Are You Waiting to be Rescued?
“…give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thess. 5:18
For many years the Babylonians held the Israelites in bondage. After King Cyrus of the Medo-Persian Empire conquered the Babylonians, God stirred the heart of Cyrus to give the Israelites their temple back.
In Ezra 3 we read about the rebuilding of the altar so that the exiled Israelites could again freely worship their God. Once the altar was complete, the rebuilding of the temple itself began. There was much rejoicing and thanksgiving. The people raised their voices to openly acknowledged God’s hand in forgiving them of their sins and bringing them back home. “With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the Lord: ’He is so good! His love for Israel endures forever!’” – Ezra 3:11a
God is always at work in our lives—past, present, and future—even when we feel “in exile” or as if our lives are on hold. Today, many people feel in bondage. They’re fearful, anxious, and depressed. They look at the circumstances in the world around them and in their own lives, and they feel alone and even desperate. God’s word beckons us to approach suffering with praise and thanksgiving: “But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.” – 1 Peter 4:13 We serve a powerful, merciful, and loving God who desires to bless His children with peace, joy, and abundance. He challenges us to trust and obey, even when it feels unnatural to do so.
It’s often hard to understand what’s happening in our own lives, let alone the world around us. We wonder when God will rescue us and what good could possibly come of our circumstances, but as the writer of Proverbs tells us, “A man’s steps are directed by the LORD. How then can anyone understand his own way?” – Prov. 20:24 Only when we completely trust that God is in control and wants what’s best for us can we, having His perspective (despite our challenges) proclaim, “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” – Psalm 118:24 May you find that His grace is sufficient. To God be the glory!
The Power of Truth:
“…and put everything under his feet.” In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him.” – Heb. 2:8
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life…” – Psalm 23:6a (NKJV)
Suggestion for Prayer:
If you’ve been struggling with giving God control, give it up. Tell Him you don’t understand His ways, but you trust Him. Now praise Him for His goodness and faithfulness, despite your circumstances. Thank Him for the work He is doing in your life.