So in all honesty, I can’t take credit for really anything that I am about to type. I heard a really inspiring sermon by Pastor Judy Peterson this past Wednesday and I just had to share it. Normally I am not one to publish other people’s thoughts or ideas because I like my blog to be strictly me, but again this was a sermon with extreme value and I think everyone should hear it.
She incorporated bits of scripture all throughout but basically, what you should read before seeing the rest is Romans 8:20-39, Genesis 6:5, and Isaiah 65. If you are like me and connect best through music or often feel musically inspired then I encourage you to listen to the song “There Will be a Day” by Jeremy Camp or “Beautiful Things” by Gungor.
This next statement will come as no surprise and is probably something that you’ve heard many times. We are living in a broken world. If you sat down and gave yourself 5 minutes to write a list of things that are broken within our world, you would have a very long list and probably wouldn’t need the full 5 minutes. Education, families, politics… the list is practically endless. Justice has been driven back and righteousness stands at a distance. All of creation has been groaning from sin since the beginning of creation. Since the very day that Adam and Eve ate from the tree of knowledge. The following question comes into play more often than not: why does a good God let bad things happen? Well the reason for that is because humanity tends to live life by its own rules. We do what we think is right for us personally. God doesn’t MAKE bad things happen, they are a result of human selfishness. People often get angry at God when they experience hardship. What we need to keep in mind is that struggling does not mean God has singled you out. The whole of creation is feeling this very same way because the original design is not working the way it was supposed to. Why do things that are wrong, feel equally as bad? Easy: God had to make consequences for sin so that bad things would not feel good. If you did something terrible and then it felt pleasant, nothing would cause you to stop. Feeling guilty is basically a deterrent from doing wrong. If there was no bad, there would also be no ultimate good and then humans would feel as if God didn’t care what we were doing.
Through all of this negativity God gives us hope for a better world. Things have been cut off but, they can be MADE NEW! We do not labor in vain, but we labor for life. Although we don’t even have enough words for all of our groaning and frustrations, the Holt Spirit is praying for us. It says it right in the scripture. Can you even imagine?! The Holy Spirit is praying for us! It is some pretty amazing stuff. That makes you feel like your groaning isn’t all for nothing I am sure. Even when we feel things cannot get any worse, we will never be separated from the love of Christ. He is our blood supply. All things that are cut off will be sustained through Him until they can be restored. Joining God in the labor of making the world right and new means that we have to keep groaning. Only through our groaning can things be restored. God uses bad to bring about good, he just doesn’t cause it. The middle stage–that stage we experience daily with our groaning–is the necessary part that keeps hope alive. We know there are better things ahead which is what keeps us hopeful.
There will come a day when we don’t need the band-aids and middle stages, but until that day we need to continue groaning and producing hope. We need to do the difficult, and often unnoticed work. We should be the wound repair experts. Jesus is the gateway to all life, and WE HAVE THE SKILLS to bring heaven here.