Tuesday, 2/11/20 – Pressing on…

A six letter word for where we find God.

20200210_062418Ask me any time and I will most likely be able to produce for you from my inside jacket or backside jeans pocket my current crossword puzzle. I love doing these things when I’m forced to do no things, like waiting in line at a supermarket checkout, or sitting in a doctor’s waiting room, or when “on hold” listening to elevator music.

20200210_062530A good crossword question will have an odd little twist to it. You get thinking about it one way, but the answer comes by understanding the question in a different way. For example, a four letter word for “To behave like a wolf.” You may start thinking words like “hunt,” “howl,” “bale,” or “lurk.” But the real answer, “leer,” redefines the question.

What’s a six letter word for where we find God? If you read this blog yesterday, you may think “throne” is the answer. After all, God is in heaven and seated on His throne, isn’t He? Well yes, but that’s not the only place we find Him. In fact, He said of Himself.

“’Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?” declares the Lord.
“Do not I fill heaven and earth?’ declares the Lord.” (Jer. 23:24)

No, the answer is not “throne,” but the word does start with a “t _ _ _ _ _.”

man in red scarf and black nit hat

Indeed, as we saw yesterday, we do “approach God’s throne of grace with confidence” and once there we do “receive mercy and find grace to help us.” But the bit I don’t like one bit is that bit at the end “…in our time of need.” (Heb. 4:16). You see, sometimes the place where we best find God is in our “trials.”

In fact, Pastor Andrew said it on Sunday, “Trials lead us to the throne of grace.” James turns the screws even tighten and writes “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds” (James 1:2). He goes on to explain that trials draw us to God in a way that develops perseverance within us. How? Sometimes it is because we do not always find God immediately… we must keep seeking… but as we do, we grow. “Let perseverance finish its work,” James continues, “so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (v. 4).

photo of student inside classroom

Philip Yancey notes, “Human beings do not readily admit desperation. When they do, the kingdom of heaven draws near.” (The Jesus I Never Knew.) He says, “Human beings grow by striving, working, stretching; and in a sense, human nature needs problems more than solutions.” (Disappointment with God).

I don’t like this truth at all, but it does give Hope. Great Hope! Hebrews teaches us that God is found when we allow our trials to drive us to His throne. We may go there when we are broken, and we may go there with great boldness.

More tomorrow…

To hear Pastor Andrew’s complete message, go to the Lincoln Baptist Church website and look under ‘Sermons Online’ for the Feb. 9 message.

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