Wednesday, April 23, 2008

rise up again

"Lay not wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous; spoil not his resting place: For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief."

Proverbs 24:15-16

Let's face it ... sometimes it really looks like the wrong people are winning.

Sometimes it seems that culture has been shanghaied by the wicked, the powerful are stomping over the face of the poor, sickness and disease are tearing down the healthy, liars are being believed while truth-tellers are cast out, our strengths are too weak to make any difference, and everything we love is in jeopardy.

The Bible is very honest in telling us that life is like this sometimes. No illusions here! Our salvation was won by the horrendous death of an innocent man, and that man warned His disciples that they would face trouble in this life. Heroes of the faith are made because life tests their faith--because they have to plug their ears and keep believing while a thousand voices scream that they're wrong.

Keeping faith in times of trouble may sound romantic, but it's not. It's really, really hard. The important thing is that we keep faith anyway. Our faith isn't in our own righteousness or innate ability to overcome. It's in Jesus and His promises. If you're beginning to believe that you have fallen and will never get up again, I have news for you: there's an empty tomb in Israel that says you're wrong.

In John 16:33, Jesus said, "In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." There's a powerful echo of Solomon in these words: "A just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again." No matter what comes against us, no matter how we stumble, fall, or are beaten down, we will overcome.

The Risen One lives within us, and because of His justice, His righteousness, His love, we too will rise up again.



Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

Wonderful words, Rachel. So very true.

I can't wait to get your book. Will do so soon and read and blog on it.

So sorry I havent' gotten to it sooner. We have a pregnant daughter living with us and we ran into a few financial bumps along the way. But I'll get it soon. I think I ordered it on Amazon, but didn't send the check, that and a book by N.T. Wright. Was trying just now to verify that. We didn't send the check since we got hit by a financial loop. But I look forward to reading it.

But again your words here are well chosen and we need them, oh so much.

May 8, 2008 at 6:37 PM  

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