Monday, July 23, 2018
For many years now I have been corresponding with prison inmates who are generally related to members of our church family. In their letters, almost all of them speak about changing their ways and especially drawing closer to God and serving Him like never before, once they are released. In the most recent letter, a young man known by several members of our church family expressed his desire to serve in any capacity in our church upon his release.
Let me add that this is not the first time this young man has been incarcerated and in the past has let a lot of people down, including his wife and family. When I notified some of them about the letter and news of his impending release none of them gave an unchristian response but their reaction seemed to indicate that they doubt he will straighten out or ever change his ways. I’m not surprised because that is a typical natural response. On the other hand, however, I can think today of several exceptions who almost everyone, me included, gave up on and, in time, proved everyone wrong. This is a testament of God’s grace, mercy, and power.
Concerning Abraham, recognized by many as the father of our faith, Romans 4:18 says this: “who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” Although Abraham did not see the completion of the promise, it is obvious that he lived as well as died in hope. Why can’t we be like that? Why can’t we give those who have fallen flat on their face over and over again the benefit of the doubt? And if you say “It’s because these people can’t be trusted” I will remind you that it is not a matter of trusting people but trusting God. And because God is faithful and all powerful, let’s learn to see struggling souls in a different light. If, in fact, there is someone in your life who has failed you over and over again, put your hope and trust in God. And even if they fail you again, be like Abraham, that others may one day say that you were a faithful child of God who lived and died in hope.
God’s word for today: (Psalm 146:5) “Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God.”