When You Are Misunderstood
- Monday, January 30, 2012
But what about the charge that he is inconsistent? Did he just say "Yes, yes" and then "No, no" just for the fun of it? (v. 17). Paul says, "Check out my message. It comes from God and he never changes. His message to us is always ‘Yes,' and we his people say ‘Amen' to all of God's promises." Everything God promises will come true. As D. L. Moody said, "God never made a promise that was too good to come true." Look at the amazing things God has done for us in Christ.
- He anointed us (v. 21).
- He sealed us (v. 22).
- He gave the Holy Spirit as a deposit (v. 22).
He did this so that we might stand firm in Christ, never wavering, never blown away by the winds of adversity, never swept away by the changing tides of life. It happens that I am writing these words on a Sunday night. Two days ago Matt Chandler, pastor of the Village Church, a large multisite church in Dallas, underwent very serious surgery to remove a tumor from the right frontal lobe of his brain. I mention this in part because Matt is a rising star among the younger pastors in the United States. In just seven years he has led the Village Church from 150 to over 6000 in attendance. And he has done it with very strong preaching that is authentic, biblical, accessible, and drenched in the sovereignty of God. Before he went into surgery, Matt (who is only 35 years old) recorded a brief video that was played in all the services this weekend. You can watch it on the Internet. I would summarize it as a ringing statement of his confidence in God. After talking about Hebrews 11 and the life of faith with its glorious victories and its difficult trials, Matt says that he knows some people have always said, "What do you know about suffering?" But now he can speak directly to those people and say, "I am so glad he counted me worthy of this." A man in his position might lose it all. There are no guarantees for him or for any of us when we go under the surgeon's knife. Matt acknowledged that he and his wife wept and prayed together before the surgery. He has hugged his children and kissed them. And with what faith did he approach his surgery on Friday?
"I get to show that he is enough. I get to praise and exalt him and make much of him."
"God never made a promise that was too good to come true."
He added that he would love to live to be 70 and drink coffee with his wife. He would love to walk his daughter down the aisle. He would love to see his son grow up.
"But none of those things is better than him."
He closed by expressing his love for the church, and then he simply said,
"I am not afraid . . . My hope is that you would see that he is good in all things . . . He would never send us anything that he does not provide strength for."
That's a man standing firm in Christ. That's the difference that comes from knowing Christ deeply and intimately and walking with him daily. That's exactly the sort of foundation God wants to build in the lives of all his children.
What difference does it make to know all these things? It certainly matters when we face a life-changing crisis, but it matters just as much when we are misunderstood and our honorable words are twisted and our changing plans are made to appear sinister in some way.
Some people will choose to misunderstand no matter what we say or do. To them we have no answer except to say, "Our conscience is clear. We have done what we could. And we rest our reputation with the Lord.
We will never "stand firm" in our own strength when trouble comes our way. I've often said that "good theology will save your life," and this passage amply proves it
Get to know the Lord.
Make God's Word the standard for your life.
Rest in his love.
Revel in his righteousness.
Think about his greatness.
Give glory to his name.
When others twist your words, do not despair. Speak the truth, explain yourself clearly, and then entrust your future with the God who knows you through and through and in Christ who has anointed you, sealed you, given you the Holy Spirit, and promised to guide you.
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