Some years ago, I stepped on the scales to see how thin I was, and my youngest daughter – who was 3 at the time asked me, “Daddy, leave the scales out, I want to see how tall I am!”
Probably the most difficult aspect of life for every human is when we have to address the moments when bad things have happened. We want to know why those bad things happened, who caused the bad things to happen and what could we have done to prevent it. It is even more difficult to address those times where there is no apparent reason for its happening.
Have you ever had times or experiences like that? If we are not careful, we like my daughter, may use the wrong “tools” to try and measure – to evaluate and explain our circumstances. We just might use a scale to measure how tall we are – or a ruler to see how much we weigh!
This is week 3 of 4 in our study of the Foundation of Our Faith. Each week we are looking at the core elements that our faith life is built upon. We have thus far looked at God’s Sovereignty, God’s Mercy and today we will look at God’s Faithfulness.
Our text today is from the pen of the prophet Jeremiah. He is known as the prophet of sorrows. He was called to warn the Jews that they needed to turn their hearts back to God. He was faithful to this calling, but his message was rejected and they even turned against him physically. As a result, there was little or no change and the Babylonians destroyed the kingdom of Judea in 586 and all survivors of the destruction of Jerusalem were exiled in Babylon.
Jeremiah writes in his journey the words that would become the OT book of Lamentations. As he wanders among the ruins of the city of God and sees the debris of this destroyed city, he grieves – laments what was and what could have been if the people had listened to God’s message through him. Times of grief can be one of those times in our life when we evaluate or measure things – so it was with Jeremiah. While his heart was broken, he began to look at the chaotic scene around him and compare it to what he knew as rock-solid truth.
Regardless of what I am seeing around me, this is what I remember and this is what I know as the truth – and this is where I place my hope:
- God’s great love keeps us from being totally consumed
- God’s compassions never fail
- God’s compassions are new every day
- Great is God’s faithfulness
As a result of what he knew to be true, Jeremiah decides, in the midst of his own grief, to wait and to allow God to be in charge. Isn’t that the same truth for us here today?
God is in charge…God is faithful…God is good!
There are two views of living:
1) To walk by sight – what I can see around me dictates my mood, my opinion, my philosophy and my creed for living. If what I see around me is good – then things are good. If things are bad, then life is bad.
2) To walk by faith – what I know supersedes what I can see. What I believe dictates my mood, my opinion, my philosophy, and my creed for living. When we learned how to drive on snow or ice, we were told to always turn the car in the direction of the skid – that just seems to be contradictory to common sense. Yet, it is the proper way to address the problem of sliding on slick surfaces in an automobile.
How about us today, what is your creed? Are you a walk by sight or a walk by faith person?
Jeremiah refused to allow what he saw around him destroy what he knew deep within his soul – that God is faithful and God is faithful to him. Friends, we can have faith in God – because God has faith in us. Paul tells is in Romans 5:8 that Jesus died for our sins long before we ever knew him – that demonstrates God’s love for us and God’s faith in us.