When I was around seven or eight, I did something that upset my mom. She told me that when my dad came home from work he was going to punish me. She then sent me to my room to wait. After I got in there, I began to think of the punishment I was going to get. I thought about hiding. It seemed like the best plan until I thought about escaping through the window. I then realized that would make it worse. Finally, I decided to put on every pair of underwear I had and some baggy pants. As I waited, all I could think about was the punishment. To be honest, I don’t remember the punishment that day. I just remember the build up and fear.
When you and I sin, we often act like that. It’s the Adam and Eve approach to sin. We feel bad for what we’ve done, and more than anything, we’re embarrassed. It’s obvious God knows about it, but for whatever reason, going to Him seems like a far fetched idea. To be forgiven freely doesn’t feel right, so we wallow in our shame for a bit. It’s like we feel the need to punish ourselves over our sins. The truth is that God doesn’t want us to hide from Him in those moments. He wants us to come to Him right away for the grace He gives.
Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us have confidence, then, and approach God’s throne, where there is grace. There we will receive mercy and find grace to help us just when we need it” (GNT). The verse before says that Jesus understands our weaknesses and sympathizes with us. He didn’t come into the world to condemn us, but that through Him we would find grace when we need it most. He is merciful, and too often we forget that. There’s no reason to hide from Him because of what you’ve done. He knows about it and loves you still. Approach His throne today, get the grace you need and lose your shame.
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When I was in high school, my physics teacher gave us an assignment where each of us had to build a bridge out of popsicle sticks and glue. There were some other specifications it had to meet as well. Then, on the date the assignment was due, he put the bridges to a battery of tests to see how well they held up. One test was a weight test. He kept adding weights to the bridge until it broke. Only one bridge in the class survived this test. The rest all cracked at some point under the weights. On that particular one, the teacher ran out of weights to put on it and it was still standing strong.
The book of Nahum in the Bible is a book of prophesy that spoke of a time of calamity and hard times that were coming. Unlike some other books of prophesy, this one was designed to administer peace in those times. Even the name of the prophet God chose to write the book Nahum has significance to the prophesy. It means comfort. I believe God was telling the readers of this book that no matter how bad things get, He is there to comfort us and give us peace.
Nahum 1:7 says, “The Lord is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust in him” (NLT). I love that first phrase. It’s not a promise, it’s a fact. The Lord is good. He’s also strong. Each of us have a breaking point under the weight of stress, but God doesn’t. He is a strong refuge when we are weighed down. We must learn to trust Him with our burdens and the weights that we carry. Even though at times it feels like we’re alone, He is close to us ready to comfort us in our time of need and able to handle the weight that would crush us.
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I once had a boss who would promise to do things for us. Each week, during staff meeting, he would tell us if we hit a certain goal, he would buy lunch or get us gift cards. They weren’t crazy promises, but they were commitments none the less. After about six weeks had passed, I hadn’t seen any of the things he’d promised. I finally asked a co-worker, “Is he full of hot air or does he make good on these promises?” It turns out, he was full of hot air.
Maybe you’ve been let down by people too. I’ve learned that people are great at breaking promises. It’s easy to make them in the moment, but hard to keep them once the time has come. After working for this person, i vowed to do my best not to make a commitment unless I know I could keep it. I’m amazed how many people are shocked when a promise is kept. We’ve all gotten used to people breaking commitments, that we’re taken aback when someone actually keeps it.
The problem is that we’ve taken that mindset and have applied it to God. When we don’t see answers right away, we think God doesn’t care or He’s forgotten us. 2 Peter 3:9 tells us that God really isn’t being slow like some of us think. He’s patiently waiting for the right time. I’ve learned His timetable is different than mine. I often pray that He would act on my time, but really, i need to be praying that I could be patient enough to wait for His time. He always makes good on His promises.
Psalm 100:5 says, “For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness (in fulfilling promises) continues to each generation” (NLT). I added the original meaning in parentheses because it’s important for us to understand. God is good, and He keeps His promises. If you’re waiting on Him to fulfill His promise to you, keep holding on. It’s not too late. He is faithful to keep His promises to you.