Monday, September 8, 2014

"For Us"

   From the inception of the human race, a slanderer has sought to besmirch the character, nature, and way of God.

   "The serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die, for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil" (Genesis 3:4-5).

    The devil insinuated that God withheld a good thing from Adam and Eve, and thus did not have their best interests in mind.  Our enemy continues until this hour with such false accusation, attacking the Lord's intentions and actions regarding humanity.  He confronts both believer and non-believer alike with the slander of God, seeking to discourage faith and faithfulness by portraying the Lord as one not to be fully trusted.  Certainly, the consequences are eternally dire for those who never believe.  "The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, let the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them" (II Corinthians 4:4).  Born again believers in the Lord Jesus also lose much when we respond to Satan's attempts to discourage our confidence in our Heavenly Father's wondrously loving intentions toward us.  As in the case of God's servant Job in the Old Testament, our enemy seeks to foment questioning in our hearts regarding the Lord's determinations and allowances in our lives.  The hardships and pains we experience serve as fodder for the devil's suggestions that God somehow does not always act wisely and fairly.  In principle and doctrine, we may know that He does.  Along the hard and sometimes treacherous paths of life as lived in a fallen world, however, the strongest believer may descend into valleys wherein the Lord's way seems so strange and challenging that questions arise in our minds, and even more, in our hearts.  "Why, Lord?… How, Lord?… Where are You, Lord?"  No less than the King David who so often affirmed the faithfulness and abiding presence of God nevertheless cried out into a night bereft of moon and stars, "Why standest Thou afar off, o Lord?  Why hidest Thyself in times of trouble?" (Psalm 10:1). 

    The truth of the matter proclaims to our hearts that we possess no capacity for fully knowing the devotion and trustworthiness of our blessed Lord.  "Thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds" affirmed David in a better moment when reality inspired his declarations (Psalm 36:5).  Our Father is "for us" (Romans 8:31).  He always and eternally acts in the best interests of His trusting children in Christ, and even bestows goodness on those who reject Him.  "The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works" (Psalm 145:9).  We cannot imagine how good He really is, nor how lovingly devoted to our benefit.  God can be trusted.  In times of light and of darkness, He can be trusted.  Indeed, no one has ever committed their confidence to the Father of our Lord Jesus and been disappointed for doing so.  And no one ever will…

"He that believeth on Him shall not be confounded."
(I Peter 2:6)
"God… cannot lie."
(Titus 1:2)
"The Lord is faithful."
(II Thessalonians 3:3)

Weekly Memory Verse
    The Lord is gracious and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy."
(Psalm 145:8

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