Chapter 6 of The Jesus Code: 52 Scripture Questions Every Believer Should Answer, by O.S. Hawkins. For those of you just tuning in, The Jesus Code has 52 questions, one to contemplate each week. The author believes every Christian should be able to answer these important questions.
The question for week one was, “Has God Indeed Said …?”
Week two: “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
Week three: “How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?”
Week four: “Who am I?”
Week five: “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness?” (Numbers 21.5).
This week’s question: “If the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us?” (Judges 6.13).
Using Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 1.8-11, the author suggests Paul may have been asking the same question:
… that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life. 9 Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, 10 who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us, 11 you also helping together in prayer for us, that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the gift granted to us through many.
Many, probably all, of us have asked that question, too. Hawkins says the discouragement that comes from not knowing the answer often causes us to want to “give out, give in and give up.”
He suggests we need to look for a cause (Why would God allow this trial in our lives?) and a cure (What should be our response?).
The answer to the first question is in verse 9, “that we should not trust in ourselves.”
How easy it is to fall into self-sufficiency. Quoting the author:
Most of us have been there. Some little victory comes our way, and we begin taking some of the credit and trusting in ourselves. Our Bibles remain closed in the morning. Prayer is pushed aside in the busyness of the day. Then something happens that makes us realize once again that “we should not trust in ourselves” (v. 9) but in the Lord.
And the cure is in verses 10-11, again quoting Hawkins:
The cure is twofold: it is in hope and in help. Paul said that his hope and trust were in Christ (2 Corinthians 1: 10). And his help? “You also helping together in prayer for us” (v. 11). The English phrase “helping together” translates one compound Greek word meaning that we are in this together; we need each other. The word picture describes men and women working together under the same load and not against each other. Hope in Christ and help from others is the cure, enabling us to find our way out of the paralysis of discouragement.
Ultimately, it’s about God’s sovereignty. He sees the big picture and we don’t. He is our loving Heavenly Father and He knows what we need at every point in our walk with Him.
Of course, I’m only touching on the high points. Hawkins has so much more to say in each chapter. Our church staffed used Hawkins’ previous book, The Joshua Code: 52 Scripture Verses Every Believer Should Know, as a devotional last year, going through a chapter each week before our staff meeting. This book could be used in the same way or as a personal devotional.
You can get a copy of The Jesus Code and follow along with these 52 vital questions. The chapters are short and can easily be read in one sitting. If you do, I’d love your feedback. Click here to get the book or here for Kindle.
Next week’s question is, “Is there still anyone … That I may show him kindness?” (2 Samuel 9.1).
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