Falling and Rising

Sometimes life is heavy and confusing, hanging us upside down by our toe nails. That’s alright because God still has His firm grip on His sons and daughters. What if we need to be sifted? What if God graciously uses a situation to show us blindspots of sin? What if our faith needs refining to burn away the dross? Rest assured, the fire will not consume you. It just makes our zeal for Him stronger, stoking the fire in our hearts, for those who belong to our Lord. 

The doubts, hardships and sin battles are not something unique only to us today. Christians since the Fall have engaged in spiritual warfare typically compounded with situations which test our faith. Sometimes circumstances happen outside our control, sometimes we bring the consequences of sin on ourselves. But you are not any less in His eyes during moments of weakness or trials. Think of our great heroes of faith from Scripture. Noah drank too much after God rescued him and his family from the flood; Abraham on a few occasions let his fear overcome him and he lied about Sarah being his wife; Moses got angry with the Israelites and disobeyed God’s command to speak to the rock and bring forth water. He angrily struck the rock instead and took credit for himself. Then there’s “the man after God’s own heart” King David, who sinned in adultery and murder of Uriah. Even Saul, later renamed Paul, was a persecutor of Christians before Jesus changed his life. Paul would later write, “But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more” (Romans 5:20). These men understood God’s discipline and His grace.

So when we fail God is faithful to humble us, show us our sin leading to repentance. Then we get up again. And again. And again. Grace isn’t a license for us to sin, but a declaration that we are no longer condemned (Romans 8:1). This is the wonder of God’s grace to His children. The MacArthur Study Bible states this redeeming work in our struggle with sin combined with pursuing righteousness:

“Believers receive the imputed righteousness of Christ at salvation (justification) . The Holy Spirit works practical righteousness in the believer throughout his lifetime of struggle with sin (sanctification). But only when the struggle is complete will the Christian receive Christ’s righteousness perfected in him when he enters heaven (glorification).

Dear Christian, this is our promise, this is our confident hope. Rest in the finished work of Jesus today.

Grace upon grace,

April

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