One Surprising Hope In Our Post U.S. Presidential Election 2016 Troubles!

hope

8 “I don’t think the way you think. The way you work isn’t the way I work. God’s Decree. 9 “For as the sky soars high above earth, so the way I work surpasses the way you work, and the way I think is beyond the way you think.” – Isaiah 55:8,9 (The Msg)

No matter what outcome you expected in this year’s 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, and the troubles going along with it, you have a reason for surprising hope! However, in the grace of God (and by God, I mean the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit!), you are going to have to bear with a little counterintuitive thinking and acting to see and experience it.

I cited the bible verse above as a reminder of this counterintuitive difference between God’s thinking and ours. It might also be helpful to remember that one definition for “counterintuitive” is “something that doesn’t seem likely to be true when assessed using intuition, common sense, or gut feelings.” – Wikipedia

Another word for counterintuitive is “unreasonable”. I like that word because it really hits at the heart of our wrestling with God in troubling times. His talk and approaches just don’t seem reasonable from our (often painful and woefully blind!) vantage points! Understatement! Hmpf!

However, let me try to point you to a counterintuitive but surprisingly hopeful way of receiving this relational God – Father, Son and Spirit, revealed in Jesus:

God is pleased to be hidden and found in our human troubles!!!

THIS IS a central point in understanding God’s Good News as Good News! Right in the middle of mankind’s troubles, and when it seems all is lost, God so loves the world and sends his only Son into it (John 3:16-17), to save and not condemn it. He sends himself, personally, into our troubles! The Father then sends the Spirit through the Son, into our troubles, that we might participate in his kind of self-giving love along with him (Acts 2:33)!

You see, God IS love (and unconditional love at that!), so the God-logic is simple really! God loves us, humanity, despite our sinful condition, and therefore, in order to love us where we’re at, he comes to us where we’re at – in our troubles!

That is why there is no need to fear troubles, ULTIMATELY; rather we should seek and expect to find God in even the thorniest situations! In Jesus, God Reveals that he comes to fallen humanity exactly where it is: in our places of brokenness, poverty, homelessness, racism, misogyny, criminality (he died as a criminal even though he wasn’t one!), weakness, bondage, demon-possession, over-taxation, foreign occupation, sickness, failed political systems, and even death! REALLY! God, in Jesus DIED with, like, and for us, remember? John 19:30.

From Genesis to Revelation, in the bible, the great Revelation is this Relational God Who is with us in every kind of trouble, meeting us there to redeem and restore us from it in the most counterintuitive way possible – being with us in and through the mess! Ha! This is one reason why my bible reading is so awesome! God encounters me there as THIS God in OUR TROUBLES! Our fallen intuition, common sense and guts simply can’t get us where God actually is – with and for us unconditionally, even in our troubles! Yes, God is good and not intimidated by our troubles in any way! He goes where Unconditional Love goes when it Loves Unconditionally! 🙂

We tend to run from this “holy” God, or picture him running from us, neither of which is true holiness as it pertains to God. THIS is holiness: God, the Holy One, doing what he ACTUALLY DOES, coming to us where we’re at to love us, and taking our troubles up into himself in Christ, healing us of them! For clarity, this love isn’t a warm and fuzzy substance apart from God, like warm jelly in a bowl, where everything “feels good”! No! God is himself this love! This means that love is the up-close and personal being of God, Father, Son and Spirit! It is the whole God Revealed in the person of Jesus, determined to judge and discern our troubles AS trouble, and getting rid of them (ouch and “suffering succotash” as Sylvester the cartoon cat would say! haha)

God judges and discerns us in this way for the sake of saving US, and growing us up to be and become all he has made of us in the humanity of Christ, eventually, without any troubles at all! Rev 21:4

Yes, If you want to find God these days, you’re going to have to be open to finding him right in the middle of the troubles in this world, even troubling elections and other insufferable ills! Not because God is evil or because he initiates our troubles, or because he’s naturally there and likes trouble – No! – BUT because we are his children in trouble and in need of him, and he is pleased to show up and be for us where we are at, by grace!

(Haven’t you noticed more people alert, and in prayer, and awakened to God at this election time when, to many, he also appears to be hiding? Ha! See! He’s both hidden AND found in troubles! Heehee)

Please remember that God is not ultimately found in things that are “going right” (even though He is found there too, being good and righteous), or “going wrong”. He is found in himself! He is found wherever he wants to be found and not where you want to find him! He is found by grace, and as grace, and not by works, morality, or the Republic, or the democracy, or wherever else you want to box him in (Except evil! God can’t be found as evil, or creator of evil, but only as the one who opposes it, makes it work on our behalf, and gets rid of it from the INSIDE out as he did in Jesus!)

“15 Truly you are a God who has been hiding himself, the God and Savior of Israel.” – Isaiah 45:15

 33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

– tjbrassell

*photo courtesy of testimoniesofhope.com

4 comments so far

  1. jkharri4 on

    Beautifully said!! I love this and I love my God who has revealed himself to me to be even and especially in my thorniest of situations simply because ohhh yes, “he goes where Unconditional Love goes when it Loves Unconditionally!” “because we are his children in trouble and in need of him, and he is pleased to show up and be for us where we are at, by grace!” I am jumping for joy as I read this!!!! My wonderful father is showing me daily that he is not found in things, places and circumstances I THINK he should be in but he is found simply in HIMSELF truly by grace. (I am WOWED by the places he meets me!!!!) That has given me SUCH PEACE in living this life because I know with assurance that wherever life takes me, whatever situations I face, my father is always with me, hence his peace is with me, so I need not fear. THANK YOU for explaining this with such clarity!

    “God loves human beings. God loves the world. Not an ideal human, but human beings as they are; not an ideal world, but the real world. What we find repulsive in their opposition to God, what we shrink back from with pain and hostility… this is for God the ground of unfathomable love.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

    • tjbrassell on

      Thank You jkharri4! That quote from Dietrich speaks it well! Thanks for sharing because that is a keeper!

      Peace and Every Blessing!

      Timothy

  2. Tony Marra on

    It is awesome to contemplate the unfathomable love God has for us. What a privilege it is to share in His suffering…and His Glory! Thank Pastor T. for your part in reminding us of these things.

  3. tjbrassell on

    Hey Tony! Yes, he says the glory will be worth the suffering! His power to redeem and restore those he loves from trouble is truly astounding! I thank him for continually reminding us!

    Grace and Peace!

    Timothy


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: