God says He’ll complete the work He has begun in us (Phil. 1.6), but we often suffer unnecessarily in the process. Like Nemo and Dorie in the movie Finding Nemo, we ignore God’s instructions and end up “swimming through schools of jellyfish.” Like the fishy pair, we survive, but not without getting stung and suffering a great deal of pain and heartache!
Isaiah 63 & 64
Jellyfish, Pain and Heartache
Ignoring His counsel
Verse 1.6 is one of my favorite verses. It gives me great hope when it says, “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
Isn’t it good to know that He is the one who will complete His work in us? And … He never gives up! But I wonder how often we make His work harder … on us!
Someone gave me a great illustration of this. I was explaining this passage and she told me it reminded her of the scene in Finding Nemo where Nemo and Dorie have been told not to try to go around or over the gap, but through it. When they get there, that just doesn’t seem right to them; so they decide to swim over it. They end up running into a huge school of jellyfish! They survive it, but not without getting stung and suffering a great deal of pain! How like our attempts to figure things out for ourselves, often ignoring what God says, and doing what seems right to us! (Prov. 14:12)
Today’s Other Readings:
4 For since the beginning of the world
Men have not heard nor perceived by the ear,
Nor has the eye seen any God besides You,
Who acts for the one who waits for Him.
5 You meet him who rejoices and does righteousness,
Who remembers You in Your ways.
You are indeed angry, for we have sinned—
In these ways we continue;
And we need to be saved.
6 But we are all like an unclean thing,
And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags;
We all fade as a leaf,
And our iniquities, like the wind,
Have taken us away.
This passage speaks of the greatness of our God and our universal need for salvation. We are like an “unclean thing.” All our righteousness, all our good deeds, all our attempts at trying to save ourselves or earn God’s approval are like filthy rags. We are unclean by nature, sinners from the womb.
But God …
Do you realize that the Bible is all one big “but God”? But God who is rich in mercy, who knows what we are, chose to die in our place! Continue reading