Key Word:- COURAGE
Title:- The God of Guarantees
John 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
In this ‘thing’ we call living, there are no guarantees of what we would deem to be success or happiness. The woman who has longed and prayed for a child, falls pregnant at last, only to give birth to a severely handicapped baby. The young man leaves Africa to study at seminary in America, works long nights at his job, holds his eyes open in the classroom, studies hard, studies late, studies years, only to be killed in a car accident the day before his graduation. The faithful couple who have been saving for years to retire to Florida leave the rat race they have hated and arrive in the sun, only to find that too soon, far too soon, Alzheimer’s robs one of them of the knowledge of the other and fills the void with daily fear. It is clear that in this ‘thing’ we call living, there are no guarantees of what we would deem to be success or happiness.
The poet ‘Tennyson’ writes about his sister’s fiancé and his best friend Arthur Hallam, who died in Vienna today in 1833 of a brain haemorrhage just before the time fixed for the wedding. The final lines of the poem are known by just about everyone:-
Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.
Living takes much effort as we walk these sorry roads. Loving however, well loving, takes enormous COURAGE.
Loving calls for the greatest acts of selflessness, of forgiving, of chosen forgetting, of suffering, of redeeming, of weeping, of hoping, of dreaming better, dreaming bigger, dreaming beyond reason. Loving requires the greatest of courage, for it carries with it the greatest of costs and the greatest of rewards. Love may come with no guarantees, no certainties, but what is life, what is living without loving friends? Even Tennyson confessed that these last lines carried more hope than he himself believed because you see, love demands the greatest of faith and courage. Real men, LOVE and LOVE no matter what. Maybe today some of you men need calling back to your vows, need to fit yourself like warriors and begin to be the courageous folk you are and LOVE at last?
The world, sin and Satan, offer no guarantees of success and happiness. Oh, they might suggest they do, but life proves that these offers are not worth the toilet paper they are written on.
Jesus is however the God of guarantees. He has provided us with many promises that are 'yes and Amen', that are indeed both certain and true. The challenge we have is that the eternal God makes His promises not only last forever, but come to realised fruition IN the great forever. “Wait and see,” He says, “Not one word shall fail.” Those of us so bound by the finite have great difficulties apprehending by faith, the fruit of promises that are to be plucked from the infinite, plucked from the great eternal. “Wait and see,” He says, “Not one word shall fail.”There is a promise however, that finds it fulfillment in the now as well as in the time to come. It is our rock to stand and fight upon; it is our banker that allows us to gamble on God; it is our light in the dark, dark night; it is our pleasant pill against depressions; it is the arms of love in all our loneliness, it is His ‘ever presence!’
Listen:- …..For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:5-6
Pray:- Loving Lord Jesus. You call us to the humanly impossible. You call us to selfless love. Once we see the demands of such love, the sacrifice, the pain as well as the pleasure, we draw back from that which requires such strength and such courage. Oh God equip me like a strong warrior today that I might love and love again. Amen.