Yesterday, I wrote a post that really was an outward expression of inward emotions I had been dealing with. But, as I rode home yesterday, I was reminded that this is not just something I deal with, it is something we all deal with. We all look around us at the destruction, the horrors, the sad things of this world and our hearts cry out…This is not how things are supposed to be!! The truth is we are right, this isn’t how things were supposed to be.
When God created Adam and Eve, he created them to live in peace, to live in beauty, and most importantly to be in relationship with Him! However sin entered and all of that was destroyed. Sin not only brought pain and suffering, it brought something far worse…separation from God. As followers of Christ we know that God already had a rescue plan in place, sending Jesus to live the life we couldn’t live and die the death we should have died and then be raised to life conquering sin and death. Jesus bought our redemption at the price of his own blood.
So what should this feeling of things not being as they should be do to us? Well, it should make us long for home…it should make us long for what we were created for, it should make us long for the day when Jesus will return and restoration will finally take place! That is the hope that we have as Christians, that one day Jesus will return and set everything right, restoring it to the plan God created us for.
In the meantime though, we live here, we live in a sin filled, broken world where bad things happen and evil often rules in the hearts of men. It can be hard, even when we know deep in out hearts restoration is coming, often our minds forget and we lose hope. What should we do when that happens? Well first thing, we can’t beat ourselves up about it. There are times when we are going to be angry, when we are going to scream this isn’t fair! There are times we are going to focus on where we are and forget Who Jesus is. We aren’t alone in this. The bible gives us many examples. One that sticks in my mind the most is John The Baptist. Jesus himself spoke of John saying in Luke 7:28 that
“I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John…“
yet even John had a moment of questioning. We read in Matthew 11 as John is in prison, he asks one of his disciples to go to Jesus and ask him
“Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”
Now why would John ask that? We already know that he knew exactly who Jesus was. He himself told us in John: 1. In verse 29 we read this,
“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
John knew who Jesus was, but as he sat rotting in that prison, he had a moment of questioning. If he had a moment like this, how much more are we going to have those moments.
Jesus sent the disciples back to John and responded with this
“So he(Jesus) replied to the messengers, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor.“ Luke 7:22
Jesus reminds John of what He is doing. So when we feel that way, one thing we need to do is remind ourselves of the things that Jesus has already done, what he is currently doing and what He has already accomplished for us in the future.
In this response Jesus was also quoting the prophet Isaiah. So he used the Word of God to remind John of Who he was. When we feel angry and lost, we can turn to God’s word and use the promises of God to remind us of Who God is all that has been done for us.
Jesus also encouraged John by reminding him of the blessing of not giving up….
“And tell him, ‘God blesses those who do not turn away because of me.‘” Luke 7:23 NLT
We need encouragement, we need to be reminded, we need guidance and direction. That is why it is so important to spend time alone with God, spend time in God’s word, be involved in your local church and spend time in community with other believers who can be there to lift you up when you have days that you are down. The last thing we want is to allow the hurt we feel to harden our hearts and turn us away from God.
The truth is, things are not how they are supposed to be, but one day, they will be! Let’s do as the writer of Hebrews tells us and ”
“encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.“ Hebrews 3:13