Volcanoes spew fiery lava, descending on everything in their path. The earth shakes under it. The seas churn as a ship is swallowed up. Children are being murdered before they take their first breath. Youngsters are being sold into sex slavery. Wars and rumors of war rage around the world. People are uncaring towards one another as the tug of narcissism pulls them under. Depression is at an all time high and suicide seems to be the answer to many who can’t handle life anymore.
We, who say we follow Christ, are victims too. The world is ugly. The times are difficult. Why on earth would we be grateful? How can we sing praises to One who allows homelessness, cancer, phobias of all kinds? Do we deserve this kind of life?
Well … let’s take a look at what we deserve. God never changes. He expects perfection because that’s how He created man to be. When sin entered the world, it wasn’t God’s fault. God is still the same today. He expects our obedience, our faithfulness and our trust. When we are lured in by the devil – who uses every trick at his disposal – God isn’t pushing us into temptation. We do that all by ourselves. What we deserve is eternal life in hell, for turning our backs on God.
Because He is our gracious Father, He took away all the sacraments of the Old Testament and sent His Son to replace them, washing us clean from our sin. We’ve been made perfect again. We have tasted his mercy and what a feast to savor.
We, on the other hand, do change. We change in our thinking, our deeds, our habits, our weaknesses. We’re constantly being lured into altering how we feel about God. We’re a fickle group – all of us. When things run smoothly, we give thanks. When problems arise, we become like the ancient Israelites and grovel and complain.
While we’re inhabitants of this earth, there will be trouble. We’ll be exposed to corruption, hatred, bullying, whatever the “sin of the day” happens to be. We can turn it over to God in prayer, believing that He is in control and will take care of it – or we can give into the bait and fall away from the One who is consistent. We can turn our back on the only One who can bring things back to where they should be.
Today, as we worship God, let’s thank Him for life. Praise Him for His grace and mercy. Exult Him for being your Champion over sin, death and the power of the devil. Turn to Him with penitent hearts and ask Him for forgiveness for all your sins. He wipes the slate clean. He loves us with an unconditional love. He is God. He doesn’t need our praise, but we need to do so because of what He’s done for us.