Pastor Jonathan's Monday reflection:
"God I trust you, but this is really frustrating..." This was my prayer last week as I tried to deal with the most random of issues (and one that resolved quite easily). I want the smooth life, the glory now, and no trouble. But instead, life is still a mix of wonderful graces and terrible struggles at the same time. This reality though doesn't change who God is, and his goodness in Christ.
This was the exact experience of Israel in slavery in Egypt, as we rea din Exodus 5 this Sunday. The had received the promise that God was now coming to save them, to bring them out of oppression. They celebrated and worshiped, then everything falls apart. Pharaoh rejects God and his people, lashing them with an impossible burden, to make bricks without straw. Some cry to the tyrant, as if he will relent, but Moses rightly turns to God and brings his trouble to the only One that can change the course of history. And it is here that Moses will see what God's strong hand will do!
We live the same reality, only we have been given spiritual exodus already, redemption in Christ. Forgiveness of sin, new life, new purpose and a new destination. But our Savior told us that trouble would still come. There would be pain, but he was better still than all the difficulty of life. And it is to him we keep turning. Making our trouble known and asking for faith to trust him and find hope in his plan for us.
In the church then we do this together. We support each other, we remind each other of the gospel of grace and we bring each other to Jesus. To find comfort and resolve. That we would live for his glory come high water or drought.
Wherever you are, know that it is not too far for Jesus. You are not alone in the struggle. Gather round and be reminded of the gospel. That you are loved.
This week my prayer for us is not increased struggle but increased reliance on Christ in the midst of it.
Lord, help us to see your promise, the finished work of the cross, and you purpose even in the pain of life. Free us from our captivity. Empower us to lean into you in all corners of our lives. Help us to see you in it all. Amen.