Wednesday, November 6, 2013

B r O k e n N e s s (chapter 10)

Ruth 1:20-22

If Naomi’s soul had a gauge on it like the gas gauge on a car, we would see that her needle had been on empty for way too long—so long that bitterness flooded in to fill the void. She was angry, distraught, discouraged, and dismayed because she believed God was against her. Hope was lost.

She had faith, and that was no small thing. Faith enabled her to put one foot in front of the other and keep going. But without hope, she felt hollow and lifeless inside.

Have you hit bottom too?
We endure the emptiness, the onslaught of despair and hopelessness against our fragile shell of a soul. Without hope or love, faith alone holds us. It’s not a sparkly, greeting card sort of faith either. It is a hard, intellectual, cold truth, a sharp stone in the walking shoe of our theology, uncomfortable and maddening.

Sometimes we want to get rid of that faith, to shake our fists at God and scream, but the evidence is indisputable: God exists, for creation proclaims his glory; Jesus intersected history, and he was crucified and rose from the dead as atonement for sin; Bible prophecies and promises have been proven and paid for with centuries of martyrs’ blood; suffering is common to man, the legacy of Adam’s sin; and weeping may last all night long, but joy comes in the morning. These are the facts of faith, solid rocks, unshaken by tears.

Do you have that sort of faith?

Eternity hangs in the balance, for without faith we cannot please God. Hebrews 11:6

If you feel the slightest uncertainty, the unresolved question, why not settle things and place your faith in God today?

Pray and tell God you believe the evidence---He exists, Jesus intersected history and was crucified as atonement for our sin, He conquered death to give us new life---

Tell him you believe the evidence about yourself too---that 'all have sinned,' includes you too, even though you've tried and tried, but perhaps like Naomi, bitterness or other things have flooded in ---
And then tell Him you place your trust in Him. Ask for His forgiveness of your sin... ask for a fresh new life, no matter what that may look like.

Faith does not require a warm, happy feeling. It's not a feeling at all. And when we've hit bottom we sure won't find that faith is a glowing and warm fuzzy thing down there. But that's OK. We're spent. We can no longer hide, we just need to tell God we need him. Just Him. Not our husband, not our life, not comfort or anything else ... When we begin to see that all we need is God---faith, like a little seed shrivelled up hard as a stone, begins to stir.

This is such a deep topic today, so I'm not posting the usual discussion questions. Nor the prayer, for the prayer should be your own. Please let these thoughts and challenges sink in, and feel free to comment or email me if you'd like to talk more about it.

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