Sunday, November 28, 2010

False Conclusions

When the children of Israel received the report of the tall men of Eshcol they were terrified, they refused to go up, and immediately concluded that God hated them. How could He love them if He had taken them out of Egypt only to deliver them over to giants to be wiped out? (see Deut. 1:27.)

It looked like a logical deduction, based on what little human evidence they had. But of course they were totally ignoring far more important and trustworthy evidence: the promise of God. He had promised a rich land, a Father’s care, and everything they would need en route.

We look backwards at the “good old days,” and bemoan our losses; we look around us to the many threats to our security, and tremble with fear. Our conclusions are false. God has not forgotten us. He does not hate us. He is taking us to a rich land if we will only trust and obey instead of making things complicated for ourselves.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Our Daily Bread

We are used to praying “Give us today our daily bread” (Matt 6:11) but we are not used to recognizing the answer and giving thanks for it. Most of us say grace at the table, perhaps, but daily bread includes all that we really need in this world. Do we believe God can and does provide that? Or are we like the Israelites who, when a “mixed company of strangers” came along, developed a whole new set of expectations? They were “greedy for better things” (Num 11:4).

Sometimes God wants to give us better things. Those who really have trusted Him receive His gifts with thanksgiving. The spirit of greed is not in them. Rather they ask for and accept “daily” bread ---in abundance, if God sees that to be good for them, or in sufficiency alone, according to His loving-kindness.

Help me, Lord, to take today’s portion of food, possessions, joys, pain, and Your presence, believing that it is enough for me.

The Music of His Promises by Elisabeth Elliot

Sunday, November 14, 2010

More Toward the Light

Last night I talked with a woman in trouble. Her troubles are complex, but there is one simple thing she could do. She simply doesn’t want to do it.
This morning I flew out of Boston’s Logan International Airport. As often, the airport was shrouded in fog which rolls in from the sea. The plane rose quickly from the dim, wet runway, passed through thick clouds to thin, and suddenly was in sunshine, with brilliant blue sky above, and all the clouds and fog far below. The plane had moved toward the lights.
Christ is the Light of the World. His truth shines like the sun. But we must adore Him. We must learn to move to the direction of the light, no matter how dim and obscure the situation in which we find ourselves. If I adore Him who is all light, in whom “there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5), then darkness (even the least shading of the truth) will be intolerable.
Lord, how often I prefer the fog! I am preoccupied with my troubles when I could be occupied with adoration –moving up into His Sunshine.

The Music of His Promises by Elisabeth Elliot

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Power and Love

The most powerful people are not often the most loving, and the most loving people often seem quite powerless in human terms. When the great question is raised: Why does God permit suffering? It is answered by some that He is powerless to prevent it, even though He may love us, and by others that He cannot possibly be loving, for surely He does have the power to prevent evil.

When Lazarus died the crowd of mourners was divided when Jesus wept. Some took it as evidence of how greatly He had loved the man. Others thought it a hypocritical gesture, since one who could heal a blind man certainly could have prevented this man’s death.

Jesus did indeed love Lazarus, and Mary and Martha. He could have prevented his death. But certain things, in a broken world, must be allowed to happen. None of them, however, in the hands of a loving and powerful God and Savior, are beyond redeeming. Resurrection is a far greater evidence of the power and the love of God than the mere aborting of catastrophies. God, help us to remember this triumphant hope when we, too, stand weeping hopelessly.

The Music of His Promises by Elisabeth Elliot