Weekly Wisdoms for the week of January 17, 2022
If you've been around a church, you've certainly heard that God loves you. Although that is true, the word "love" hardly does justice to the way God views you. God's relentless passion and his incomparable zeal for you is beyond comprehension. You can only begin to understand the very tip of the iceberg of God's love for you.
Think of it like this: We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him (Romans 5:7-8, The Message).
How should we respond to the knowledge that God put his love on the line for us? How can we do anything other than put our love on the line for Him and passionately pursue that same God who passionately pursues us? If you were stranded in the ocean and someone came out to rescue you, immediately you would want to join up with and get to know that person. God offers rescue from the domain of sin and darkness; it would be foolish to want anything other than to join up with and get to know the very God who rescues you.
This is the essence of Paul's drive to know God: But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead (Philippians 3:7-11).
Paul was so intent on knowing Christ that he considered everything else in life to be trash compared to knowing Christ. When Paul witnessed the extent of God's desire for him, Paul's response was to passionately, relentlessly desire and pursue God.
Learn from Paul. Pray that God would give you the same desire for Him as He has for you.
Exodus 14 records the story of how the Hebrews escaped from bondage and slavery in Egypt. On their way out of Egypt, they camped in the desert near the Red Sea. They thought God was leading them out of Egypt. However, Pharaoh led the Egyptian army to where the Israelites were, and he trapped them against the sea. The Israelites must have felt betrayed by God, for it looked as though he didn't follow through on his plan to lead the Israelites out of captivity in Egypt. But God was faithful to his word -- he didn't let his people down. He led them through the Red Sea and delivered on his promises.
You have probably faced times when you thought that you could never do something, never complete a particular task, or never make it to the finish. However, if God has promised you something, then you can be confident that God will get you through the difficult times in order to bring about his promise.
This is true in Joseph's life. God took him through years of pain and suffering for an ultimate benefit; Joseph realizes this and, in Genesis 50:20, says, "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." God had a bigger plan for Joseph's life, and God didn't let him down. God led Joseph through his struggles.
This principle is also true in your life. Even though you may be going through extremely painful times, do not fear for God will get you through the hard times you face (see Psalm 23:4). If God took you to it, He'll get you through it.
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