Monday, January 11, 2010

Precious in His Sight - My Article in the Southside Messenger

Spirit & Truth # 163
“Precious in His Sight”
By Rev. Greg Smith
When my old friend Jake (not his real name) contacted me through Facebook, I wasn’t all that surprised. Not long ago, we had lost a mutual friend who had finally succumbed to a debilitating disease. Faith has been a struggle for Jake for many years, and I thought this might present a problem. He told me he was “still lost on the church front” and still hurt over our friend’s death. Then he told me about a close aunt who’d had a brain tumor. “She was the biggest churhgoer I know. I was always told God will take care of his children and all of a sudden she’s back to being a 10 year old after the hopsital stay….So why did He do that to her if He is all loving…it’s just hard for me to trust Him.”
How would you answer someone like Jake? I invite you to read Isaiah 43:1-7. This is a song of assurance to God’s people who are about to go through great trial. God tells them, “But now, this is what the LORD says— he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; …You are precious and honored in my sight, and…I love you. Do not be afraid, for I am with you (verses 1, 3-5).’”
We grew up singing that kid’s song that says, “They are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.” God reminds us that He created us in His own image. He formed us out of the dirt and breathed His breath of life into us. He loved us so much that He redeemed us by the blood of His dear Son. Out of all the billions of people on the planet, He knows you by name. He is the Savior, who bore all of our sorrows, pains, sins, and infirmities (Isaiah 52:4-5), so He knows how we feel when we suffer. We are precious and honored in His sight.
The fact is, life contains struggle. Psalm 34:19 says, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.” This doesn’t mean God removes you from the struggle, but that God gives us His grace to deal with it. Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”
“I created [you] for my glory,” God says (Isaiah 43:7). If your life is to glorify God, you have to grow through struggle, not avoid it. But he reminds you, “Do not be afraid, for I am with you (verse 5).” Even if you falter, God will never leave your side.

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