Thursday, October 8, 2009

Amazing Grace

"The Lord has promised good to me.
His Word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures."

This is a not-so-familiar verse from the famous hymn "Amazing Grace". We never sing this verse in our church, presumably because the first line seems, at first glance at least, so...weak. Or maybe a little too much like "trust Jesus and you will be happy, healthy, and wealthy for the rest of your life" - which, by the way, is NOT the gospel. Please, if you are unsure of what the gospel is take a few minutes to watch this short video.

But it does seem to me that there is truth to this verse. The Lord HAS promised good to me. In Romans 8 we read this:

28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written:

"For your sake we face death all day long;

we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God has not promised us an easy life on this earth. We are NOT promised our best life now. We are not promised earthly wealth, perfect kids, and an always-happy marriage. We will get sick. We will struggle with sin. Our children might rebel. We may be poor. We might be persecuted, even unto death, but God has promised us that none of these things will separate us from the love of God.

Yes, the Lord HAS promised good to me. His Word my hope secures. He will my shield and portion be, as long as life endures. By His grace alone.

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"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. " Hebrews 10:23-25