Sorry for the delay in posting this one, I had some audio problems that turned out to be no problem at all. Anyway, here it is!
As we arrive at the Fourth Sunday of the Advent Season we consider that
even though Jesus has come into the world as the culmination of God’s
plan of redemption there is yet more to come until its consummation. We
light a pink candle on the fourth Sunday to remind us that there are
promises of God that await fulfillment.
Because we look back at God’s
promises which have been fulfilled in faith, seeing the great care the
He took to bring them about just as He had foretold, we can also look
forward in HOPE, that is a confident expectation that He will complete
His plan and bring the end of the age, the final judgment and the
renewing of all things. He will bring us to Himself and wipe away every
tear and take away every sorrow just as He promised. And so Hope is just faith that looks forward. We trust God to do that which is yet undone on the basis of His Word just as we trust in what he has already accomplished on our behalf.
If this is
absolutely sure, what is our response to it as followers of Christ?
Should we dwell upon our Master’s return? What does God’s Word tell us
about this? Often times though we are confident in God’s promises already fulfilled; The first Advent of Christ, The Atonement, Forgiveness of Sin, The Resurrection, we struggle with present events and wonder about God’s plan and His timing in our own lives. This causes our faith to wain at times. God does indeed assure us that no matter what the situation, he will in the end set all things right!
Luke 18:1-8 was my text for this past Sunday. It is a parable of Jesus where He compares Believers to a widow who comes before an unjust judge looking for justice and at first he just does not care. Eventually after much complaining by the widow he says, “Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.'” (vs. 4-5)
The widow in Jewish society was often the one of the most needy and vulnerable people in society. Here she is forced to deal with an authority who regards neither God nor man and will not give her justice. Through her perseverance she eventually gets the man to give in. The comparison that Jesus is making is that if justice is possible in this fallen world then how much more confident should we be that God will ultimately bring it in the end. Luke 18:6-8 Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. 7 And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? 8 I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”
The real question is whether you who say you trust Him will continue on in faith in the face of cruelty and persecution, knowing the God whom you say you serve and trusting that as he has kept His word in the past that He will continue to be faithful to the end.
I pray that as you listen that your faith is strengthened in the face of personal adversity and that your hope in the meaning of that babe in the manger is brought to light as you consider Him as the assurance of God’s ability and faithfulness!
Audio is available on the following websites;
1in1000.org on the Sermons Page
Suffering In Hope – Luke 18:1-8
Suffering In Hope – Luke 18:1-8