Tuesday, January 10, 2017

This World Can Be Cruel

Yesterday, we started to look down the road a little to consider where God may be taking us in 2017.  The theme for the year will be the title of our current series: Your Kingdom Come.  I came to the conclusion a long time ago that God is the answer to all the world’s problems.  That is why it is so important that we live out God’s Kingdom here on earth just as it is in heaven.

There was a man named Elkanah who lived in Ramah in the region of Zuph in the hill country of Ephraim. He was the son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, of Ephraim. Elkanah had two wives, Hannah and Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah did not. (1 Samuel 1:1-2 NLT)

This world can be cruel.  People regularly treat one another poorly.  That’s why it is so important that God’s Church live with God as King.  When we allow God’s Kingdom to come here on earth, we create a safe environment for people to Encounter God, work through their doubts to Make their faith Real, and then Live Out a stronger and stronger walk together with God.  The Church may be the only place where they experience unconditional love.  The Church may be the only place where they feel safe.  The Church may be the only place where they know they can draw near to God.  This is why God’s Church must be a place where God’s Kingdom comes and God’s Will is being done.

So Peninnah would taunt Hannah and make fun of her because the LORD had kept her from having children. Year after year it was the same--Peninnah would taunt Hannah as they went to the Tabernacle. Each time, Hannah would be reduced to tears and would not even eat. (1 Samuel 1:6-7 NLT)

Hannah understood this all too well.  She couldn’t even go home without experiencing a cruel world.  Her home would drive her to tears.  Her home would give her so much anxiety that she could not eat.  She did not experience peace at home.  She needed God’s Kingdom to come somewhere here on earth as it is in heaven.

How about you?  Do you experience a cruel world anywhere in your life?  Do you experience God’s Kingdom anywhere in your life?  Where do you feel safe, loved, and close to God?