When we hit those rough patches and we all do at some point along the way, we need to remember passages like the one above. There are times when friends can’t comfort us. There are times in our lives when from all outward observations things are going fine, but inside we are in turmoil. There are times when what we feel is inexplicable because we don’t quite understand it ourselves. How do we pray about things that we can’t even put into words? How do we turn to the One who has lifted us out of the pit of despair when we don’t know what to say? What do we do or say when being still and knowing the He is God is not enough. How do we move from here back to solid ground and continue on our journey with Him? God has made a way for that to happen. We bow before Him and tell Him that we are unable to pray. He doesn’t get angry or upset, instead, as we wait before Him, He prays for us. Just imagine God the Holy Spirit praying for us and through us, God the Son, Jesus, is at the right hand of God the Father interceding for us! God is listening to the 2nd and 3rd persons of the Trinity praying for us and He sees His own righteousness in Jesus Christ! What more assurance do we need that whatever happens will truly be for our best?
15 This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all. 16 But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life. 17 All honor and glory to God forever and ever! He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; he alone is God. Amen.–1 Timothy 1:15-17 ((NLT)
”I’m too bad to be saved!” “God would never forgive me for the things I have done!” If you have ever done much one-on-one witnessing, I am sure that you have heard these or similar statements. But as we learned yesterday, God has no degrees of sin. To Him, sin is sin. A liar is just as guilty as a murderer. God will and does forgive the “biggest” sinner just as quickly and mercifully as He forgives a “little” sinner. Living a good life will not save you, doing good works will not save you. God’s salvation plan is simple and free, but it is also non-negotiable. There aren’t several ways to get to heaven, there is just one way. Jesus said: “I am THE WAY”. Not one of the ways, but the only way. No matter what our past has been, Jesus stands ready to forgive and restore. The “best’ person in the world needs redemption just as much as the “worst” person. That is what Paul, through the leadership of God’s Holy Spirit is telling us here. We can’t be “bad” enough to not be saved*** and we can’t be “good” enough not to need salvation. The steps to salvation are simple: BELIEVE! RECEIVE! Now, we are on our way to heaven, so just give Him glory and honor!!
***There is only one unforgivable sin and that is blaspheming the Holy Spirit. If you have committed this sin, then your conscience is seared over and you have no concern about sin at any level. If you have committed this sin, the Holy Spirit withdraws from you and God has no way of convicting you of your sinful condition. If there is no conviction, there is no repentance and therefore, there can be no forgiveness of sin.
Romans 5:1-5 (NLT) 1. Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. 2 Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. 3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
God has not only given us His Holy Son to die on a cross to redeem us from sin, He has also given us His Holy Spirit to indwell us. When God has given us His absolute best, why would He withhold any good thing from us? God knows where we are in our walk with Him. The trials and problems we face are to let us know our progress. God cannot be surprised, He knows us better than we know ourselves. He isn’t worried about tomorrow because for Him, there are no tomorrows, there is only now. So, we should follow His example and stay focused on “now”. We can’t see the “big picture” so we can’t know what is best for us. Everything in creation was created by the Power of His Word and it is held in place by that same power. Everything He allows in our lives is for our benefit. If we truly believe that, then we can truly trust Him to bring us safely home.