be perfect, but the fact is, we slip up every now and then. And though we would all love to have a closer walk with God, the fact is, we don’t live like monks. We get distracted with our lives and we don’t habitually meditate on God’s precepts, instructions and teachings. So does Jesus still love us?

“Jesus answered and said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”” Luke 5:31-32

Remember Paul, or Saul as he was known back then, remember what he was doing right up to the point when he met Jesus?

“Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.” Acts 9:1-2

Does that sound like he was a man who walks and lives “not in the counsel of the ungodly [following their advice, their plans and purposes], nor stands [submissive and inactive] in the path where sinners walk, nor sits down [to relax and rest] where the scornful [and the mockers] gather.” Psalm 1:1 [AMPC]

Does it sound like “…his delight and desire are in the law of the Lord, and on His law (the precepts, the instructions, the teachings of God) he habitually meditates (ponders and studies) by day and by night.” Psalm 1:2 [AMPC]

Yet we know how comprehensively Jesus turned Paul’s life around.

So what more us? And especially us who believe, since for us

“…He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

Jesus has, by His death on the cross, made us righteous before our Father. He has exchanged our right to punishment for His right to our Father’s love and care, because on the cross,

“Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy].
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.” Isaiah 53:4-5 [AMPC]

And that is why, Paul, of all people, says that

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:1

“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:17

And because God is for you,

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31

“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39

That’s right beloved. God is still loving you, even in your bad seasons. And because Jesus has made you comprehensively righteous in God’s sight,

You “…shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.” Psalm 1:3

Or in the words of Jeremiah,

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
And whose hope is the Lord.
For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8

So are you in the midst of a bad season? Hey, you are still loved. And as Indi’s father said to him before he went off into the gauntlet to retrieve the grail, ‘You must believe’. Because the truth is that you are still loved, even in your bad season. So let His love for you be the solution to all your troubles today.

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