I love how the Word of God is applicable to every life situation. It is true for all of us in any situation we face. It is true for the ones who have been offended at the hands of their mates, whose spouses have been unfaithful or abandoned them. It is true for those in whose marriages everything has gone wrong, and though they have prayed and sought God, no relief is in sight. It also holds true for people like me who are haunted by poor decisions and actions taken before we knew Christ or while we were prodigals, the consequences of which we live with daily. Wherever you find yourself as you read this chapter, know this:
A joy that transcends every sorrow is waiting for all who believe.
When we have been wronged, we may be tempted to take pleasure in the punishment of the wicked, but that is not of the Lord: “I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live. Turn! Turn from your wickedness. . . . Why should you die?” (Ezek. 33:11). Do you hear the heart cry of God? Does it match your own, or have you been allowing bitterness to replace compassion and mercy in your heart? Knowing the sorrow that awaits the wicked is no source of comfort for the truly converted.
Let me close this chapter with a word picture: Imagine for a moment that you receive a certified letter stating you are the only heir of a distant relative who has left you an inheritance of several million dollars. The next day you receive in the mail late notices for numerous bills and turnoff dates for your utilities; because of circumstances beyond your control, you fell behind on all your financial obligations. What significance will the certified letter play in the way you handle the situation? Well, you are fully aware of the problems you face, but you know without a doubt that help is on the way.
The same holds true for those of you today who say that everything has gone wrong in your life. Romans 5:6–9 is the “certified letter” you’ve been waiting for: “When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation.” Before everything went wrong in your life, Jesus Christ made everything right! Mercy will surround you, and shouts of joy will fill your mouth again.
Excerpt from “Happily… Even After” now available on Amazon.