"For I know the One in whom I trust, and I am persuaded that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until the day of His return."  2 Timothy 1:12..."Take courage!  It is I.  Don't be afraid."  Matthew 14:27....."God's sovereignty often means nothing to us unless we also know that He is good......God's sovereign power supervises everything that comes into our lives, no matter how threatening it appears.  And He is - in His unchanging nature - very, very good."  Chris Tiegreen

The Father calls us to believe in two unchanging irrefutable facts; that He is completely sovereign, and that He is completely good.  He then allows these facts to be challenged by our lives being lived out in a completely fallen world.  A world where very often, everything really does seem to be against us.  A world where the character of God is always called into question by our enemy the devil at every opportunity.  We believe He is in control until our lives are out of control.  We believe He is good until life is decidedly not good at all.  When everything around us is crumbling, when our faith and trust in Him is attacked on every side, we are faced with this question.  Do we really believe that He is in full control of life, even when life makes no sense?  Even when life has brought about the loss of "all things" we held as precious?  And if we do believe He is in control in the midst of life's deepest pain, do we continue to believe that He is totally good?

Larry Crabb speaks and writes much on the idea that it seems the average American believer's highest aspiration seems to be for a life that goes reasonably well, and reasonably smooth.  If this is so in us, then we can be sure that the Father will allow us to eventually collide with the reality of a God whose highest aspiration for us is that we know Him.  That we look and live, as His Son Jesus Christ did and does.  That the life of Christ is not only active around us, but even more so within us.  He does not call us to take our ease in our worldly recliners, but to enter into the "fellowship of His (Christ's) sufferings.  As Mark Batterson said, He calls us to live in the places where "light and darkness clash."  In those places, we will be faced with having to choose if we really believe He is totally good, totally in control, or He is not.  Are we persuaded of this, or are we not?  Are you?  Am I?

When Jesus calls us, He does not issue a call to enter into a life that is often defined as "the American Dream."  A life full of good things, many blessings, and as little pain and discomfort as possible.  He does not call us into a life that is content to stand on His promises of "good stuff," but into a life that is lived out in the fullness of His Presence.  He calls us to His cross, and not to our easy chair.  He calls us to a life that will be under assault by the winds and waves of the world and the enemy who uses them as he seeks to destroy us.  He calls us to see Him who we can trust, and who controls all the power of those winds and waves, and not the winds and waves themselves.  Jesus says to us, as He did to the disciples, "I am here.  Do not fear what is happening.  You can trust Me.  I am greater than these winds and waves.  Greater than the sum of every wind and wave that can ever come against you."  Then He adds a question for us.  Do we believe that?  Do we?

Chris Tiegreen says that if we only focus on the winds and waves, than we will always suspect the goodness and sovereignty of God in any situation.  He will always be suspect in our eyes.  The natural outflow of that will eventually be resentment, anger, and unbelief.  Our faith will be shipwrecked.  Might there be someplace today where yours, mine has suffered shipwreck?  Are we, as Paul was, persuaded?  Or, do questions remain?

We are called to believe the truth that He is both totally good and totally in control.  That this is certain.  There is another certainty for us as well.  As this false dream of what we call "good" crumbles around us, and it is crumbling, we will be tested in our belief in this truth.  We are being tested now.  When you and I fully enter into the whirlwind where the clashing of His Light and the enemies darkness shake our world, will we trust, believe, and obey He who is totally good and totally in control of it all?  Are we persuaded?

Blessings,
Pastor O

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