Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sigh of relief

"For 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. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you," says the Lord. "I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land." Jeremiah 29:11–14

Every time we read those verses, we can breathe a sign of relief. God is not out to get us. Not some mean parent waiting for us to step out of line so he can slap us. Not brooding over our inconsistencies and failures so we can be punished.

He’s looking out for us. Scripture assures us that when we pursue him with all our hearts, we find that he’s already working, loving, planning for good and not harm.

I look at world religions, with their gods who must be placated and am sorry that we as Christians have followed their lead instead of leading them to simple scriptural truth. We try to be good enough, but scripture reminds us that we can never earn God’s favor – we’re too messed up to ever balance the “good enough” scales.

“I’m a schmuck!” I can say without much qualification. Sure, I try to do good and be nice. But I know – and friends and family know – that I’m not dependable. Ornery moods and disobedience with actions that don't match God’s character make me unreliable.

If you’re like me, you’ll soon find we have to depend on him every day. Every minute, actually. Trusting that what he said is honest and right: he has planned our character development, relationships, and circumstances for our good and His mission among mankind. And he’s paid for my sin and failure.

I sigh with relief again, knowing we and our whole day are in his care.

Read more:

So let's not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith. Galatians 6: 9,10

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