Friday, October 3, 2014

In It for the Long Haul

Going hand in hand with my thoughts on assuming the best of others is a truth I read today while studying up to help lead a Bible study on Habakkuk. You can read the whole article here, but here's a summary of the part that really hit me: Habakkuk starts off questioning God, but by the end of the book, he chooses to live by the famous verse that originates from this book: "the righteous shall live by his faith" (2:4). Like Habakkuk, we can have faith that God is good and just. And if we do, it'll show as we follow his commandments by loving God first and foremost and loving our neighbors. Then the article asks a good question that dips a bit into Hosea's territory: Are there areas where we need to practice faithfulness instead of walking away? The article gives church and marriage as examples when we may be called to be faithful in a difficult situation.

This idea of making faithfulness a habit really hit me.Experiencing pain or trials doesn't mean that we're not where God wants us or that it's time to run. Sometimes, we're called to live faithfully where God has put us, in the difficult friendships, marriages, jobs, committees, families, churches.... you name it.

Let's strive to assume the best of others. Even when we're wronged, really hurt unfairly, let's assume the other person/party is forgivable and redeemable. Jesus Christ has done it for us, after all, and John 3:16 doesn't say "for God so loved the nice people". No, it's "for God so loved the world". He's not willing that any should perish. In fact, let's take a look at that verse:

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. ~ 2 Peter 2:9, ESV

As we intimidate our holy God on this earth, let's also be patient toward the people around us. Let's stop being willing to end relationships and instead seek to restore them. Whatever sacrifice or discomfort we experience along the way will never compare with the sacrifice or discomfort God went through to restore us to himself through Jesus's death on the cross.

Does this mean there's never a time to cut ties? No. But be sure to really seek God so you can be faithful to his will in any situation. He might be asking you to demonstrate his love.

Was there ever a time when you stuck with someone or something and the situation eventually turned around?

Your Sister

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