Tuesday, April 12, 2016

APRIL 12 "WHEN GOD DOESN'T MAKE SENSE"

Joshua is a pretty impressive fellow! If I asked you to quickly mention something negative, most would not be able to give an answer within 30 seconds, try it! Couldn't come up with anything, could you? In our story today we do see signs of human frailty in Joshua. Right after the great conquest and victory of Jericho, Joshua sends in a small dispatch of 3000 men to go in an wipe out a small segment of enemies remaining on the outskirts, but when those men come back with their tales between their legs and explain how they were defeated and had to retreat, Joshua falls apart. Joshua starts blurting out statements as, "we should have just stayed on the other side of the Jordan"  Really?!  Joshua begins to panic and blurt out that now all their enemies will hear about this defeat and they will be doomed. He goes into panic mode and a defeatist mindset.  It just goes to show, how easily our confidence is broken. One loss, one set back and our faith crumbles. After a victory, "God is awesome, He can do anything" and we won't shut up.  After a loss, "I don't know if God is even there" and we wont' talk to nobody about God. How easily is your confidence and faith, in God, broken? Defeats are hard to roll with as Christians because we think we're supposed to win every game because God is on our side. Isn't that what Joshua asks the Commander of the Lord's armies, "what side are you on?".  I like the answer He gives Joshua, "Neither".  Let's say God is on "our side" does that mean we win every time? In this situation we come to find out that there was sin in the camp, the infamous Achan had stolen some goods and hidden them in his tent. Sometimes there's sin, but God has other reasons for us not always winning and getting the victory. Our faith is fickle and does need to be strengthened and we must be continuously reminded, "we walk by faith and not by sight or by victory". Can you handle a loss, can you handle a defeat and still press on with faith? Or do you fall apart like Joshua and start taking things to very extreme conclusions. I don't like losses or defeats either, they do mess with our heads, our faith and our hearts. But we must also know as mature Christians, that they a part of life as a Christian and no matter what stage of winning you are at right now, a defeat, a loss, a set back, is down the road. This is not a cynical or pessimistic attitude, this is reality and is a truth in God's Word.  I fear losses and/or defeats, but I must be ready. I think of the Chapman family years ago who's son was backing out of the drive way and ran over their little girl, can you ever imagine such a horrible catastrophe hitting your life and family. The teenage son was in shock, the mom and dad were in shock, how in the world could God let this happen? Today, that family is whole and healed and has not lost faith in God. Sometimes God does not make sense, but in those times faith must rise up and say, "I don't understand you Lord, what you're doing or why you let this happen, but I am not letting go of you because I know, that you are good and my faith will stand through this loss, set back or defeat.