Dear Church Family,
Well, another Wednesday is here, the day when some of our small groups gather. Unfortunately, not all of them can meet right now, but we look forward to the day when we can get back to it.
Meanwhile, there is nothing to stop us from gathering before the throne of grace together and it is a blessing to be able to pray for one another.
I want to go back to the verse from yesterday and continue to offer some insights on it from myself and Thomas Boston.
Ecclesiastes 7:13 Consider the work of God; For who can make straight what He has made crooked?
Right from the start, this passage gets us on the proper path when we are confronted with events or circumstances that seem to cross our path and bring hardship or trials. We are advised to look for the work of God in every aspect of our lives—especially, but not exclusively, in the crooked parts.
One of the fascinating and wonderful things about God is that He can take one grand event and apply it in a million different ways to the specific needs of His people.
Here we have a world-wide event, and God is using the circumstance in the lives of His people to bring about His will for them in many different ways. Using it to draw men, women and children to salvation, using it to strengthen the Church while dividing it, using it to revive some, correct others and yes, even using it to summon some to their eternal joy or sorrow.
Acts 17:24-27 God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre–appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.
In what is apportioned out to us are some things quite agreeable, and others, like much of what surrounds the present situation, that are disagreeable. These form the crooks or bends in our lot or circumstances. Such things run against the grain of our expectations, or our hopes, or even our nature, and the more they do so, the more they form a crook in our lives where things are bent in a way we do not find to be pleasant.
It is a real temptation to look at others from a distance and imagine that their lot is straight and pleasant; but the truth is, every life has its “crooks,” its unpleasant trials. Boston puts it this way…
Everyone feels for himself, where he is pinched, though others perceive it not. BOSTON
Those truly misrepresent the truth when they preach or teach that a life of faith is a life free of trials and changes. On the contrary, a life of faith is bound to meet with various crooks. They are necessary for its proof, its exercise and its testimony in the eyes of others.
James 1:2-4 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
Dear Lord, we know that our lives are in Your hands and we love to have them there. It changes the way we see and understand everything. Right now, a crook has appeared in our lots. For most it is a light affliction, but for some, it is a hard thing that grates against the grain.
May we all find it refining and may it strengthen our faith even as it exercises it. Work in us and through us by this crook for your glory.
We remember Marge and David today and ask You to work graciously in their lives. Lord, we don’t presume to know your specific will for ourselves, let alone others, but this we do know: You have promised to never leave us or forsake us and to sanctify all our trials to us—so Lord, keep covenant with us all and work Your purposes in each of us. In Christ’s name, Amen.