Monday, June 4, 2018

Greatest Platform

Greatest Platform
June 4, 2018
Judges 16:30  ". . . And he killed many more when he died than while he lived."

One thing I have learned about the Lord, firsthand, is that nothing is beyond His reach or His control. This has positive and negative implications if you have human, rational though. On the positive side, it can mean He saves us, heals us, rescues us, protects us, and provides for us. But on the flip side, if He doesn't do those things, at least as perceived by our human, rational thought, then He clearly must not love us or want us and then we feel betrayed by Him. I've seen so many people hurt in life by rotten circumstances, and then blame God suggesting if He cared then He could have intervened. I know parents who have lost children to the grave, and they begin to despise the Lord. If He loved them, then He would have saved them from the pain and the suffering and the heartache, after all nothing is beyond His reach or His control, so He clearly allowed it to happen. It it was within the boundaries of His control, then He clearly allowed it to happen. They reason, God is not a beneficent God.

It is true that nothing is beyond His reach and His control, but any other point in our human, rational thought needs thrown out the window. When we accept the idea that this deity is our loved one, we must also accept His sovereignty. We cannot expect that He will love us and care for us as a human would. God is bigger than that kind of love. He loves you so much that He is willing to allow you pain and discomfort if it means the best forward outcome for your life. I say forward outcome because immediate outcome suggests the disappointing one you have in your life for the immediate. Thankfully, the Lord is not limited to the immediate. I read a story about a God who let His earthly son die on a cross, an excruciating and undeserved death, but then resurrect His son and glorify Him above all creation, just so mankind can be saved. God allowed the horrifying death of His son on the cross, complete with pain, and yet God remained a good God. I imagine, when Jesus was dying on the cross, that He had never felt that kind of pain before. And it was allowed by a good, good Father. But then I realize that the greatest pain, the greatest perceived disappointment in the immediate can be the greatest platform of a person's life.

The greatest platform for a person's life, as I read story after story in the Bible, is usually born from their greatest sorrow or greatest failure. Abraham's greatest achievement was having a son, Isaac, but not until being childless for 90 years. Gideon's greatest victory in battle was born from being the weakest with the smallest army, having been humiliated for years. Samson's greatest victory over the enemy was after he had fallen and lost his eye sight. Jesus' biggest victory and platform wasn't until He spent three nights in the grave. Paul's biggest ministry was born from being imprisoned.  I look outside the Bible and find many people even in the last several hundred years who have had a huge impact on the world, but it wasn't until after there was grave disappointment or utter failure. The Lord can bring such amazing stories out of our darkest pain. John Newton, the man who wrote the song "Amazing Grace," was a slave trader turned Christian. He then was a voice against slavery and preached the Lord's salvation, having a huge impact for the Lord. Helen Keller, born blind and deaf, inspired many people not in spite of her disabilities but because of her disabilities. She even wrote songs, though not able to hear. She wrote a book called My Religion, detailing her faith and how her life is full when the Lord dwells within her. She still inspires millions with and without disabilities, to this day.

The point is not your circumstance, pain, failure, or disability. The point is, if you allow the Lord to have it, then it can become the biggest platform for your life, its meaning, and your personal accomplishments. It is possible the Lord allowed it just for the very reason of your entire life's purpose on the earth. Remember, the entire purpose of Jesus was to bring salvation to the entire world, but was only brought about through the suffering on the cross. Without death on the cross, Jesus would not have had a platform for salvation.  Your inability, your disability, your failing situation, your failure, they quite possibly are going to lead to your biggest achievements for the Lord. You have to let Him, though, take them and use them. If you fight it and become bitter, then you actually lose and Satan wins.

Don't take my word for it; look it up: Is 4:4, Judges 16:22-30, Rom 8:28, 1 Cor 2:9, 2 Tim 2:7-13, Heb 6:15, James 1:12

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