"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:8-10
From the inception of the Salt Shakers for Him devotionals, my heart's desire has been and is to encourage, inspire and lift up teachers, school staff members and anyone else in need of our Father's love. Anger has rarely fueled my writings, but last week numbness and disbelief put sparks in my heart.
After the horrific tragedy in California, a prominent U.S. newspaper covered it's front page with, "GOD ISN'T FIXING THIS".
I was stunned and angry. Are they really blaming God for this? My first thought was how dare they attack my God. Then i realized they don't know my God.
God doesn't desire puppets, but designed us with freewill. We are created by Him, for Him to know-love-worship Him. Our hearts are built with a void only He can fill. Yet, He leaves it to us to decide.
From the beginning of time, troubles have existed. Thankfully, God has not forsaken man, despite our sinful ways. He continuously and faithfully seek us out of darkness. God loves us so much He sent His only Son Jesus to save us, to fill us with His Holy Spirit and to provide eternal life.
So what has happened? Our God fixed a Perfect Plan, man chose to stray. As i see it, the problem is not with God, but with man's unwillingness to accept His love. And maybe there is also a breakdown with man's inability or lack of boldness in sharing Jesus with others. Jesus' great commission is for all -- go and make disciples in all the world. Is having Jesus in our heart enough? Jesus said go, go and do. Together we can strengthen and grow the front line of God's people by believing, living, going and telling God's story.
For several days a verse from Galatians echoed in my head... What has happened to all your joy? Can we still be joyful at this time? Yes. I refuse to give Satan satisfaction in stealing it. Now is the perfect time to fuel our mission to tell and show others about God. This our Holy Season, the birth of Jesus, is worthy of joyous celebration. Because of His birth, Hope is instilled for today and for tomorrow. We rest in the knowledge God is the final Victor. Evil will be defeated and all God's people will reign with Him forever and ever.
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Go, tell it on the mountains, Jesus Christ has come!
Tell it! live it!
friend, we are loved and chosen by God,