“The Outcome Of The Lord’s Dealings”
March 31, 2017
Several weeks ago while visiting with Raymond, a product engineer at Val-Co, I saw a bright red cardinal outside his office window and asked him if he could take a photo. Several weeks later he shares with us the photo he took!
“The Outcome Of The Lord’s Dealings“
Listen to our message on your audio player.
“Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22,23). “We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful” (James 5:11).
Like many we are following the tragic story of the church bus accident in Texas and praying for the families of the deceased as well as the church family. The bus was returning to New Braunfels from a retreat with a group of seniors when it was hit head on by a pickup truck and all but one of the fourteen in the bus were killed. Brooksyne’s sister lives in New Braunfels so we are familiar with the area. Several years ago we visited and drove through the town, probably passing by the church.
The pastor of the church, Brad McLean, has been demonstrating great grace and poise as he has spoken out on the matter. In an official statement* he says, “Our priority as a church is to care for our families who have lost a loved one in this accident. Services are being planned and prepared. I would encourage people to pray for the family of the driver of the other vehicle. That family is hurting. I would encourage you to show love and grace to them.”
News 4 in San Antonio reports: “McLean said his church needs prayer more than anything else during this time and said members of the church gathered to do ‘what church families do.’ They’re coming together, they’re crying together, praying together and of course there’s anxiousness as to who was on the bus and what their condition is, There’s just a lot of unknowns.” Among the unknowns, McLean said, is the [what will come about on a particular] day. “You never know what the day is going to bring, the Lord tells us that we have today, tomorrow is not promised.”
When I began preparing this message I intended the focus to be on the phrase in the second text, “the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful”. (I’ll push back that study for a future message using the same text.)
However as I studied, another phrase seemed to leap out from the text, “You…have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings”. In this immediate context it is the outcome of Job’s life, how God brought about restoration after all Job had been through. James’ initial readers and now students of Scripture have seen this outcome.
But in the broader context James is making a broader point in regard to patience in the midst of suffering. (See James 5:7-11) He is referring to the ultimate goal and purpose of God in allowing the suffering to come upon Job. Likewise, in our own lives, although we may not see the outcome or even know what it will be on this side, we can have an assurance of an ultimately positive outcome because “the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful”.
Some events like a terrorist attack or mass casualty event like the bus accident in Texas make the news. However day by day similar events happen on a smaller scale, but just as significant for those involved or affected. Some of our readers have had such an experience and likely some are in the midst of one. A life-changing stroke, a diagnosis of a deadly disease, broken vows, abandonment, the victims of a terrible crime, persecution and the list goes on and on.
Consider again Pastor McLean’s statement, “You never know what the day is going to bring, the Lord tells us that we have today, tomorrow is not promised.” It’s true that God doesn’t promise us tomorrow but He does promise believers that He will take us to join Him in heaven for all eternity. That’s the peace and comfort we rest upon when our loved ones join Christ before we do.
Today we urge each of our readers to see that you have made peace with God by accepting His only provision for attaining that peace, His Son Jesus Christ. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
Jesus saves, Jesus saves
He will die our burdens bearing,
Jesus saves, Jesus saves
It is done will shout the cross,
Christ has paid redemption’s cost
While the empty tomb’s declaring
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Praise be to You, our Father of compassion and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from You. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Him. Even in the midst of affliction our hope is steadfast since we know that, as we are partakers of suffering, we also will partake of Your consolation. We thank You that we can find peace and assurance through Your loving consolation as we look to You for strength and calmness of spirit. Amen.
See II Corinthians 4:3-7
* In all my years of ministry (over 40) I have never had a situation where I needed to make an “official statement” that would be of any interest to those outside the church or ministry we served. I expect that this would be true for most of us in ministry. What a special measure of grace to see the pastor of the church in Texas enabled to share with such dignity to so many who are following this on a national level.
“Masterpiece Of Mercy” Video Booth Brothers
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