Imagine what life would be like if Jesus had avoided the cross - if every 'negative thing' he experienced while on this earth and those three days in the tomb had been something he refused to embrace. What chaos would exist in this world today as our sinful natures just continued to follow whatever felt good to us? If we look at the chaos sin DOES cause today, imagine it multiplied ten, twenty, or even a thousand times over - because without Christ moving in his people, the chaos would be growing at astronomical proportions! Jesus never took the easy way out - he embraced the hard path, the difficulties of being rejected, and the hardships of being misunderstood by some of the most influential and important people of the time. Yet he endured it all - not because it was easy for him - but because he knew it was necessary for us - the ones he loves with an intensity that outweighs any of the hardships he endured.
That’s exactly what Jesus did. He didn’t make it easy for himself by avoiding people’s troubles, but waded right in and helped out. “I took on the troubles of the troubled,” is the way Scripture puts it. Even if it was written in Scripture long ago, you can be sure it’s written for us. God wants the combination of his steady, constant calling and warm, personal counsel in Scripture to come to characterize us, keeping us alert for whatever he will do next. May our dependably steady and warmly personal God develop maturity in you so that you get along with each other as well as Jesus gets along with us all. Then we’ll be a choir—not our voices only, but our very lives singing in harmony in a stunning anthem to the God and Father of our Master Jesus! (Romans 15:5-6)
Jesus set an example for us - embrace troubles - don't run from them. Easier said than done - I know that full well. I have run many a time rather than face it head-on because deep down inside of me is a very cowardly heart! The thing I had to recognize in order to embrace those troubles was that I could stand on the promise that God would give me everything I needed to walk through them. That meant I had to discover his truths in scripture, embrace them instead of the chaos, allowing them to speak hope into my life when everything seemed to be telling me otherwise. The combination of his steady, constant calling and warm, personal counsel - did you see that in the passage above? This is how we embrace the chaos and trouble of our day - with his presence and the wisdom of his scripture.
These two things are to come to 'characterize' our lives - when others look at us they are to see the evidence of his comforting presence and the hope of his Word within us. Do you know the power that is in the Word of God? If you remember back to the creation story, how did the sky come to be separated from the lands and sea? His word. How did the sun start to shine by day and the moon by night? His word. How did man come to be? His word. His word has a 'creative' power to it, doesn't it? His word sets things into motion, stops other things in their path. His word calms the tumultuous seas and brings the downpour of much needed rains. His word brings forth the harvest in season. It is indeed a powerful thing!
Why does God want us to come to be known as filled with his Scripture? Perhaps it is because he wants us to be not only examples of his Word's power, but to also be ambassadors of that same hope so the lives of others can find the power for themselves. God's main aim in all of this is that we learn to work together as a community of believers - to be in unity with each other. Getting along with your closest friends and family members is hard enough - open the door to others who are beyond the inner circle and it gets even harder! Yet, Christ prepared the way for our many 'voices' to blend together in a perfect harmony - not to sing our own praises, but escalate the praises of his Father!
Our 'voice' is more than the words that come forth from our lips - it is every action we take, every thought we think, every hope we share, every fear we push aside, and every hand we take hold of in this walk we are called to live. Our lives are our words - lived well, the story will be God-honoring and will stand as a beacon for others to find hope in Christ. Don't squander away what God has given - embrace his Word, allow it to begin to speak faith into your life, and then begin to allow his Word to be 'spoken' through your life's actions. We never know what chaos God will settle because we have been faithful to sing forth in harmony with him. Just sayin!