An unsolved mystery creates drama and suspense. A sense of suspense is a great tool for selling books and movie tickets as long as the suspense eventually reaches resolution. We love suspense and drama for a time, but we all long for resolution.
After a long period of suspense we all love to finally say "That explains it!" A tremendous sense of relief floods our minds and emotions we we finally know what is really going on.
If we long for resolution while reading a great novel or watching a good film, imagine our need for resolution to the mystery and drama of the meaning of our own life! We must have a "That explains it!" moment about life. Fortunately, God has provided it.
Jesus is God's resolution to the mystery of our history. Jesus is the "that explains it!" relief which our mind, emotions and will must have. As much as we may enjoy temporary drama and suspense, we need an end to suspense and drama when it comes to what God has in mind for us as human beings.
The Apostle Paul saw his ministry as a wonderful "Jesus explains it!" process.
I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God, the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily. Col. 1:24-29
Jesus abiding in us is the resolution to the drama and suspense that troubles our souls. As we learn to bring every thought to Jesus we will begin to experience inner peace and an end to unneeded drama that makes our inner world uneasy and stressed.
Jesus is God's final explanation. Let Jesus be your great "That explains it!" Mystery and drama are good in books and in films, but your inner life needs resolution right now.
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
When we go through a time of great personal failure it can lead us to repentance. We respond to our failure knowing that we truly are at fault and need to come before God with a broken and contrite heart.
Is this failure provoked change the most powerful kind of repentance? Until recently I would have said "yes" to this question. Today I would say there is a more powerful kind of experience that produces an even deeper kind of repentance.
This more powerful kind of repentance is produced by experiencing the kindness and longsuffering of God toward us. When we become aware of His tremendous goodness toward us instead of our own tremendous failure toward Him, we experience the deepest kind of repentance.
The shift in my thinking came about as I heard a pastor calling his church to repentance in his Sunday sermon. He called them to come and repent not because they had failed. He called them to come and repent because God is so good to them and so longsuffering toward them. The altar of the church filled with people repenting because they had seen the goodness of God.
I was profundly touched by the wisdom of this pastor. He has it right!
If we would see others repent we can hope they fail or we can hope they see God's goodness and kindness.
God uses His goodness and kindness to reach us. God does not seek our failure. He seeks our good.
Do we secretly hope others will fail so they will repent or do we hope they will see God's goodness and longsuffering before they fail?
"Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?" Romans 2:4