Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Gospel of Grace Demands More

I've been pretty pensive these past few weeks. I usually am pretty introverted and introspective. I think about myself too much I suppose. But I've had a lot to process and I've felt things more deeply than ever before.

I've seen in my life over the past decade as I've learned to walk with God that every season keeps demanding more faith. Transitioning from college to the work-world, finding myself in my 20's and trying lots of different roles and skills in ministry, being married, transitioning to a new geographical places, and now being a parent.

As I've processed the lordship of Christ, and wanting Jesus' worth to be preeminent in my life lots of areas are continually called into subjection of the gospel of grace. Am I walking in a manner worthy of the gospel. Does my life reflect this beauty? Is comfort or control too important to me?

These past 3 months have required more from me at times than I thought my heart could bear. As much as I want to be a father of a healthy son, this is not my ultimate hope. I have never wanted something so much. I have never prayed so hard. And yet again, the gospel of grace offers something more and something better. As I wondered what this outcome would be and sat in the middle of a balance between despair and hope, my heart had a ballast of an ultimate hope. Harrison would be okay no matter what because of a Better Father than me was holding him. And Christ did become a shield to my wondering, fearful heart. He wept with us in our uncertainty and fear in the hospital. But I believe he weeps even more over my sin that keeps me intimacy with him at bat. And he provides a way where my wondering heart does not have to wonder.

I wrote about this before but one of the early Sundays when we were broken over Harrison's condition and our lives were riddled with uncertainty I tasted of the benefits of the gospel as I had never before. As my heart broke over wanting to be Harrison's dad, and not knowing if that would be a reality in the future, my heart began to rest in the satisfaction of Christ. The feast where one day the love of this Better Father would be celebrated over a feast of his Son and His bridegroom. All wondering will cease. All striving for something better will be satisfied in this Person. And my heart began to rest and be satisfied in this hope of this great Christ.

I've walked beside enough older people to see that the challenges of life are many and are complicated and cause our hearts to be subject not to what we love but what God loves. This fallen world tastes bitter and hurts. I hope its not too soon to quote a Christmas song. But one of my seminary professors was right. Joy to the World is probably the most theologically driven and poignant hymn that displays Christ. The third stanza in particular I want to highlight because this is what I'm talking about. Every faith stretching event and crisis press us deeper into the reality of the story of the gospel of grace. Our identity is secured not in what we accomplish, but what Jesus accomplished for us. May our hope rest in this Person. And may the beauty of this hope rend our hearts from ourselves and call into further obedience that he demands from us.

Joy to the world, the Lord is come

Let earth receive her King

Let every heart prepare Him room

And heaven and nature sing

Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns

Let men their songs employ

While fields and floods

Rocks, hills and plains

Repeat the sounding joy

No more let sins and sorrows grow

Nor thorns infest the ground

He comes to make His blessing flow

Far as the curse is found

He rules the world with truth and grace

And makes the nations prove

The glories of His righteousness

And wonders of His love

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