Friday, August 18, 2006

God's Unfailing Promise

I have been blessed to have seen several rainbows over the course of the past few months. It is remarkable, because one really doesn't see rainbows all that often (comparitively speaking). Whenever I see one, I wonder if most people remember what the rainbow was originally intended by God to represent, rather than the perverted symbolism in vogue today. How many view the lovely sight and think, "Oh, a rainbow. Cool." Then they forget about it with no deeper reflection.

Those familiar with Scripture will know that the first rainbow was placed in the sky by God as a reminder of His promise not to destroy the world again by flood (Genesis 9). It was a sign of hope, healing and ultimate salvation. The end of the storm. That is how I choose to see the rainbow - by the original intent of its Creator.

In this day of rage, murder, conflict and war, seeing a rainbow never fails to fill me with not only awe for God and His creation, but also with hope in His sovereignty. Nothing takes Him by surprise, and nothing will thwart His purposes. Conflicts can rage. The nations can rage. Those who do not believe can rage, mock and scorn. But God's Word stands and His promises stand. His children can take great hope and comfort in Him who has "overcome the world" (John 16:33).

The sight of the rainbow can also give some hope to those of us who are distressed by ongoing disputes within the church. Such dissensions and divisions are indeed grieving to the heart. But they should not take us by surprise, nor should they dissuade us from standing for the truth. In fact, the Apostle Paul said that . . . For there must also be factions among you, so that those who are approved may become evident among you (1 Corinthians 11:19). We should always seek to be at peace with one another, loving one another so that the world will know that we are Jesus' disciples. However, when biblical truth is at stake, we are to follow the example of the apostles, who did not yield in subjection to them for even an hour, so that the truth of the Gospel would remain with you (Galatians 2:5).

We know that in the last days, deception will be the hallmark of the times. Jesus warned us about it in advance. As we will likely be encountering VERY tough times in the future, may the Lord grant us fidelity to His Word and to one another as those who are called by His name. May He grant us the ability to lift one another up, and to hold one another lovingly accountable when we stumble. Above all, may the Lord ever grant us these occasional, wonderful reminders of His watchful care. His promises will never fail.

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