Our Pastor has been taking us through the book of Malachi. At first I thought this was an odd choice, but as he has unpacked each chapter and verse on Sunday morning and Wednesday evening I have found myself loving the series. This past week he preached from Chapter 3:13-4:3 and I must confess, it has really rocked my world. I would like to share with you some of this important truth, because I believe it could revolutionize your life!
To back up just a little, a few weeks ago Pastor Tim posed this question: "Where is the God of justice?"
Have you wondered about that? Have you wondered where your "justice" was when you have been wronged or slandered by someone? Have you wondered why God is silent in your distress? You know I have asked these questions if you are a regular reader of this blog!
I think (and have observed) that when God is silent is when we begin to falter and doubt Him. We doubt His goodness, His being "for" us; we doubt His righteousness too. In effect we begin to accuse God, and to tell Him that He is a liar.
When we are comfortable with accusing Him then we begin to demonstrate all the other signs of unfaithfulness. We bail on the prayer time (except to whine that He is isn't "doing it" for us), we set the Bible aside (because I can't find a place I want to read) and we systematically edit Him out of our conversations and thoughts. Our hearts become hardened and it becomes easier and easier to grumble and complain against Him.
It is at this point that I see it becomes very easy to change how we refer to Him and to try to alter our relationship to Him. Sort of like a teenager who is trapped in the store with their parent. They want something from the parent, but they don't really want to be with or near that parent.
We wonder if it (our relationship to God in Christ) is all worth it. Those unbelievers and their lifestyles look pretty good...do they have all these problems? They have problems, sure...but as bad as ours? It seems as though there is no upside, no benefit to being in Christ at times, doesn't it?
Fellow Sojourners, I struggle the same way you do in this regard. I have been waiting for an entire decade for things in our lives to turn around and head in the positive direction. Like you, I get tired of waiting and hope deferred makes my heart sick (Prov. 13:12).
You cannot let those kinds of thoughts invade your heart! You must continue to cling to the truth and in spite of the terrible feelings that accompany the stresses and strains of daily living. Seek your solace in the Psalms and read the woes of David, and Aseph. Lose yourself in the real life problems those guys encountered and see how they walk through all the emotions, all the doubts and fears and how they end up invariably at the point of "and yet I will praise Him" (Psalm 42:5; 42:11; 43:5; 28:7; 109:30)