Tuesday, September 20, 2011

When Hope Rises

I have dreaded going to bed at night because I know that the morning will be greeted with another wrestling match, and I will have to come to terms again with God about Trent being in heaven. This battle between soul and mind is constant. Scripture says that the heart is wicked and deceitful and is beyond cure. Our flesh is still flesh; consumed with sin and longs to go astray from our Savior, mine included. Too easily the emotions shift directions and I get swept away. So I fight. I fight with Scripture, I fight with prayer, I fight by making myself accountable and even vulnerable to what my true thoughts and emotions are. And it is exhausting.

As defeat longed to rule yesterday morning, there was suddenly a hope that rose stronger. Hope in a sovereign God, hope in the plans He has for my life, hope in His word. The thought consumed me that this was not a day of defeat, but rather it was another day to bask in God's grace. It was another day to look for His mercies, and His provision, and His faithfulness. It was a day that is a mist, a vapor that will one day pass into eternity.

In that eternity I will never have the opportunity to trust God in this way again. What is veiled now will be revealed then. "Blessed are those who do not see, and yet believe," Jesus said. In heaven God's grace will be different. It will be a grace by sight, not by faith. What a gift to know God, then, in this way for the time He has granted it.

After a good day, my night finished off on that same hope by reading in Scripture:

"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."

Hebrews 12:2-3

What a truth to hold on to: Jesus Himself is the author and perfecter of our faith. Alexis and I sat together in awe pondering those words. As she sat writing her book-in-the-works the reality of an author only sunk in deeper. And if Jesus is the perfecter of our faith, that means, then, that everything He does is also perfect.

Even taking twelve year old boys to heaven.

What freedom there is in serving a Sovereign God.

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons.
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised.

For in just a little while,
"He who is coming will come and will not delay.
But my righteous one will live by faith.
And if he shrinks back,
I will not be pleased with him."

But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed,

but of those who believe and are saved.

Hebrews 12:7, 12:11, 10:35-39