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  • Stephen D Blum Jr

Through many dangers . .

The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. (John 3:8 KJV)

Ever doubted your faith? Every Christian’s faith is tested by failure, by seasons of doubt and fear. When unexpected events don’t fit our theology something has to give. Since the scripture is God’s word and cannot be broken, it is our understanding that is flawed. We pray and move on trusting Jesus to forgive our sins and to faithfully guide us into all truth. To be found in Christ is to be found in the Truth. It is instructive that our first step on salvation’s road is the confession of our sin, telling the truth about ourselves. And telling the truth must continue your entire Christian life, for truth is the way home. That’s what confessing your sins is . . telling the Truth. Confessing our sins to one another not only keeps us from thinking “more highly of ourselves than we ought”, but reassures others who have failed that they are still on the right road. One of the great benefits of suffering failure, sickness, or any number of things we might like to avoid is learning empathy for others. Only those who fail deeply understand Peter’s bitter tears after denying the One who loved him. Those who are forgiven much love much. Jesus’ comment to Nicodemus in John 3:8 might be paraphrased, “God’s spirit blows anywhere it wants to, and you will be clueless. This will be the experience of His children”. This is actually what Jesus is saying and our lives prove it to be so. Who can understand the way God leads us? These incomprehensible circumstances will be part of your life, and you will have to somehow incorporate them into your theology, your understanding of God, and find yourself in the story. And that’s why the most precious gift God has given is faith itself. Sometimes we are healed - but not always. We have glorious mountaintop experiences where we can see eternity - but not always. And here in our struggle with sin we see through a glass darkly - but not always. “It won’t always be like this” I am fond of saying lately. We spend chunks of our fleeting lives cluelessly carried along through “many dangers, toils and snares”, trusting the Lord to bring us to daylight and understanding.

And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them. (Isaiah 42:16)

This promise expresses a truth echoed in John 3:8. Yes, if we are clueless, if all is darkness and crooked and unfathomable we are on the right path. He will never leave us or forsake us. God is leading us, we are his project, the work of his hands, not our hands. We have been bought with the highest price and are of inestimable value, as Luther said, “worth more than the world”. How can we fail when He has promised to “enlarge our steps that we might not slip” (2 Samuel 22:37) and are kept by “the power of God” (1 Peter 1:5)? The Good Shepherd is keeping us. Trust Him . .

“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known 1 Corinthians 13:12 KJV


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