Have you ever met people who carry the “I can’t change” scar? I have. Sometimes, I have even been that person. Unfortunately, if we say that about ourselves, we are making a liar out of GOD. Notice the post from yesterday that talks about the fact that we are no longer slaves without any resources, but heirs of the King! If we are in Christ, we have all the communicable attributes of GOD at our disposal. So we can’t say we can’t change.
The truth is that change is often very difficult. Sometimes we don’t want to make the changes we are called upon to make, but we do have the resources in Christ to make them. We may have past wounds where scars have built up and cause it to be more difficult for us to change in certain areas of our lives. All these things may be true, but this is a great promise for us to hold onto.
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness,
through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,
by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises,
so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature,
having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.
II Peter 1:3-4 ESV
At the heart of most of our sin, is the core sin of unbelief. Yes, in our heads, we believe a lot of good things. But at the heart level, when it comes to living these things out, it turns out we don’t really believe them at all. We would be hard pressed to put into words the fact that we don’t believe them, but the way we live shows it to be true.At the heart of most of our sin, is the core sin of unbelief. Yes, in our heads, we believe a lot of things. But at the heart level, when it comes to living these things out, it turns out we don't really believe them at all. Click To Tweet
Think of the fact that all of us give lip service to the fact that GOD is in control of our lives. We believe He works out everything for our good and His glory. But there is a long list of things that we don’t really believe could possibly work out for our good!
I don’t say this to condemn. I say this because it is part of the human condition. We all take part in the sin of unbelief. We need to be aware of it. We need to encourage each other as we see this sin, active in our lives. We need to pay attention to it as we see it in our own lives. We need GOD’s resources to help us believe Him as we live out the Gospel.
Hidden in this passage, is the promise we are all familiar with…that all things will work together for good to GOD’s children. But the context is very interesting, isn’t it? It is crouched in a context of His interceding for us with deep groanings for GOD’s will to be at work in us.
This is not a cold promise given when life is hard, that comes across to many as harsh. It is a promise that during your time of darkness and weakness, light is coming! It won’t always be as dark as it is right now. And in the meantime, the Holy Spirit is interceding for you with deep groaning! We forget the beautiful context of this passage when we easily spout this verse to others don’t we?
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness.
For we do not know what to pray for as we ought,
but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit,
because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,
for those who are called according to his purpose.
For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son,
in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
Romans 8:26-29 ESV
What a powerful reminder to us to pray, just like the Spirit does for us, when our brothers and sisters are going through dark times!
Some recent examples from the news are the horrible hurricane Michael that hit FL and many states north as it whisked its way up the southeastern section of our nation. Many people lost everything they had. Some even lost family members. It will take a good long while before they will ever see how GOD is going to use what has happened to them for their good…or even for His glory! Right now, they are just going to need to be comforted, loved and helped as they begin the long tortuous process of cleaning up and finding places to live until their homes are rebuilt. Right now, they are stunned and in shock.
Part of our being able to trust GOD in the middle of this kind of horrible tragedy begins with trusting Him and knowing who He is. Then we just have to grieve and keep moving on slowly with our lives, doing the next thing. We don’t have to explain GOD or fix things for those who are suffering. None of us really knows what GOD is doing specifically. We do know that He is bigger than the individual interests of those involved.
We know that we can’t see the whole picture. He can. At some point, we must trust Him for the outcome. No, it isn’t easy…but it is good for us to stretch in that direction! The hard part is to trust GOD when we don’t know what He is doing or why. The only way it is possible, is for us to know who GOD is. Yes, He loves us. But sometimes the outcome of what He does in love, is far from what we wanted. This is not simple. We must struggle with GOD. There is no question.
“Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call upon him while he is near;
let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:6-9 ESV
Call to Action: When you examine you heart in situations where you think you can’t change, think about these passages. Not only that, think of who the GOD is that you serve. The Isaiah 55 passage helps you understand. He is gigantic. He is so much bigger than any of us have tested out. Be encouraged to test GOD out in areas of change. Be comforted by the Romans 8 passage. No matter how dark the time you are going through, GOD is interceding for you with deep groanings. He cares what happens to you. He cares. But it is all behind the scenes.