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Trusting God in an unstable world

Israel's modern-day restoration

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30 May 2012 (All day)
Trusting God in an unstable world

“For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His Kingdom is from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can    restrain His hand or say to Him, “What have You done?” (Daniel 4:34-35)

As global upheavals give rise to ever greater uncertainty, we have to have a firm grasp on what the Bible teaches concerning the sovereignty of God. For if we do not, our lives will be filled with anxiety and fear. Jesus said that days would come upon the earth that would cause men's hearts to tremble with fear (Luke 21:26).

We can understand this today as we hear daily of the effects of global warming, the widening potential for war and conflict even on a nuclear level, the dangers of global financial meltdown, and the threats of famine and inflationary food costs around the world.

Yet the sovereignty of God assures us that He is in control, that His purpose is on track and that His Word is true and reliable. At the center of the challenges facing us today is the nation of Israel. This tiny nation holds a disproportionally prime spot in today’s media. This is God’s way of getting the world’s attention. Things are happening in the Middle East that are bigger than what man and his plans can cope with. There seems to be no end to the struggles that face this region, typified by the so-called “Arab Spring.” One could easily despair, but the Bible gives clarity to these matters.

Israel’s modern-day restoration is not a coincidence but is divinely validated everywhere by scripture (Amos 9:11-15; Obadiah 17-18; Jeremiah 31:35-37). Sometimes this process appears to contradict our natural thinking since, in general, it does not enjoy the approval of the world. Sadly, much of the wider Church does not understand the purpose of God in Israel’s restoration. Herein lies the mystery of the sovereignty of God; His ways are not our ways and we must trust Him fully as His purpose unfolds before our eyes.

Essentially, this means being faithful to His Word and blessing what He is blessing. We are people of faith, like Abraham. We therefore walk by faith, believing all that God has said will be realized. Just as Abraham followed God even though he did not know where he was going! (Hebrews 11:8)

Abraham also believed God even though what He was proposing was impossible, because Abraham and Sarah were well beyond child-bearing age (Romans 4:19-20). We shall likewise inherit the promises of God as regards to ourselves and Israel if we are patient and do not waver in faith (Hebrews 6:12).

Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6) and therefore it is essential that we know what faith is. Faith is:

*  Believing what you cannot see, touch or even understand (Hebrews 11:1);
*  Believing the Word of God even if it appears to contradict your rational thinking (Hebrews 11:11);
*  Believing that God will answer you when you diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6);
*  Believing that God welcomes you into His presence because of the shed blood of Jesus (Hebrews 10:19-22).

True saving faith is entirely supernatural and cannot be faked! Faith can also grow stronger and this is done by giving glory to God or describing His greatness (Psalm 68:34). This is what worship is all about. The word was originally “worthship,” meaning the act of describing God's infinite worth.

So as the world enters times that are ever more perilous and uncertain (2 Timothy 3:1-5), we can have great peace and even joy because our God is in control. He will complete His good work in Israel and in our lives (Philippians 1:6). In the end, the nations will be humbled and brought into submission to His will (Zechariah 14:16). On a holy hill in Jerusalem, He will install His Messiah King and all nations will call Him Lord (Psalm 2:1-12). This is humanity's destiny and it is as sure as the rising of the sun. We can thus rejoice and rest in the knowledge that God most definitely has everything under control!

Rev. Hedding is vice chairman of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem; www.icej.org

 

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