THE SERVANT GENERAL
JOY, TRUST, JUSTICE AND RIGHTEOUSNESS
Today's psalm is interesting, as it summarizes our three restoration
themes, and introduces us to our theme for next year 2010.
2007 our theme was hope in the Lord. In 2008 it was joy in
Christ. In 2009 it is trust in Jesus. All three are crucial
for restoration, and all three help prepare us in facing the
challenges of the greater work that is to come, accompanied
by the afflictions that purify us. "For in God our hearts
rejoice; in your holy name we trust. May your kindness, Lord,
be upon us; we have put our hope in you." (Ps 33:21-22).
In the midst of lamentations, our hope is in the Lord. Because
of our restoration and God's raising a holy remnant, we rejoice
in Christ. And because Jesus is our savior, we are confident
and not afraid, as we trust in him.
2010 our theme is "The Almighty! Just and righteous is
he." Justice and righteousness are crucial attributes
that we need to hold on to, as we face the challenges of the
massive work ahead. Whatever happens, we trust in the God
who is just and righteous. "The Lord loves justice and
right and fills the earth with goodness." (Ps 33:5) .
How does God fill the earth with goodness, when the earth
is full of darkness and evil? God does this through His human
instruments. God does this through us as we proclaim the good
news of salvation in Jesus. "Good news" results
in "goodness" in the life of people and in the life
of the world. This happens as we replace the "w"
in good news to the "s" in goodness. The "w"
is we, the "s" is the Son. We focus less and less
on ourselves, and more and more on Jesus, who is the good
news. We decrease, Christ increases. We humble ourselves,
so that Christ may be exalted.
reality is that we (all Christians) are crucial to the work
of God in the world. We are His instruments. Thus we have
to be formed in the mind and heart of God. We have to walk
in the footsteps of Jesus and imitate him. As Jesus loves,
we love. As the Father is merciful, so too should we be merciful.
As God is holy, we strive to be holy. Now as the Almighty
is just and righteous, then so too should we be. "Rejoice,
you just, in the Lord; praise from the upright is fitting."
formation begins with acknowledging God as the Almighty. "By
the Lord's word the heavens were made; by the breath of his
mouth all their host." (Ps 33:6). What God told Job awed
him. "Where were you when I founded the earth?"
(Job 38:4a). "And who shut within doors the sea"
(Job 38:8a)? The psalmist acknowledges this. "The waters
of the sea were gathered as in a bowl; in cellars the deep
was confined." (Ps 33:7). Such acknowledgment, just as
with Job, results in awe or reverential fear. "Let all
the earth fear the Lord, let all who dwell in the world show
reverence." (Ps 33:8).
we are awed by God's majesty, acknowledging Him as the Creator
who rules over the whole universe, then we acknowledge His
power. "For he spoke, and it came to be, commanded, and
it stood in place." (Ps 33:9). We rest assured that He
has a great and wonderful plan for us, and He will carry it
through. "But the plan of the Lord stands forever, wise
designs through all generations." (Ps 33:11). God will
accomplish His plan despite the opposition of the world and
bad people under the power of the enemy. "The Lord foils
the plan of nations, frustrates the designs of peoples."
(Ps 33:10). As we grow to be His holy people, living in hope,
trusting in His help especially in the most severe afflictions,
then God delivers us--from sin, from afflictions, from bad
people, from fear and anxiety, from hopelessness, from the
darkness of the world. "But the Lord's eyes are upon
the reverent, upon those who hope for his gracious help, delivering
them from death, keeping them alive in times of famine."
has called us, chosen us, and entered into covenant with us.
We are His people. We are His instruments. As we look to Him
with reverence and awe, as we place ourselves totally in His
care, as we carry out the mission He has given us, as we endure
through trials and tribulations, then we will be fulfilled
and happy. "Happy the nation whose God is the Lord, the
people chosen as his very own." (Ps 33:12).
of who God is and because of what He has done for us and will
continue to do for us, we rejoice and praise Him (Ps 33:1).
We thank and praise Him (Ps 33:2). We worship with songs,
instruments and joyful chants (Ps 33:3). We trust in His words
and His works (Ps 33:4). We wait for Him, confident that He
is our help and our shield (Ps 33:20).
"For to me life is Christ, and death is gain." (Phil
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of Job - Part 12[PDF]