Today’s blog is brought to you by our guest writer Emma Sticklen.
Blog for June 30
Today’s readings reveal three faces of God. In Chronicals he is a God of retribution: Do what is right in the eyes of the Lord, as Josiah did as long as the High Priest Jehoiada was alive, or suffer bloody consequences. Job’s friends also believe in this image of God. They tell Job to figure out where he has gone wrong, and maybe God would restore him. Job insists that he has ONLY done what is right in the eyes of the Lord: I have treasured the words of his mouth more thanmy daily bread. Job is convinced that If he could present his case before God face-to-face, then God would see the truth and surely restore him. But for Job, God is silent; he cannot be found in any direction of the compass. And yet, he says he will not be silenced by the darkness; he will persevere.
A God of retribution, a silent God who cannot be found anywhere on earth. Sounds hopeless! And then we come to 2 Corinthians 4, a passage of amazing hope, total assurance (NOT retribution or silence), a passage that could have been written for Job. Here we see that Christ is the image of God, the light that …shines out of darkness…that shines in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. We are commissioned to shine this light on the darkness that surrounds us in this sinful world. Then we can walk with Paul, when he says, ….We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed but not in despair, persecuted, but not abandoned, struck down, but not dismayed….Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
Are you ever in despair, beaten down, feeling abandoned, struck down? I certainly am, more often than I can begin to recount. Or maybe you know someone who is in despair today. Carry this passage from 2 Corinthians with you; post it on your bathroom mirror, share it with someone who feels beaten down. Then you will be able to ….fix your eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. May this message of total assurance bless you today and bring you such joy that others will be blessed through you.