The One You Can Count On

Broken_Window.jpgDuring this time of the year, Thanksgiving and then Christmas,
many of us get together with family.  We are
with people we love.  Sometimes the
relationships are uncomplicated.  Very little stress. 
Yet, sometimes the relationships are complex. 
And for many people, there is some pain involved.  Often, there is some sign of brokenness.  We are reminded that things are tense between
these two sisters-in-law.  We are
reminded of a recent divorce and the absence of a person from the dinner table.  We are reminded that
two brothers had a fuss earlier in the year after they had a misunderstanding
over a business deal.

 
We deal every day with broken promises:

 

  • Broken contracts.
  • Broken agreements.
  • Broken friendships.
  • Broken marriages.
  • Broken relationships between children and their
    parents.

But we come back again and again to Scripture, to the
promise-making and promise-keeping God.

 
The other day I was reading Psalm 105.  “Give thanks to the Lord…” (vs.1).  The psalmist speaks of the God who
remembers:

 
He remembered his
covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
(105:8-15).  The
writer begins with the promises he made to Abraham and Jacob.  The people of Israel knew
that God came through with his promises.  
He kept his word — his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

 
He remembered his
covenant with Joseph
(105:16-22). 
When there was a famine in the land and all looked bleak in Joseph’s
life, God was faithful.  In fact, Joseph
went from a slave to ruler of the land. 
God kept his covenant with Joseph. 
Think of all those years spent in slavery and in a foreign land.  Yet, God never forgot him.

 
He remembered his
covenant with the Israelite captives in Egypt
(105:23-41).  During this time, he never forgot Israel.  Through the plagues and through the exodus,
he continued to be faithful.  He sent Moses
and Aaron.  He led the people through the
wilderness.  A cloud by day.  A fire by night.

 
There are days when I feel very discouraged and
disheartened by the brokenness that seems to be everywhere.  It
exists both in and out of the church (and of course, I’m not telling you
anything you don’t know).  Yet, what I
have learned is to keep going back to the one who never breaks his
covenant.  Maybe that is why the psalmist
says to “remember” (105:5).  Sometimes
his faithfulness is obvious to me. 
Sometimes it isn’t.  Fortunately,
my faith is not dependent on what I can see.  The cross and resurrection are constant reminders that God is faithful.  He keeps his promises.  He desires reconciliation.

 
This encourages me today.  Perhaps it will encourage you as well.

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6 thoughts on “The One You Can Count On

  1. Encouraging words, Jim.  It is so human to focus on what is broken in our lives instead of the wholeness we find in Christ.  I am learning more about the concept of "in everything give thanks" as the years pass.  Not that I am necessarily thankful for the bad things that happen, but I am thankful for the multitude of blessings that are always accompanying the unpleasant events.  And, the opportunity to be light in the midst of darkness.  It’s all a part of living in an intentional way, as you discussed so well in a previous blog.  Thanks for the encouraging reminder today!

  2. Those things of the past are so often the cement that holds our relationships together.  Without them, we’d be bumping into strangers instead of family and friends.  Is this what makes starting a marital counseling session by going over the wedding photos so very effective?

  3. Mostly, this makes me consider that I am one who can forget, but not God. How great it is to be remembered by Him and to be encouraged by His example to be a person of remembrance.

  4. Connie,Thanks.  I really like the line, "It is so human to focus on what is broken in our lives instead of the wholeness we have in Christ."  It stuck me after reading that line how much we miss in doing just that.  Perhaps a part of faith is believing that I have more to gain through focusing on Christ than on the other. 

  5. Brad,I suspect you are right.  I recall the first time I ever heard of looking at wedding photos.  How odd it seemed at the time.  Yet, those photos may be a reminder of something much larger than this moment. 

  6. L.L.I really like the way you put this:How great it is to be remembered by Him and to be encouraged by His example to be a person of remembrance.There is something very encouraging even in reading that statement.