It’s Real and It Hurts: The Pain and the Glory

The world just ain’t like it should be.  Now I’m not a complainer.  Wasn’t raised that way.  But, if God is good and He is powerful, why are things the way they are?  Why did an eleven year old boy have to die this past week in a car wreck?  When did countless people lose their homes after Hurricane Harvey hit Texas?  Why is their still racial unrest in the United States?  Why? Why? Why?

If God is all powerful and all good, why hasn’t he done something about all of this?  Why do the good suffer and the evil seem to prosper?  Why do children in Nueva Vida in Ciudad Sandino, Nicaragua, suffer so much that they literally dig through trash to survive?  Why are there beautiful families living on $30 a month in rural areas all around Managua, Nicaragua?

The Gospel of Christ doesn’t ask us to ignore these questions.  In fact, you may never really get to the gospel if you don’t face this reality:  The world ain’t like it should be.

One of my favorite passages in the Bible is couched in this very reality.  It’s Romans 1 where Paul says that he’s not ashamed of the Gospel because it’s the power of God for salvation.  Then, in the next verse (17), he says that in it the righteousness of God is reveal from faithfulness to faithfulness, and then he quotes the prophet Habakkuk, “The righteous one will live by faithfulness.”

Now, you might just skim over that, but if you do, you might miss something very powerful about the gospel.

It turns out the you can’t really hear the good news until you’ve faced the bad news that the world is messed up.

In Habakkuk, the prophet asks God why he hasn’t done something about the messed up situation Israel is in.  God replies that he is doing something about it, in fact, something that the prophet doesn’t understand.  And, in the middle of all that, there is the scripture that Paul references, “The righteous one will live by faithfulness,” Habakkuk 2:4.

Here’s the way I read all of that.

Yes, the world is messed up.

Yes, God is doing something about it.

Just like in Habakkuk’s days, people may not understand it.  The good news is that the secret of God’s work to fix the world has been revealed.  The good news is that God is fixing everything that is broken.

Don’t deny the brokenness.

Only when you realize the darkness can you appreciate the light.

The light is this:  God is doing something in the world to put it back together again.  He’s making everything right.  And, we get to be a part of it.

God is faithful to his creation.  He’s faithful to redeem this world.  And, he is faithful to his promise to love you.  It may not seem like it right now, for all you may be going through, but God loves you.  And, he’s turning this situation around.

And, you know what?  He will succeed.  But, you know the beautiful part of it is?  We get to be his co-laborers.  We get to be involved in fixing this world.

His faithfulness leads to ours.

His grace leads to our love.

His resurrection leads to our new life.

And, we get to change the world together.

No hurricane can stop us.  No unfaithfulness can deter us.   Because we’re not at the helm.  The creator is.  And, that’s good news.

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