I had good intentions not to get stuck this time. Then it happened again, right there between the pages of the Old Testament. I was finding myself unable to move forward. I prayed “God, I don’t understand You.” It was difficult to read every morning, and I was getting farther and farther from the goal of reading through the Bible in a year. Why was I not able to make sense of God and what He was communicating here, in the middle of wars, murder, strife, and unimaginable evil?
I love reading stories about Jesus healing the down and out. I feel His compassion when He bends low to reach out His hand to a woman caught in adultery. My heart jumps when I see Him healing sick children and asks little ones to join Him on His lap. I want to dance along with Him at parties where He turns water into wine and wish I could have been the one walking on water next to Him. I want to keep on reading.
However, when I see Jesus judging the nations or find God destroying those whose evil has reached its limit, I get uncomfortable. When I see people who are being swallowed alive by the earth and a husband an wife struck dead on the spot for lying to the Holy Spirit, I question. I rather not read about the rich man who went to Hades and had no hope of ever making it out. I get stuck.
I have to continually remind myself of God’s amazing grace. His grace is most vividly displayed in the cross. Here God makes His love for us visible in an act of unimaginable wrath and judgment. He pours the wrath we deserve upon the One He loves, His only Son. Jesus gives up what He is most entitled to, a rightful place on the throne of heaven, and trades His crown for a crown made from the remnant of the curse. He wears it on His royal head. He dies for a people who are His enemies. Lovingly He draws us away from the judgment each of us deserve. By faith through grace we are saved. All who look to Him, and accept this amazing gift and let His blood bleed on their behalf will be saved, no matter the depth of their sin, or the width of their transgressions.
Maybe I have been getting stuck on the wrong things. Maybe it’s more reasonable to say “God, I don’t understand You” while looking at the cross and the wrath that was poured out on Jesus instead of me.
“Father, thank You for Your love and heart toward me.
You draw me with an everlasting love,
away from the wrath I deserve.
You lead me to Jesus and help me see
that it has all been paid.
All my sins have been ransomed.
I am free.
You call me Your child and entitle me to an inheritance,
eternity with You.
THANK YOU FOR JESUS.”
For God has not destined us for wrath,
but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ
1 Thessalonians 5:9