by Mike Ratliff
How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
(Psalms 36:7 ESV)
Life is not fair. One of the hardest humps for Christians to get over is the concept that there are no good deserving people on planet Earth. Bad things happen to people, but most people will lament when they see those who they perceive as “good” or “innocent” suffering. They want to know why “bad things happen to good people.” The hump that staggers us is that our perception of goodness being in people is a product of a flawed view of reality. When we seriously study the Bible we learn that no one is good, NO ONE! Jesus even told a person that only God was good. Instead of wondering why disaster comes upon “good people,” we should be asking why God didn’t simply wipe out the Human Race a long time ago. Those who refuse to believe or submit to this truth about people are under the influence of a wicked heart.
Transgression speaks to the wicked deep in his heart; there is no fear of God before his eyes. For he flatters himself in his own eyes that his iniquity cannot be found out and hated. The words of his mouth are trouble and deceit; he has ceased to act wisely and do good. He plots trouble while on his bed; he sets himself in a way that is not good; he does not reject evil. (Psalms 36:1-4 ESV)
The natural man does not seek God, does not want to know the real God, and refuses to be accountable in any way to the truth from His Word. Why? Sin or transgression, which lives in the hearts of all people, speaks lies to them. They have no desire to know the real God. They may be very satisfied with a manmade God, another Jesus, and religiosity that does not demand that they change the way they live. Since the Spirit of Christ does not live in them nor has their heart been regenerated, they live fully in the flesh. They seek fulfillment from their heart’s desire, which is only to try to satisfy the cravings of their flesh. On the other hand, those who truly know God, because He has made Himself known to them, see God and life very differently.
Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds. Your righteousness is like the mountains of God; your judgments are like the great deep; man and beast you save, O LORD. How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light. Oh, continue your steadfast love to those who know you, and your righteousness to the upright of heart! Let not the foot of arrogance come upon me, nor the hand of the wicked drive me away. There the evildoers lie fallen; they are thrust down, unable to rise. (Psalms 36:5-12 ESV)
After regeneration and cleansing, both works by God in the hearts of His people, there is something present in their hearts that was not there before. That, of course, is faith. This faith enables them to see God’s hand in all things, both the good and the bad, and recognizes that their right standing before Him is because of His work, not their character or acts. Their obedience to Him does not earn them their salvation. Instead, they serve Him because they love Him. They have an abundant life in Him because of His goodness, which comes because of His steadfast love for them. Why does He love them? He chose them before the foundation of the world to be His people. He set His love on them from eternity and He is the one who takes them through the fires of tribulation so that they will take on the image of His Son.
Those in Christ, God’s people, should continually pray for protection from being led into temptation. They must seek to not to take on the character of the evil people all around them. Instead, when sand is kicked in their faces by the arrogant and wicked, they forgive and seek God’s best for them. At least they are learning to do this. Come, let us seek to live for our God’s glory alone and forgive all those around us who treat us like we are valueless nothings as we thank our Lord for His steadfast love and His sustaining grace which will keep us faithful until we go home to be with Him.