We’ve got your daily encouragement, written by Lindsey Strickler.
Thus says the Lord:
“A voice is heard in Ramah,
lamentation and bitter weeping.
Rachel is weeping for her children;
she refuses to be comforted for her children,
because they are no more.”
Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah:
“A voice was heard in Ramah,
weeping and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children;
she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.”
I know what you’re probably thinking, “Why in the world would you end our series and the year on this verse? This is not the positive, happy vibe you want to enter the new year with.” Just bare with me for a few more paragraphs.
In yesterday’s workout, Nate mentioned how we know that God is always going ahead of us. Specifically he said, “He [God] knows things about the future that we have no way of knowing, but we can rest in his plan and his great love for us.”
The reality of our world is that it is not perfect, and we are not home yet. It’s a reality we resent and fight all the time. We want promises that life will look exactly the way we want it to and everything will work out the way we envision. Yet, because of sin, that’s just not always going to be true. There are forces at play that are outside our control and that are bigger than us, and horrifically, will not have mercy or compassion on us. Many of us have felt that reality the last two years intimately.
God knew thousands of years before it happened, that a king would murder thousands of young boys. You might be thinking, “If he knew, they why did he not stop it?” We don’t know the answer to that question, outside of the fact that God held us with open hands and thousands of years ago gave Adam and Eve the choice over whether or not they would listen or obey him. They chose not to obey, and pain and suffering were the consequence.
There is a battle between good and evil. There are people, like Herod, who will do anything to protect their power. The calming truth for us is that despite anything these people might do, their influence is limited to this earth. Praise God, they cannot take away the truth that one day there will be no pain or sorrow for those that are believers and in Jesus (Revelation 21:4). One day we will no longer feel the consequences of original sin.
Many of you are planning your new year’s resolutions, or coming up with ways “2022 will be different” for you because you’re going to change x,y,z behavior. Things will come along and threaten your resolve for those resolutions. Going into this year, in America, we face another election season, another COVID variant, another year of its own battles. Yet, no matter what happens, God has you. Herod couldn’t alter the course of history and stop a Savior from growing up, and Satan/politicians/your boss can’t alter the course God has for your life.
God, you’re so good. Thank you for another year, and thank you for the year ahead. I want to go into this new year with a heavenly perspective. Shift my mindset to operate this way. In your name I pray, amen.
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