The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Opinion

April 23, 2010

There is nothing too big, or too small for God

It would probably be a safe bet if I asked people if they believe God can do many and wondrous things that they would say yes.

If I asked them if God could part the oceans again if he wished, everybody in one accord would likely say, “Yes, God still has that power.”

What if I asked you another question. What if I asked, “Do you think God could fix the problems in your life?” The answers  would change radically.

There are many with a deep relationship with God, based on faith in Jesus Christ, would say, “Yes, Christ and the cross is the answer to all life’s problems.”

Those would be the few. Others would say, “God doesn’t care about my problems,” or “I am just too sinful for God to come and help me.”

The excuses of why we do not surrender our desires, fears, pains and afflictions to God are just that — excuses. We serve and worship a God of action, let’s put him to work.

The mighty Creator has proven for centuries that he wants an active part in the lives of all people who call upon His name, no problem, no matter how vast and widespread it may seem, is too big for God to solve.

“He said to me, ‘You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will display my splendor.’

“But I said, ‘I have labored to no purpose; I have spent my strength in vain and for nothing. Yet what is due me is in the Lord’s hand, and my reward is with my God.’

“And now the Lord says, ‘he formed me in the womb to be his servant to bring Jacob back to Him and gather Israel to himself, for I am honored in the eyes of the Lord and my God has been my strength.

“He says: ‘It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.’” — Isaiah 49:3-6

In all of Israel’s troubles, it didn’t amount to much to God. They had sinned and left the promises of God for idols made by the hands of men, yet God said saving such a stiff-necked nation wasn’t a big enough act.

God told the great prophet, “I am going to do something even greater — I am going to restore the entire world so that all who call upon my name will be saved.”

Brothers and sisters, I have to remind you this was written 800 years before the advent of Christ and his atoning sacrifice on the cross.

God made a promise that he would restore the whole world to him — and he did.

Why? That answer can be found in probably the most beloved of all Bible verses.

“For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that all who may believe in will not perish, but have everlasting life.”

We all know John 3:16, but from my loved ones in my weekly Bible study, they helped to reopen my eyes to this beloved verse.

God loves you and yes, Jesus will reach down from the cross and take your burdens if you ask.

Now, to be sure, we are not immune to pain and suffering. Quite the opposite, we are promised suffering in his name. I cannot tell you what form suffering takes — in my mind there are infinite sources of pain and suffering. But, for the person living a life devoted to Christ — I really don’t think they notice it too much.

How can that be you ask? That’s an easy one to answer, because life without Christ is hell itself.

People are constantly chasing after all sorts of things. They seek wealth, fame, power, accolades, attention, notoriety, affection, the list goes on and on, and something we all should agree on, Christian or not — it is the innate will of man to try and fill this gaping void that lives inside all of us.

That is why people chase things — just like a dog chasing its tail. What happens when you find it? You just start chasing something else.

That’s a pitiful life. With Christ, though, that void is filled once and for all. Here is all mighty God, taking every evil thing in this world that could possibly separate you from God, dying with them at the cross.

In research done by Mark Eastman on the suffering servant, he cited a portion of the Midrash, called the Haggadah, concerning a discussion of the suffering of the Messiah. I ask you to read this closely, then read it again, then cut it out, put it on your refrigerator and read it every day of your life so that you may understand the longing God and Jesus has in drawing you to him. Not out of merit or anything you have done, but solely because of the deep and holy love of our Savior.

“And the Holy One made an agreement with the Messiah and said to him, ‘The sins of those which are forgiven for your sake will cause you to be put under an iron yoke, and they will make you like this calf whose eyes are dim, and they will choke your spirit under the yoke, and on account of their sins your tongue shall cleave to your mouth. Are you willing to do this?’ Said Messiah before the Holy One: ‘perhaps this agony will last many years?’ And the Holy One said to him: ‘by your life and by the life of my head, one week only have I decreed for you; but if your soul is grieved I shall destroy them even now.’ But the Messiah said to him: ‘Sovereign of the world, with the gladness of my soul and the joy of my heart I take it upon me, on condition that not one of Israel shall perish, and not only those alone should be saved who are in my days, but also those who are hid in the dust; and not only should the dead of my own time be saved, but all the dead from the first man until now; also, the unborn and those whom thou hast intended to create. Thus I agree, and on this condition I will take it upon myself.’”

While these are extra-biblical writings, this rabbinic commentary, written 200 to 400 years before Christ came, gives a deep insight into the willingness of Jesus to bear our burdens and our sins in order to free us from their due penalty.

So what does that have to do with you? Well, everything. No matter your circumstances, God desires you to look solely to him. For deliverance, yes, but also a total abandonment of self so that we can be at one with our Savior.

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

"Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. "Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them." — John 17:20-26

Does this sound like a God that doesn’t want to take your burdens from you? He wants so badly for you to take his blood-stained hand and give yourself fully to Him.

There is no problem too small and there is no sin too big that his righteousness cannot cover. To believe otherwise is to make Jesus out to be a liar.

———

If you need prayer or would like to comment, Wayne can be reached by e-mail at etagnews@dctexas.net

1
Text Only
Opinion