Why we praise even in bad situations

One of the things  we are grateful for is what the writer of Lamentations knew about God. He has new mercies for us every morning. His love is steadfast and unchanging. It seems each day has a new challenge to it, but each day is met by grace that far exceeds anything we could provide.

After Sandra’s first Chemo treatment she responded better than we had expected. It’s hard to know what to expect when your expectations for chemo are set by Hollywood movies. The next couple of days Sandra was tired, but they were mostly uneventful, as the week progressed Sandra struggled quite a bit with tiredness and various other symptoms. The past few days have been much much better. Your prayers are felt and are doing more than you know. Sandra today felt good enough to get out of the house for a few hours. We have much to be thankful for.

One of the prayers we pray is we don’t want to waste this season on self-pity and trying to understand the incomprehensible. One of the things we are learning is how God turns bad thing into good things. In the Dec 8th section of Tim Keller’s devotional on Psalm he has you read Psalm 135 and says this about it:
Why should we praise God? We should praise him…
1.  Because He is good
2. Because it is good to praise him
3. Because in his grace He finds us
4. Because he works all thing together for good.

In reading this commentary and then Psalms 135 I saw something I never saw before. Our confidence in bad situations is based how we believe God sees us when he looks at us. When God looks at us I always think he sees badness of my sin. What the Bible teaches us is that when we place our hope in Christ to forgive us of our sins God looks at us he sees his son, not our sin. In Romans, it says that to those who love God and are called according to his purpose he turns our bad situations into good ones. This doesn’t make sense. Just like the paradox of what is called in latin “Simul Justus et Peccator.” The paradox of being simultaneous sinner simultaneous saint is difficult to fully understand. We are sinners but at the same time forgiven, justified by grace. We are simultaneously sinners and saints. When we begin to understand this it helps us realize that the God who justifies sinners is the same God that looks at what we see as a  bad situation and doesn’t see a bad situation but how He will be glorified and we will be purified. God sees our bad situation but he at the same time sees Christ at work redeeming that situation, turning it into good. So humbling to serve a Sovereign God who loves us so.

Please keep us in prayer as we go back to New York this week.

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