Friday, July 29, 2016

Push Back

Violence has become not that which is rare, but that which is daily unfolding somewhere in the world. It is no longer that shocking violence has been committed, but where today.

It is far too easy to be overwhelmed by all that is going on. We often feel helpless. What can I do about it? God's purpose for each of our lives is to work His redemption and restoration into this fallen world.  But the darkness seems to be all around and growing like a big scary storm cloud coming upon us.

But God does not forsake us in this.  God tells us to push back against the darkness.  Wherever there is evil, God grants an antidote.  And He uses His Spirit to bring transformation and His people to bring about change.

That is what the gospel-- literally "the good news" -- is all about. That there is something drastically wrong with the world we would all agree.  That is why Jesus came -- to show us the way through to His incredible forgiveness and to live out what God's love looks like.

"Overwhelmed" is not a foreign word in the Bible, nor in our own lives today.  But when God's people seek Him and follow Him into the struggle -- and everyone struggles with something --God changes that familiar phrase of despair to "overcome," a word of victory.  God's way is always so much different than we expect. Because it is not by our doing, but aligning our hearts to His.

And that solution and resolution is His love and grace in it, that which is most impossible of all, that which we cannot do on our own, but only what He can do through us.

So, whatever the difficult situation you face, the crisis, the hatred, the violence and injustice, the oppression of many people, God has given you something to do about it.  As I heard the late Chuck Colson once say, "You can't just sit there."

First response
        not last resort
is to turn to God.
Have you sunk into dismay
          or onto your knees?
Pray, listen, heed His voice in this.

And then,
follow His manual for life,
               God's Word in this.

What can I do about the hatred and violence?

Do not be overcome by evil,
but overcome evil
                      with good.

                        Romans 12. 21

Wherever He places me today,
however that looks today,
among all those whom
   God has strategically placed me.
God always works
     through personal relationships
     and divine appointments.

There are no insignificant acts
              of love and grace.
God changes the entire landscape
       by means of hearts
       transformed by Him.

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