Today a guy named David Taylor (also known as Davis to the veterans of The Well) brought the Word. I had never met Davis but judging from the excitement from the crowd, I figured I was in for a great sermon. His message resonated with me quite well.
His message dealt with an honest statement most of us have often thought but have never really dealt with. Have you ever thought, “I do not always believe that God is always good?” I am sure most people have. When something happens when you least expect it, it is hard to believe that God is good. It is hard to believe God is good when someone dies; you lose your job or when you are behind on the bills. It is hard to believe that God is good when the test results come back and the new is not so good.
His Scripture was James 1: 16-25. When I read it during the service, I read it from the ESV. I thought for my post, I would refer to it from ‘The Message.’ The Message is a paraphrase written by a man named Eugene Peterson. I would never use The Message as my main study. I use The Message every once in a while though because it reads like a story and not necessarily like a ‘text’ if that makes sense. Anyway, James 1: 16-25 reads like this:
So, my very dear friends don’t get thrown off course. Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle. He brought us to life using the true Word, showing us off as the crown of all his creatures. Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear. God’s righteousness doesn’t grow from human anger. So throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage. In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like. But whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God—the free life! — Even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it, is no distracted scatterbrain but a man or woman of action. That person will find delight and affirmation in the action.
I like how the message says it (Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear). So often, I guess we choose to rather lead with our anger rather than placing it at the rear. When we are going through a tough time or we feel as though we have been wronged for whatever reason, anger seems to exchange its position.
It is only when we get on our knees and ask God for understanding, things seem to fall into place. Even when it seems there is no end to the darkness we all through, we need to continue to press forward because the light will soon show itself. Eventually we will be able to say, “God is good… All the time!” It will not just be hearsay either. We have so much we can learn. It just takes an ear and some action and everything will fall into place.