One Thing 2/11/12

3 “I will give you the [a]treasures of darkness
And hidden wealth of secret places,
So that you may know that it is I,
The LORD, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name.

18 Why has my pain been perpetual
And my wound incurable, refusing to be healed?
Will You indeed be to me like a deceptive stream
With water that is unreliable?
19 Therefore, thus says the LORD,
“If you return, then I will restore you—
Before Me you will stand;
And if you extract the precious from the worthless,
You will become [a]My spokesman.

Psalm 97
1 The LORD reigns, let the earth rejoice;
let the many coastlands be glad!
2 Clouds and thick darkness are all around him;
righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.

I added this extra verse from Psalm 97 because it says that even when clouds and thick darkness surround Him, He still reigns. He is still on the throne, reigning when there are clouds and thick darkness everywhere. When things are dark it often feels very confusing and scary, as if everything is out of control and in painful chaos. The truth is, that when we find ourself in a worthless place we need to start our journey from the perspective that as bad as it may hurt, and as dark as it may be, the one who gave His life for us is still reigning over all, including the details of your lives. I have a very simple systematic theology. It has three tenants. HEAVEN RULES, GOD LOVES, JESUS ROCKS. That’s it. God is Big, God is Good, and Jesus is Bad to the Bone. It’s really important that you settle those first two long before you get into crises. If not, you will find your self in the midst of your pain putting God on trial and questioning His goodness. If you already have those first two settled then you begin your journey out of pain and fear knowing that He reigns, and that the one who is in control of your life is good and doing good because He loves you so fiercely and unconditionally. Oh yeah, about the third great truth of my sophisticated systematic theology:) you can absolutely know that in this dark place the One who Rocks will so draw you in that He will more than abundantly replace all your loss with Himself. Paul actually said to this fallen world, “Bring it on” because I’m willing to suffer the loss of all things that I may gain Christ. Now that’s an attitude that scares the pants off the devil. Look, loss is awful, but again Paul said that even in his time of sorrowing, he was always rejoicing. How can that be? I believe because he knew that the many treasures that come out of darkness, especially the treasure of Union with Christ, far exceed the losses. More about this next time. Have a great day In Christ celebrating the One Who Reigns even when there are clouds and thick darkness.

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