By Evan Knies
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
– Lamentations 3:22-23
This year has been tough to say the least. My family has had some trials. My wife’s family has had some trials. At the end of this year, my cousin’s passing was like a punch to the gut. Many of you may have had a 2016 like this. I really just want 2016 to end and I am looking forward to 2017.
But in 2016, the Lord has reminded me of a few things.
- God is Good.
If you are involved with a church, you probably have heard this statement multiple times in the past year. This statement is increasingly true. However, this statement is now a casual passing comment in many of our churches. We say “God is Good, All the Time”. Do we know what this means? That the Sovereign God of the Universe is good. He has a plan. His good is for our good. His good should be our delight.
2. The Enemy is Defeated by what the King has done
There were a few days during this year where I did not want to get out of bed. Not because I was ill, but because I was exhausted by everything happening around me. But the gospel coming to my mind each and every day, by the grace of God, I was reminded of the purpose of this life. The gospel is what got me out of bed in the morning. Not work, not reading, nothing but the gospel. It is this gospel by which we have been saved. CT Studd said, “Only one life twill soon be past, only what is done for Christ will last”. The King crushed the head of the serpent. He laid his life down for the sake of his people. The last few months, some have tried to say things like it will get better, it will be ok. These statements although they are well-meaning, it is really false hope. It is ok that it won’t get better on this side of heaven. I have to learn how to deal with the pain of not being able to talk to this person on this earth every again. But one day, I will be with the King in which all things are subjected to him.
3. Rest in the King
In many of these trials, I have questioned myself. Could I have done something differently? My local church in conversations about these things have again pointed me back to the gospel. They have reminded me of God’s plan and his will. If God is not sovereign, then I can’t rest. But since He is Sovereign, I can rest well. I can rest in Him. Since I am Christian, does this mean I can’t feel pain? No, since I am a Christian, I feel pain, and I know the remedy for my pain. The remedy for your pain is not in the things of the world and it is not in yourself. The remedy for your pain is in King Jesus who created the stars and knows the hairs on your head.
4. The Gospel won’t stop
Friends, while you think your life may not be going well, God is using you in your trials to share his glorious Gospel. There is not one acre on the planet or plot of ground where God is not working out his Sovereign will. At the end of the day, it is all about Him and not about you. For those who believe in Jesus, may we make the gospel explicit and clear in our lives, because it is the gospel that keeps us going.
You only get one life and it will soon pass. Only what is done for Christ will last!