Perhaps it may turn out a sang,
Perhaps turn out a sermon.

-- R. Burns Epistle to a Young Friend

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Over the Line

Rejoice not over me, O my enemy; when I fall, I shall rise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD will be a light to me. -- Micah 7:8

It is never the end for the believer.  It may be the end as far as a career, a relationship, status in the community, a bank account, possessions, etc., but for us there is always a better day.  I have often thought I’d have to die to get there, and, some day, that will be true.  It’s true every day in that we have to die to self. 

We don’t like to be humbled or humiliated.  While we know that pride is a sin – and a deadly one, a lot of us – maybe especially Americans – tend to revel in our arrogance to a degree.  Most of us know we are going to pay for it at some point.  What we really need, rather than pride, is confidence.  We like to be confident, and we like confident people.  We have to draw the line between confidence and overconfidence, haughtiness, hubris or whatever you want to call it. 

The key, I suspect, is to give up any thought of confidence in ourselves or our situations.  Everything is going to change.  The unexpected is going to waylay us somewhere along our path.  We will stumble.  We will get knocked down.  We will be entangled in some snare, fall into some dark hole and feel trapped and hopeless.  Down in the pit, like good old Joseph -- one of our favorite biblical characters, there is not much we can do.  He was pulled out of the pit only to be sold into slavery then betrayed, slandered, falsely accused and thrown into a dungeon.  Joseph’s confidence, though, was never in his status, reputation, or ability.  It was always in the Lord and more particularly in God’s love for him. 

If we know that God loves us then we can always hang on to our trust in Him.  Whatever we have to go through, even if it is our own fault, our own stupidity, obstinacy, or even arrogance that got us there, we know He forgives.  What happens to us is simply the price of traveling through this life.  Let others think what they want, scorn and shun us, so long as we maintain our confidence in the never-failing love, boundless mercy and forgiveness of the Lord, we will have light even in the blackest of midnights.

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