God Is Waiting!
“So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.” (Luke 15:15-16)
Have you ever been in a situation where “no one gave [you] anything”? A helping hand would have been nice, or perhaps an encouraging word or look. Scared, needy, frightened–and the world just keeps passing by. Not a very fun place to find oneself, particularly if the miseries we are encountering are directly related to our own choices and bad decisions. Selfishness and a lack of good judgment fuel for the fire for difficult situations we find ourselves in. But … God gives us the following hope through the promises in His Word!
“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5-6)
No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them.” (Joshua 1:5-6)
I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be blessed. (Psalm 37:25-26)
The wonderful riches of God’s grace and mercies are of unspeakable value to the sinner in these dire circumstances. When we come face to face with our own folly and weaknesses, God’s grace and mercy are held out to us.
However, just as God allows for those who pursue holiness and righteousness to experience a taste of heaven on earth through the enjoyment of walking with Him and growing in knowledge of Him, in love, He also allows those who choose to pursue evil and destruction to experience a taste of hell with the desire for them to turn back to Him. Matthew Henry writes:
“A sinful state is a state of departure and distance from God. It is the sinfulness of sin that it is an apostasy from God. He set off from his father’s house. Sinners are fled from God. They get as far off him as they can. The world is the distant country in which they take up their residence. It is the misery of sinners that they are far off from God, and are going further and further from him. What is hell itself, but being far off from God?”
The total absence of goodness, the total lack of light, a state of perpetual dissatisfaction; all apt descriptions of hell. Jesus appropriately describes the activity there as “weeping and gnashing of teeth”. We find in Matthew:
“As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.” (Matthew 13:40-43)
God has no desire for any to perish but all to come to repentance. Peter tells us:
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:8-9)
Take It to Heart
“He who yields a point or two to the world is in fearful peril; he who eats the grapes of Sodom will soon drink the wine of Gomorrah. Worldly conformity, in any degree, is a snare to the soul, and makes it more and more liable to presumptuous sins. Careful walking may involve much self-denial, but it has pleasures of its own which are more than a sufficient recompense.”
“How sweet the remembrance that inexhaustible mercy is waiting to be gracious to us, to restore our backslidings, and make our broken bones rejoice!”
God is waiting for you to turn back to Him!