Thursday, April 24, 2014

From the Newsletter: Sovereign

God is on the throne. We need to remind ourselves of this often. I need to remind myself of this often. At times, we can look around and feel frustrated, and say “do you remember when?” Do you remember when work was going better. Do you remember when the family was doing better, do you remember when the community was more together, when we didn’t feel like we where harried and frustrated, and living a life marked by struggle and tension. Do you remember when the church was full? When it didn’t seem like culture was against Christianity. Do you remember when it seemed like God was on the move? Its easy to feel discouraged during certain seasons of life. It feels like the bottom is dropping out, things are going nowhere God, and yet, the fact is, God is on the throne and at work no matter what.

A few weeks back, I was reminded of this in a wonderful way. Teen challenge came and lead us in worship, and shared about their ministry, and the church was rather empty that Sun-day. And all through the worship service I was feeling particularly discouraged. I try not to look at numbers. I try not to count faces. I try to remember that there is hope at all times, and that counting faces shows that in the back of our minds we equate size and health, big with blessedness, and that this is not the case. I try to remind myself of the fact that far true signs of health are found in the depth of disciples, and their love of the gospel, and in their desire to live on mission for the glory of God.

But I was forgetting all that, and counting faces, and feeling down. I all but apologized to the leader of the Teen Challenge team for such a low attendance Sunday. And then I went down to lunch. We had an all church lunch so that we could spend more time with the men and learn more about what God is doing in their lives, and that’s when Lucy Mbugua came and sat down next to me, and introduced me to her friend Joyce. Joyce serves at a church of 700 back home in Kenya. And she told me that she is interested in bringing Teen Challenge back to Kenya. IN that moment, I was reminded once again the God is sovereign. That God is working even in what seems like a moment of failure, and de-feat. I was reminded that He is doing His will even when we have no idea what's going on.

Even when we're think we think were blowing and He’s not there, and just feeling totally crushed. The reminder for me, and I believe for all of us, is that God is on the throne. God is in control, and we need to find our life in him I need to find my life in him, and only/ in him.

He's at work in the great and glorious, and he is at work in the mundane things like an invitation to Teen Challenge and invitation by a friend to visit the church. He’s working in the time you leave the office, and the interactions you have on the way out the door. We never know what He is doing, but we do know that we can trust Him, and hope in Him, and find our life and our rest in Him. So often we run around trying to control the details of our lives. We are constantly stresses and worried that if we don’t do something it won’t get done, and if we don’t act and speak in a certain way, we’ll ruin everything.

And yet, what we are reminded is that we don’t have to live with this sword of Damocles over our heads. He is in control, and we rest in His finished work, and then live out of it with hope and joy. In Psalm 42, the writer frets speaks about how frustrated and distressed he is. And he talks about how he frets and worries in the midst of tense times. He says his tears have been his food day and night, while men say to him all day long, "Where is your God?" And he remembers how he used to hope, and how he lost his hope, and he lays out his frustrations. But in the midst of that he says something profound. He says it twice. He says “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God, and he rejoices, saying, “Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me-- a prayer to the God of my life.”

Even when we are frustrated. Individually, or corporately, even when we feel like the bottom us dropping out on us, He Is Sovereign! We can find our hope, our rest, our life in him. Trust Him. Find your life in Him. Seek to glorify Him, and then trust that He will indeed work for the glory of His name no matter what it seems like at first glance.