Sunday, October 8, 2017

A Prayer

Father,

There are so many things about this life that are so very good and so very pleasant. And we are grateful to You for each one of those things. But, Father, we also need to say that there are things about this life that aren’t good and aren’t pleasant.

How many went to enjoy a concert last week only to find themselves targets of some evil man? Then, there are the many who have suffered so greatly because of the recent destructive hurricanes.

And it doesn't have to be anything quite as dramatic as all that. There are times of sickness. Who hasn’t felt the pang of disappointment? And each day has the ongoing pressures of daily living. We live in a fallen world. And whether we say that out loud or not, we feel it.

But You have promised to be our God. You have promised to watch over us and to care for us and to do us good. We know that that doesn't mean that we will be untouched by the evil of this world. You never promised that. But what You did promise is that whatever evil You send our way would have some purpose. It would have a goal, a good goal.

You have promised that You will always walk with us, guiding us through the evil, encouraging us as we live in the midst of the evil.

And beyond that You have promised us that a day will come when there will no longer be any evil for us to have to deal with. The day will come when life will only have good.

These promises are ours by covenant, assured to us because of Jesus.

So, first, Father, we want to thank You for these promises. They are precious to us as we face the evil. Knowing them makes such a difference for us. They give us hope.

But the temptation for us is not to get to the point of even thinking about the promises. It is so easy to feel overwhelmed by the evil and then either to give up or to get angry or to just try to muddle along as best as we can.

But that's no good. So, help us, Father. First, help us in our expectations. It's too easy for us to be surprised when evil hits. Teach us the nature of life in a fallen world. Evil is always near. And when evil strikes, whether in something dramatic or in some little thing, help us to remember that You are our God, that whatever evil comes our way is sent by You for some good. The evil has a purpose.

And then, Father, help us to trust You so that we can hope. Father, Your promise of the new heavens and new earth is intended to get us to press on. Help us to vigorously hope for that day so that we will live well in these days.

Thank You Father that we will be able to look back on this present evil age from the vantage point of that future glorious age. And when we do that, we will know that it all makes sense. We will see Your great wisdom, kindness and love. We long for that day and await it in faith.

And now, Father, so that we can live a little better as Your children, we ask Your blessing on the preaching of the Scriptures. Teach us some more about who You are and who we are so that we can live faithfully in this fallen world. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.

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