From Pastor’s Desk: 5-29-16
Hosea 6:1-2 “Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us that we may live in his presence.
It is incontrovertible that God sometimes led His people into bondage. Critics can argue that a merciful God would never do something like that. However, it has been proven over and again that we learn things in adversity that would otherwise never be learned. The church has, through the years, experienced great renewal and revival in the midst of, and as a result of, persecution. On the other hand, it seems that when everything is going well we tend to lapse into a spiritual unconsciousness that borders on, if not extends into, lethargy.
Sometimes we just simply won’t listen to sound doctrine that incites righteous living. Most usually we have to learn the hard way. Case in point, early childhood gives a pretty good (or bad) view of human nature. Remember when parents would tell you not to do something, giving you the reasons why you shouldn’t, but you just had to see for yourself? Remember how you suffered the consequences?
Even genuinely born again Christians have a difficult time with the fleshly, or carnal, nature. Chiefly because it is always with us. That it is what makes our walk with Christ so egregious at times. The spiritual is always warring against the carnal. That is, if one is really striving to live for Christ. This carnal nature of ours is, as Paul says, “…enmity (hostile) against God” (Romans 8:7). Human nature does understand, much less do, the things of God.
My point? God often has to lead His children into areas that are not so comfortable. More than just uncomfortable, some are downright burdensome. Others reach the point of aggravation, frustration, exasperation, and fearsome. But it is in those adverse situations that God expects us to learn what He could not teach us in the better times.
If you happen to be of the same mind of critics mentioned in paragraph one, read the story of Israel in Babylonian captivity from Jeremiah 27 – 29. This is the account where we find the great and wonderful promise of God given in 29:11, “I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope….”
We love that promise don’t we? We tend to forget that it was given to people who were in bondage for seventy years. Does it make the promise less true? Of course not! The Sovereign God declared it, so there was no way it could not come to pass.
If you are in the middle of adverse circumstances beyond your control, consider this; you may very likely be there due to God’s plan for your life. As Hosea says, “…return to the LORD…he will heal…he will bind up our wounds. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us that we may live in his presence.”