I recently read a devotional about hard times by a well-meaning author. He wrote: "Sometimes we look at our lives and wonder, Why would God choose a loser? But here is what we need to realize. God doesn't just see your weakness. He sees you for what you can become." The author did not address what we can become, or how we would become that person he had in mind. He may have been perfectly right in what he wrote, but his words leave too many loose ends and potential wrong conclusions. I think it is important for believers to think carefully and Biblically about these matters. As we do, we will be reminded to give God the glory for everything. Let me explain.
I know why God chooses losers. Because there are ONLY losers in the world. We were all losers. Paul said there is none righteous; no, not one. God chooses "losers" and then makes them "winners" by giving them the gifts of repentance from sin and faith in Jesus. Jesus said "Apart from Me you can do nothing". But now, by faith in Him, we can do all things through Him who strengthens us. Jesus is the one who makes us a winner. I want to give Him all the glory, because He deserves all the glory, and will get all the glory, because He is the one restoring us to the glory God intended for mankind. Romans 11:36 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.
Further, it is true that God sees us for what we can become. Even better news is this: He guarantees that we WILL become what He wants us to be, beginning in this life and fully completed as He calls us home. We will become all that because He is the source and the energy for those changes. Here is the reason and the way God gives us that confidence: And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son…so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. (Rom 8:28-30)
Those are words of hope when times are difficult. God is at work in every circumstance for our ultimate good. God defines the ultimate good, becoming a "winner", as becoming like Jesus. God is going to see us through all hard times because those times are meant for our sanctification. So, with Paul, we are learning to exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us (Rom 5:3-5).
God calls us to remember and believe and rest in His truth that trials and difficulties are meant to teach us perseverance (the way Jesus did), work in us proven character (Jesus' character), and to give us even more hope in God (the way that Jesus always hoped in God), and all of that because God is still communicating His love to us through Jesus. God makes it clear and wants us to know that we are safe, and that we can be encouraged by His purpose in all things. He sees us for what we can become because He has already planned for what we will become: like Jesus. What a future!!
To God be the glory, great things He has done… and is doing! Taking losers like us and making us winners like Jesus!
Mon, January 9, 2012
by Terry Devitt