Thursday Connection 4.30.2020

Ouch, an APRIL to FORGET

Linda and I went grocery shopping together yesterday morning heeding the following anonymous advice…… ”Husband and I went grocery shopping with masks, got home, took off the masks, brought home the wrong husband. Stay alert!” I can report to you that Linda did great!

If you have lived long enough you realize that life can be difficult and sometimes painful. If you want to persevere you must stand firm with a belief in the sovereignty and the love of God. Relying on personal grit alone, gets pitifully dirty. God in exercising his kind of sovereign ‘control’ over us is done solely out of his infinite love for you. Lamentations 3:37,38 Who has spoken and it came to pass, unless the Lord has commanded it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and bad come?

So much of life’s pain is caused by the sinful actions of other people. If you do not believe that God is sovereign and in control of those actions, you will be tempted to become bitter. And if you become bitter, you begin to turn aside from God, you will not stand firm. God is in sovereign control even over the sinful actions of other people. The classic example is taken from the life of Joseph in Genesis 50:20 “As for you, you [Joseph’s brothers] meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. 21 So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.” Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.

The beginning of Job’s story is instructive in chapter 1:13 Now there was a day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 14 and there came a messenger to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them, 15 and the Sabeans fell upon them and took them and struck down the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 16 While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants and consumed them, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 17 While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “The Chaldeans formed three groups and made a raid on the camels and took them and struck down the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 18 While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 19 and behold, a great wind came across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young people, and they are dead, and I alone have escaped to tell you.”

20 Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” 22 In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.

We are thankful people are we not? But what about the bad things, the things in our lives we would never choose to have in our lives, pandemics and quarantines included? We give thanks by faith, not by gritting our teeth and then mouthing the word, ‘thank you.’ We do it by trusting in the promises of a sovereign and loving God. Romans 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. The good God desires is for you to be conformed to the likeness of your Lord Jesus Christ. This is what God is after.

So I give thanks by faith and ask you to join me in prayer; “Lord, I do not know what particular purpose you have in this pandemic quarantine. But you said that you will use it to conform me more and more to Jesus Christ, and for that I give you thanks. I choose to never become a bitter Demas. I believe that there are two things that you will never take away from me. You will never take away from me your love to me in the gospel. I still stand today before you clothed in the righteousness of God. And, you will never take away your promise to me that “never will I leave you; never will I forsake you Amen.

Tomorrow’s blog; endurance requires patience because reward for today’s right choices will come. But it may not be months or years from now, or not until you leave this world. Join me tomorrow by drumming your fingers on the kitchen counter waiting for the microwave to finish to prove that patience does not come naturally…

One final grocery shopping alarm. There are right now many and sundry homeless rabbits at Walmart. Chocolate and peanut butter rabbits. All of them are at 75% off. We did not wait until next Easter and are now enjoying two rescued rabbits at home.

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Pastor Mike Brubaker, DMin

860-537-3914

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