God is Good
Faith Perspectives – December 6, 2017
By Rev. John Campbell
United Presbyterian, Oakdale
This may seem strange thought in view of the flood of bad news that has been swept across this nation and the world.
What with hurricanes, earthquakes and fires, we have also had mass shootings, including shooting in churches in Texas, Tennessee, not to mention earlier in North Carolina.
How can we say ‘God is Good’?
As one has pointed out, ‘Through social media, news from all over is brought into our living rooms almost as soon as it happens, and quite often, we despair.’
It is this feeling that has often led people to believe the world is coming to an end. And yet God has raised up the Church with a voice of hope.
This past Sunday for churches that follow the Christian year, they began the season of Advent. The message of Advent is that of coming, meaning that first that Christ has come into this world and second that our Lord will return again.
Many have wondered about why on the first Sunday of Advent the Bible text concerns the words of Jesus about the troubles in the world and about waiting/watching.
Understand that when Jesus spoke these words, he knew that he would shortly die on the cross.
The message was that this would not be the end. The return was a sure thing.
In words that sound very contemporary (Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines).
Jesus tells the disciples and the Church, this is just a phase.
As bad as it sounds, God is still with us.
Each year the Church Advent is beginning a new year in God.
We take comfort that Jesus has warned us of hard times yet promised that the Holy Spirit would help us. Life is not easy.
It is full of stress and strains, yet there is joy in the Lord. It comes from the deep confidence that nothing happens to us except that it comes through the hands of God.
Facing deep distress, serious problems, understand that God has provided a way to cope, to handle these situations because God loves us.
Way back in the Old Testament there was a prophet who was also going through hard times.
Habakkuk complained to God, even debated with God. Yet came out of this experience with these words: “Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls — yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” (NKJV)
God is good!
Let your joy be in the Lord and not in the gifts or parties of the world. Know and remember that God suffers with us when bad things of this world come at us.