January 9, 2021

Reasons to Believe

To some degree, that might even be part of what being a Christian is: Trusting in the good while addressing the bad with our love and outreach. 
You will be in the right, O Lord, when I lay charges against you; but let me put my case to you. Why does the way of the guilty prosper? Why do all who are treacherous thrive?
Jeremiah 12:1
There are always reasons not to believe. As a pastor, I've heard them all. We see one of them in the question, "Why do bad things happen to good people?" Apparently that question didn't bother Jeremiah too much. But he did quarrel with God over its counterpart: "Why do good things happen to bad people?"

Jesus addressed this same question as it applied to the Kindom of God. Why are latecomers as beloved as early adopters? Why treat outsiders like insiders? "If that person's part of this, then count me out," I can just imagine some people saying.

In the end, we can always find reasons why faith doesn't make sense. But if we actually look around and within, there are also reasons to believe—there are love, beauty, and kindness all around. To some degree, that might even be part of what being a Christian is: Trusting in the good while addressing the bad with our love and outreach. Both good and bad are going to be there. The real question is, which one are we going to nurture? 

Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage. And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’
 Matthew 20:10-12
Prayer after thinking about today's devotion:
God, give me grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, 
courage to change the things which should be changed, 
and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other. 
Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time, 
accepting hardship as a pathway to peace, 
taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it, 
trusting that you will make all things right, if I surrender to your will, 
so that I may be reasonably happy in this life, 
and supremely happy with you forever in the next.
 Reinhold Niebuhr

After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.
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