This week we reflect on Jesus our Deliverer.
Read. Romans 7:14-25:
14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
Jesus Christ came to deliver us from sin.
Reflect on that a minute... Christ is our deliverer.
If you have come to faith in Jesus Christ, you have had to wrestle with this reality. You've had to come to grips with your own sinfulness. You, like Paul, recognize that you still do the very thing you know not, and want not to do.
As I've reflected on Christ, our Deliverer. I've realized that it can be all too easy to pitch Christ as a "way out" of a bad situation. Things aren't going well, we've tried and tried our hardest to fix things ourself, only to find ourselves unable to resolve our situation. I've seen and even felt the comfort that Jeremiah 29:11 and passages like it can give us.
When nothing else works, Jesus is the answer.
I'm sorry to be blunt, but this thought process is a dangerous beginning to one's journey in faith.
Jesus is the answer. FIRST and foremost to the bigger problem - sin. He actually DELIVERED us from something far worse that our current life situation.
Let me clarify: what I'm NOT trying to do is minimize life's difficult times. Christ LOVES US in them, He is there through each one of life's highs and lows. Without question.
The reality is, Christ came to the earth not to make things easy for live's individual difficult seasons. Christ came to earth to Deliver us, redeem us, rescue us from sin.
And it is THAT reality - that part of God's plan - that gives us a "hope and a future" in times of trouble - we are REDEEMED by Christ our Deliverer from sin and death. Once we realize what a HUGE DEAL that is, our life situations pale in comparison to that amazing truth. And here's what's really cool, once we grasp that reality - we receive healing in those difficult moments of life because all of the sudden they aren't so daunting.
Deliverance from sin means we are delivered from life, even through the struggles of life.
Why did Jesus go around healing, performing miracles? Because he knew that signs grab our attention - they do. Nothing quite says power like making the blind see, the deaf hear, the disease cured. He also cares and loves us in our place of weakness, He knows our needs, and he heals. But stack all of those miracles up, how amazing they are, next to the resurrection. What's more miraculous?
Christ is OUR DELIVERER.
In her book, Bittersweet, Shauna Neiquist's words echo my own.
"I prayed to be rescued, not redeemed. I prayed for it to get easier, not that I would be shaped in significant ways. I prayed for the waiting to be over, instead of trying to learn something about patience or anything else for that matter." (Bittersweet, p.18)
Why do we worship Christ our Redeemer - our Deliverer? Because HE is WORTHY. Because he actually did what seemed impossible. May we thank God for deliverance first. Then may we cast our anxieties to Him and release them to Him in full confidence, because we know that if he could Deliver from sin, there is NOTHING He can't do.
May we pray to be continually washed in his redemption, pray to be shaped significantly, pray to learn through patience. And may we know that his plan was for the hope and future of the world.
Now we can face live's difficult moments in the light of the deliverance of Christ.