GOD STAKES HIS REPUTATION ON OUR SUCCESS

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GOD STAKES HIS REPUTATION ON OUR SUCCESS

You know, when things get rough, when we get stuck inside one of life’s tunnels, it’s difficult to appreciate God’s love for us. After all, if God really ‘so loved’ us, then why would He allow us to be put through the trial, right?

Yes, there is a lesson that we need to learn from all that, and the trial will make us stronger; but in His infinite wisdom and with His infinite resources, couldn’t He just make us do a classroom course on the lesson that we needed to learn, and save us the pain of hands-on learning?

But you know what, beloved? That we have had those thoughts about God, we have got Him all wrong. He cares for us more than we know, more than we care to admit; and honestly, we don’t even need to be religious to understand this. So let us reason as cynics and I’ll show you what I mean.

Say you don’t believe that He loves you and you think that He’s just a big ogre out to make life difficult for us, and He really doesn’t care much about what we think of Him. Well, at a very superficial level, there are many other ‘gods’ to choose from on this earth, aren’t there? And if there weren’t enough, we have shown that we are very much adapt at creating ‘gods’ to suit our needs. Just visit the temples of religions that worship multiple deities and you will realize that there is one for every purpose.

So it doesn’t make logical, earthly sense for Him to not care about us, because, just like a boss who ill-treats his staff, God ill-treating us is a public relations disaster. He is God and if He is the narcissistic power-monger that we think He is, then He will desire praise and adoration, things you can’t get from ill-treated devotees.

Instead, what makes complete sense is if our lives become showcases of His work, mantle pieces of His love, exhibiting the love and care that He has for us, so that all those who are looking on get so envious and eventually join in so that they can be in on His blessings, isn’t it? So is there proof for this?

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
We are all very familiar with this verse; and it means absolutely diddly-squat when we are in trouble. Sure, God has thoughts of peace, but His thoughts of peace aren’t really that peaceful, are they? And perhaps He needs to recalibrate what He thinks of as evil. True, I can’t argue with that line of thinking. But here is what comes after.

“Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.” Jeremiah 29:12

Hang on, this doesn’t make sense. How and why will we call upon Him and pray to Him if we think He is the cause, or at least had a hand in our mess? But it gets worse,

“And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13

Seriously? Does He think that we are masochistic and will seek, search and find Him with all our heart just to get punished again? Clearly something is wrong with our interpretation, isn’t there? So let’s read on.

“I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.” Jeremiah 29:14

You see, this is the context of Jeremiah 29:11.

“Now these are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem to the remainder of the elders who were carried away captive—to the priests, the prophets, and all the people whom Nebuchadnezzar had carried away captive from Jerusalem to Babylon.” Jeremiah 29:1

Israel was in trouble. They were held captive by a foreign power. So I can’t imagine that they would be in high spirits when God is concerned and singing praises to Him. Yet, our Father has so deep a desire to want to turn things around for them that He was so confident that when He did, they would seek, search and find Him. So deeply did He love them that He was even willing to stake His reputation on their success.

I mean, think about it, if “…the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11) were half-baked schemes; if He was not confident that they would work; how could He be so sure that they would “…call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.” (Jeremiah 29:12)

In fact, the Amplified translates Jeremiah 29:13 like this

“Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me [as a vital necessity] and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13 [ AMPC]

If our Father wasn’t confident that His display of love for Israel was going to be so spectacular, so definitive, that all doubting hearts will turn, how is it that He has the confidence to say that they will require Him as a vital necessity? Big claims.

And so it is with us. Why would God punish you? Sin?

“Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Matthew 26:27-28

You see, “For 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

So “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

In fact, because Jesus has removed our sins, we can “…fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it].” Hebrews 4:16 [AMP]

So let us fearlessly and confidently draw near to God so that we may receive mercy for our failures, not punishment for them. Let us draw near so that we may find appropriate help, well-timed help, help that comes just when we need it. For indeed,

“He who did not spare His own son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him, also freely give us all things?” Romans 8:31

You know beloved, the fact is, “…you do not have because you do not ask.” James 4:2

And Jesus says, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8

“And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” John 14:13-14

“Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” Mark 11:24

Yet, perhaps you have asked but you didn’t get. Putting aside what James says,

“You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.” James 4:3

Has it ever occurred to you that you ask and do not receive because it is not yet time for you to receive? The help that is for us is appropriate, timely, coming just when we need it. But when it comes,

“Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:12-13

You know, as Paul says, “…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 8:38-39
Because He stakes His reputation on your success. So hang in there and wait for His appropriate and well-timed help to arrive; then you will see, once again, just how much He loves you.

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