When the native people saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, “No doubt this man is a murderer. Though he has escaped from the sea, justice has not allowed him to live”…But when they had waited a long time and saw no misfortune come to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god.
Acts 28: 4, 6 (ESV)
How fickle we can be. In these few verses, we see how effortlessly we can switch from making slanderous accusations about someone to mistakenly revering them without blinking an eye. How impressionable and confused we can become without a firm spiritual foundation and trustworthy moral and ethical compass. There really is no accurate point of discernment or foundational stability from which to make wise decisions without trusting Christ Jesus to guide us in every situation that challenges our understanding and righteous judgment.
Does any of this sound familiar? Many Believers live through the same volatile emotions and unstable life experiences as nonbelievers do. They know the Lord intellectually but they have not personally involved him in their daily lives. Belief brings him into a more personal actively involved relationship from which to make wise choices and decisions. For faith comes by hearing the Good News and believing it, while resolute trust comes from knowing Christ Jesus personally and learning to respond as he would when confronted by challenging circumstances.
God’s Word is alive and viable in our hearts and minds. As we begin to earnestly study the words of Christ Jesus and the Apostles in the New Testament, and Prophets of old we learn that the frustrations and the fickle emotions we feel are identical to those experienced by all the early Jewish and Gentile leaders and believers. God speaks to us by leading us through the minefields of many difficult and challenging experiences in the bible, in which the confusion and volatile emotions expressed are still common to us today. As we relate to these biblical events and the emotional responses of the people who lived through them, we glean that as we learn to trust him, God is faithful and that Christ Jesus is worthy of our complete trust regardless of circumstances. And in doing so we begin to truly understand who he is, the Living Word of God.
Dear Lord Jesus, make your Word come alive for us today and every day, and in doing so give us the passion to learn more about your nature and everlasting love. Help us grow in wisdom and maturity as we study and fellowship with you daily. Amen.
A F Fischer