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Why can’t my life be better?!?

Last Sunday we looked at Ephesians 4:31-32 and how it helps us in our interpersonal temptations to anger. But what about the many times (at least for me) when I’m tempted to get angry because something doesn’t go according to plan? It rains on a Saturday, or the Metro is delayed by 20 minutes, or I get a flat tire, or my internet is not working…My judgment in that moment is that this situation, person, or event is something that shouldn’t be happening. My judgment is, this is wrong.

So I get angry.

Not at anybody in particular, because I know that’s sin, I just get angry at life in general. My life has by happenstance taken a turn for the worse. But have you realized that subtly, we are really charging God? We charge him in that moment that he is not good or fair or just. We then can give allowance for our sin by saying, “I can do what you have told me not to do, because I don’t think my life is working out for my good.” And that statement, if we believe it, gives allowance for sin, whether it’s flying into a rage, cursing, indulging in lust, or wallowing in self-pity. When we are not convinced that God has our good in mind in every situation, we are easily seduced into believing that something else is good for us, especially sinful anger.

How does Scripture help us?

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.” Romans 8:28-30

Immediately this orients me to a new reality. If I am one that God has called, his unswerving assured commitment to me is that he uses everything in my life for my good, in order to be conformed to the image of his Son.

The promise contained in these verses is the promise of the gospel. If I am a Christian, God loves me. Better, he predestined me for adoption into his family, declaring me righteous before him. God’s most important and massive promise and my most important and pressing need has been fulfilled!

In other words, his greatest demonstration of his goodness towards us has been completed. So now we can trust him in any other situation.

Milton Vincent writes:

“The gospel enables me to embrace my tribulations and thereby position myself to gain full benefit from them. For the gospel is the one great permanent circumstance in which I live and move; and every hardship in my life is allowed by God only because it serves His gospel purposes in me. When I view my circumstances in this light, I realize that the gospel is not just one piece of good news that fits into my life somewhere among all the bad. I realize instead that the gospel makes genuinely good news out of every other aspect of my life, including my severest trials… God is forcing them to bow to His gospel purposes and do good unto me by improving my character and making me more conformed to the image of Christ”

The original readers of Romans were suffering for their faith, facing martyrdom and persecution in ways few of us can understand. But I believe this truth is not just for huge, significant trials in our lives—this is for the small, seemingly insignificant events, as well. The stuff of everyday life. God’s sovereign goodness over our lives plays out in every situation.

Our response then, is trust. God has been faithful in the past, and he will continue to be. Just because I can’t see how he’s good in a particular situation should never shake my confidence that he is. I have the gospel to prove it.

This Sunday

I’m looking forward to being with you all this Sunday. Eric is going to be teaching us from Colossians 1:24-2:5. If you’re able, take time to look at the passage ahead of our gathering so that you’re ready to engage in our study together.

Below are the lyrics to the songs that we’ll be singing. The songs focus on Jesus being our Mighty Savior. We’ll be singing a new song, Your Name Alone can Save from the Sovereign Grace album Risen. I’ve linked to a youtube video so you can hear it.

His Name is Jesus

All hail the power of Jesus’ name
Let angels prostrate fall
Bring forth the royal diadem
And crown him Lord of all
Bring forth the royal diadem
And crown him Lord of all

Ye chosen seed of Israel’s race
Ye ransomed from the fall
Hail him who saves you by his grace
And crown him Lord of all
Hail him who saves you by his grace
And crown him Lord of all

Chorus:
His name is Jesus
Risen Lamb, for sinners slain
His name is Jesus
All creation sings the praise of Jesus’ name

Let every kindred, every tribe
On this terrestrial ball
To him all majesty ascribe
And crown him Lord of all
To him all majesty ascribe
And crown him Lord of all

Oh that with yonder sacred throng
We at his feet may fall
We’ll join the everlasting song
And crown him Lord of all
We’ll join the everlasting song
And crown him Lord of all

Your Name Alone Can Save

When we were dead in our transgressions
Jesus you came to bring us back to god
You canceled the debt that stood against us
Set it aside nailing it to the cross
Now with joy we can proclaim

Chorus
You’ve overcome the grave
You took our curse away
There is no other name by which we’re saved
For in your death we died
In you we have new life
Jesus your name alone can save

Now death has lost its sting forever
Because you arose we do not hope in vain
You defeated every evil power
Disarming them all bearing our guilt and shame
And forever we’ll proclaim

In your name there is freedom life and peace
In the name above all names
In your name there is power darkness flees
At the name above all names

I Have a Shelter

I have a shelter in the storm
When troubles pour upon me
Though fears are rising like a flood
My soul can rest securely
O Jesus, I will hide in You
My place of peace and solace
No trial is deeper than Your love
That comforts all my sorrows

I have a shelter in the storm
When all my sins accuse me
Though justice charges me with guilt
Your grace will not refuse me
O Jesus, I will hide in You
Who bore my condemnation
I find my refuge in Your wounds
For there I find salvation

I have a shelter in the storm
When constant winds would break me
For in my weakness, I have learned
Your strength will not forsake me
O Jesus, I will hide in You
The One who bears my burdens
With faithful hands that cannot fail
You’ll bring me home to heaven

My Hope is Built on Nothing Less

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.

Chorus:
On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

Passage this Sunday

Hey All,

This Sunday, we will study Colossians 1:15-29 at our weekly gathering, concentrating our study on verses 18 and 23 through 29. This passage is all about the church, Jesus’ role in the church, and our role in the church. We will also spend some time studying some biographical information about Paul in verses 24-29, and then apply it to our ministry in Redeemer.

It should be a great study on Sunday.

In preparation for this time, please meditate on this passage every day this week. As you do, if questions emerge that you would like me to answer during the talk on Sunday, shoot me an email at eric@redeemerarlington.com. I can’t guarantee I will be able to answer all questions, but i will certainly try.

eric

Praying for Redeemer this Week

Last Sunday I asked you all to keep praying for our mission. Here are bullets to guide your prayers for Redeemer this week.

  1. Pray that God would give you opportunities this week to tell people about the good news of Jesus Christ.
  2. Pray for people in Redeemer that when those opportunities come they will be able to speak the gospel clearly and without fear.
  3. Finally, pray that God would protect our community from sexual sin and disunity. These two sins are a cancer in the church and we need to pray that God would guard us.

Welcome

Welcome to our church blog!

This blog exists for 3 reasons.

First, it is a place where I can talk more about the passage we studied together on Sunday. In other words, a place where I can say better what I tried to say, clarify what I meant to say, give additional resources, and say what I didn’t have time to say.

Second, this is a place where I can answer your questions about the teaching on Sunday or why we do certain things at Redeemer.

Third, this is a place where you can find book reviews and recommendations, links to messages and articles, and hear from others in our church community.