It’s Christmas-time! We all love reading of the miraculous virgin birth.
We like the miracles and power of the Savior.
We think it’s so cool that the King of Kings hung out with sinners and find it heart-warming that the He wept with Mary and Martha when Lazarus died.
We love that the little children were embraced by Him and that He intervened to save the the woman caught in adultery from being stoned.
We smile and want to applaud when Jesus puts the pious Pharisees in their place. Over and over.
Most of us,
are perfectly fine
with all of that.
We like the Jesus we understand, who does things with which we agree.
But then, we stumble over those other passages, where the Son of God does, and says, things that seem contrary to the way we think things should go.
In Luke 4, Jesus has just opened the scroll and read from Isaiah that He has come to proclaim good news to the poor, liberty to the captives, and recovering sight to the blind. (verse 18)
All good things.
Like me, you may have drawn a heart by those words in your Bible. ❤️❤️
The people in Nazareth liked hearing what He was saying too and , “spoke well of him” and marveled at his words. (Luke 4:22)
But then, Jesus seems to veer off the theme of his sermon and talks about the prophets and how God sent Elijah to only one widow though many were there in the town starving. He further explains there were many lepers in Israel, but God had sent Elijah only to Naaman for healing.
Hearing these words, the people, who had praised Him just moments before, were “filled with wrath” and drove him out of town intending to “throw him down the cliff”. (4:29)
At first glance, I’m incredulous at their sudden shift in attitude toward the Savior.
But, I realize, there have been times I’ve been just like them.
I’ve been happy for God to do things that make sense to me…I love His power, His love, His provision, His care for the poor, His love for the sinner,….
I like that God does what He wants UNTIL He does something that I don’t want.
Why didn’t He help ALL the starving widows? Why didn’t He heal ALL the lepers?
And …why didn’t He prevent that miscarriage, why didn’t He stop my friend from getting cancer, why did He allow that child to die, why didn’t He stop that divorce? Why is He allowing my loved one to struggle? And on and on.
Can you relate?
The truth is… We like hearing God does what He wants until He does something we don’t want or don’t like.
And it is then that we must choose…will we go on with God?
Will we trust a God who does things we don’t understand?
Will we require God to behave the way we think He should in order to continue to follow Him?
This is hard stuff…maturing in your faith stuff.
As we read this passage in Luke, and as we live in a world where God allows things to happen we don’t understand, we must remember our relationship with God is made up of DAILY SURRENDERS and will be for the rest of our lives.
Certainly, for most who read these words, you remember the day you surrendered your life to Christ for salvation…but as you walk forward and desire to grow in the Lord, you’ll find yourself needing to surrender again, day, after day, after day.
His way over your way and even over your understanding.
Sometimes, you’ll later see the reason for the things God allows to happen in your life.
And sometimes you won’t.
But either way, there is peace, RIVERS of peace, that come when we daily surrender our need to understand and, instead, learn to trust that God is at work in a million ways we cannot see…for our good and for His glory!!
Gods’ ways are certainly not always our ways. If I could explain Him, predict Him or get Him to do only what I thought He should, He would not be God but just some version of me.
But, this I do know about Him, He is always good!
And there is always blessing when we choose to follow Him…even when we don’t understand. And when we do, we will find it’s always the better way. ❤️
What a Savior!
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God is always so good, even when I can’t see it or feel it!
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