Interesting verse: Psalm 76:10: “Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath thou shall restrain.”
Having looked at all the translations I still don’t understand this verse fully, but somehow it just reassured me that God’s sovereignty is indeed there in all things, even in wrath, whether his own, or in the fierce anger and wickedness of human beings, wherever it is being expressed this day on the face of the earth.
Spurgeon: “The Lord restrains the more furious wrath of the enemy. He is like a miller who holds back the mass of water in the stream and what he does allow to flow he uses for the turning of his wheel.”
It’s maybe easier to see all of this in hindsight. Such truth needs to be shared at the right time with sensitivity, otherwise it could lead suffering ones into great confusion, but as one who praises God for the cross (which according to the bible wickedness did), I believe it. Of course I do, for today as every Lord’s Day, I will “Sing the praise of Him who died!” Others will be doing the same, some of them in places where it is hard to see the Lord’s restraining hand at work right at this moment; places where wickedness and terror seem to walk the streets, completely unrestrained. The proven mystery is this: it is often precisely there that hope and faith spring to life, to water the face and faith of the earth.
God bless you and this troubled world.
Spent some time today with someone who was given the right hand of fellowship by, among others, a sheriff and a policeman when he was welcomed into the church. He had dealings with them before for other reasons! The grace of God is wonderful. It is also wonderfully funny!
Our conversation was loud and animated. Others had to eat grace with their coffee whether they wanted to or not!?Interestingly, no one moved table and a waitress seemed to hover near when there was no need for her to do so.
I know C.S. Lewis seemed to disparage the question “Does it work” in comparison with “Is it true?” I think I still agree with what he meant by that, but the longer I live and minister I am more and more interested in the question “ Does it work?” I can hear Jordan Peterson’s voice immediately asking, “What do you mean by ‘it’ and ‘work’ and even ‘does’?” and rightly so! Well, gossiping grace seems to make a few ears twitch at times.
I’ve had one or two spiritual experiences that would sound like boasting or showing off if I were ever to share them in full detail. I have shared something about them on occasion and sometimes wish I hadn’t done so. You know what? They don’t mean nearly as much as encountering Jesus in the place of human struggle, my own or that of others.
There are forms of Christianity around today that seem to dis-incarnate Jesus. They hold forth a Jesus whom we must climb to heaven by special experience to find in a deeper way. It is as though Christ never came from heaven to us to where we are.
My most treasured moments on earth are when I have been aware that Jesus is with me, weeping with me, rejoicing with me. I guess it’s encountered compassion I am talking about.
One of my most life giving memories is thinking back to Cafe Church in Wester Hailes. Actually “cafe church” is far too intentional a name for it. It was just a table amongst other tables where we looked at a bible verse or two and folk shared knowing their words would be welcomed. Folk whose lives none would envy shared moments when Jesus had drawn close. They knew they had been helped. They knew they would not have lived to be talking round that table if Jesus had not come to where they were.
Jesus is God with you, wherever you are, whatever you are going through.