Surely he has done great things! Do not be afraid, land of Judah; be glad and rejoice. Surely the Lord has done great things! Joel 2:21
Yesterday morning, my wife and I were driving to church, and it was beautiful. We drove along highway 82, through the north Texas countryside, at the time when the sun was fully rising. The blue sky was tinted in pink, orange, and red, and the cool morning produced mist that hung along the treelines. I believe that God gives us glimpses of heaven when we appreciate something beautiful, and if yesterday’s morning drive was a glimpse of heaven, then I can’t wait for it.
Or there was the early morning last week. I walk and jog three or four days a week about 0500 hours. This particular morning, it was crisp, in the high 40s. You could see your breath, and up in the sky you could see a million blinking stars, as if we could even count them all. The thought came to me that it is a magnificent thing to the grand night sky. It’s humbling but also comforting, to know that the same God who made you and me made the majestic universe that surrounds us.
Surely God has done great things. Because of that, and because of Him, we should be glad and rejoice. Re-joice, meaning have joy, experience joy, share joy again and again and again. It’s more than just on Sundays, when we should feel joy. Instead, it’s an every minute thing to feel happiness and joy to be part of this endless kingdom, to be chosen by Him to live this life.
But let’s keep it real. There’s evil afoot in our time. There are wars, and economic catastrophe on the horizon. There is real division in our land. And, more importantly, there are people we know who are hurting. There are little children fighting dread diseases; there are men and women struggling to stay afloat, even alive. There are pastors who hurt from all the pain they take in from others; there are others who live in pain and don’t know how to resolve it. More than just on Halloween, there are many people who live in genuine terror, fear, and dread.
Where are God’s great things in all that?
You know where they are. Look no further than the cross, than the broken, bleeding feet of our innocent Lord/friend/savior/God Jesus, who hung and died there to resolve even our most painful moments. Don’t pause long there because, not far ahead, is that empty tomb, from which He then rose to make full His promise to redeem us, to render all the hurt powerless, then prove He will be with us always.
That’s the greatest thing of all.
For more reading: Psalm 9:2, Psalm 126:3, Isaiah 29:22, Isaiah 54:4, Zephaniah 3:16-17, Joel 2:22
Lord, You always do great and magnificent things for us. All my praise to You.