Day 4: Deliverance

Galatians 1:4-5  :

who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us out of this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father— to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

This part tells us the reason for Jesus death. It also tells us what kind of age we live in. It reminds us of God’s grace, that He is our God and Father, and that it is He who get’s all the glory for it.

Jesus died for our sins, in that, if He wouldn’t have, we would be condemned with everyone else alive today. We don’t come to Jesus to feel good. We come to be delivered from what faces us and what faces us is our own destruction. I admit that not being destroyed feels pretty good, but a good feeling is not the reason to come to Jesus.

One of the problems with feelings is that they are temporary. We can feel good today and eat a bad burrito tomorrow. God is not to be blamed for days we feel bad!

Instead, it is important for us to remember that we were saved from this evil age of people who were bent on their own destruction. We were awakened from a foolish dream to realize our true condition and our true future. That future was pretty bleak, but God also revealed the way to have a bright future. Knowing we have a bright future feels pretty good too.

The amazing thing about this is that God did it in grace, meaning that He decided to save us based not on anything that we did to deserve it, but based on His own will. Not only that, God delivered us in a way that allowed us to become His children.

Since God did this on His own, it had nothing to do with us, and because it had nothing to do with us, only He gets the glory for it.

Day 15: Getting Real with God

Lamentations 3:40-51 :

Let us search and try our ways,
and turn again to Yahweh.
Let’s lift up our heart with our hands to God in the heavens.
“We have transgressed and have rebelled.
You have not pardoned.

“You have covered us with anger and pursued us.
You have killed.
You have not pitied.
You have covered yourself with a cloud,
so that no prayer can pass through.
You have made us an off-scouring and refuse
in the middle of the peoples.

“All our enemies have opened their mouth wide against us.
Terror and the pit have come on us,
devastation and destruction.”

My eye runs down with streams of water,
for the destruction of the daughter of my people.
My eye pours down
and doesn’t cease,
without any intermission,
until Yahweh looks down,
and sees from heaven.
My eye affects my soul,
because of all the daughters of my city.

It appears that, at this point, Jeremiah realizes that the only right thing for Israel to do is to take a good look at their ways and come clean before God about the reality that they have sinned. The problem is that it doesn’t appear that God is forgiving them right now, so Jeremiah is in torment. He knows that they should be admitting that they are wrong, but he feels as if God isn’t listening to them. His people are still getting devastated by His anger.

Do I believe that God isn’t really seeing the confession of His people? No, I believe God was seeing it. I don’t believe that just because Jeremiah wrote about waiting until God happens to notice their confession, that God hadn’t noticed. I think that this is just evidence that this as an honest lamentation. It’s not a record of truth about God’s behavior. It’s an honest record of man’s emotions about the torment of God’s punishment. It’s man’s feelings about what God might be doing right now, even though He wasn’t. This should be comforting to us.

God expects us to be honest with Him about our feelings, even when they are wrong! Have you ever considered the fact that God already knows what you are feeling before you express it? Just because you don’t express your feelings to God, doesn’t mean that He can’t see exactly how silly they are right now. These lamentations are yet another evidence that God wants us to pour out the truth about what we feel to Him, even when we are wrong. God is a real person and He cares more than any other person we know. He wants our emotions even though they are imperfect. If you think about it, this makes sense. If we want our emotions to improve, we must bring them, as imperfect as they are, to God so that He can change them. God is able to deal with our wrong feelings and help us walk back into the light.