In the moment, it is easy to think of our troubles as enduring, but they will pass away just like the world as we know it. The Lord “laid the foundation of the earth” long ago, but it will perish. He formed the heavens by hand, but they will wear out “like a garment” (25-26). But he who made heaven and earth is ageless, he doesn’t wear out, and he will never perish, and neither will all who trust in him. This is why we must not think of our troubles as unending or seek to find solutions in what will perish. We must look to the Lord in our time of need, for ourselves but also for one another. For though our afflictions are momentary, in Christ we look together toward an eternal glory.
Tag Archives: Provision
Watching and Waiting
In Christ, we are promised many things, including this: “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:10). By grace through faith, if we are in Christ, then for Christ we will be treated with contempt, scorned for our faithfulness. For the Christian, persecution is not the consequence of a lack of faith but evidence of it.
Our Peace Offering
But it is not in our sinful state that God is pleased but in the sinless sacrifice of his Son, whom he has given as the greatest gift of all. As John wrote to the church, “In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10). In Christ, our peace offering, we have been given the gift of peace with God forever. There is no greater Christmas gift than that.
A Privileged People
Despite their subjection to Roman rule, Israel was given religious autonomy, leading to the restoration of temple worship, the liturgical calendar, and pervasive influence upon the family and synagogue. Yet, in their religious and cultural revival there were inherit dangers, notably legalism and hypocrisy. There were also Pharisaical perspectives that made Jesus and his gospel not only unwelcomed but repugnant. It is the religious irony of ironies: The religious right went wrong because their reformation didn’t need a Savior or his gospel, revealing a jaded perspective of their privilege, a blinding pretense, and a misguided presumption. They were a people of whom the prophet wrote, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”
Thy Will Be Done
Therefore, there is no room for boasting with bravado of what we will do for Christ. Or, as Paul put it, “If I must boast, I will boast of things that show my weakness” (2 Cor. 11:30). The Christian life is not lived by boasting in what you will do for Christ but in what he has done for us. It is not a life of bravado but of submission. As we learn that God’s grace is indeed sufficient and that his power is made perfect in weakness (2 Cor. 12:9), we too will learn to pray as our Lord did, and as he taught us to pray, “Thy will be done”!
Peace in Christ
As God promised, so he provided, giving “His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NASB). In Christ, he has given us his abiding peace through the provision of his Spirit. In Christ, he has given us his means of grace abiding in his peace. In Christ, he has prepared his kingdom that we may know eternal peace.
The Banner of Salvation
Partaking of the elements of bread and wine, we look to the sinless body and atoning blood of Christ. It is under the banner of Christ alone that we worship, looking to His perfect provision, and in His provision we stand fast in battle.
The Rock of Our Salvation
Israel was saved in the wilderness through the flowing, life-saving water from the rock. So, we are saved unto eternal life through the substitutionary, stricken, saving rock, our Lord Jesus Christ, the rock of our salvation.
By God’s sovereign grace through justifying faith in Christ, the hunger and thirst of your eternal soul can never be satisfied temporally but only eternally. The manna God gave Israel reminded them of His daily provision. The solemn rest God gave Israel reminded them of their rest in His Sabbath provision. The Savior God has given us has become our eternal manna and our eternal Sabbath. We are nourished and rest in His eternal provision.
The Powerful Provision of God
It is not because of what we can do for Him that He saves us, “but God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— “(Eph. 2:4–5).