The Good News

Here’s the thing – life is not what it is supposed to be. There are so many things about it that just seem wrong … like young people dying in car accidents … like entire families suffering from hunger … like relationships breaking up over silly things … like our bodies breaking down under stress … like marriages ending up in divorce … like tsunamis wiping out entire cities … like sicknesses squashing out life … it’s not right, something is wrong.

Of course there are also many bright moments, good things happening; but it is precisely those good experiences in our life that tell us that something is not right. Why can’t all of life be good all the time? … And if someone will simply say that the difficult and trying times build our character or something, while I might agree that it is true, still … the rough stuff simply seems not right, not how it all should be.

Those feelings within us are quite right – you see, the world was made good, in fact when God finished His creative work, all of the world was said to be “very good” (Gen. 1:31). Like people walking in the tangible presence of God good; like no death, no sicknesses, no broken relationships or natural disasters good. Very good.

It was not till the first people turned their back on God, thinking that they might be better off without Him, that the “very good” morphed into “something is wrong” (Gen. 3). And that’s the world people have lived in since then. That’s the world we live in.

And you know, at the bottom of our troubles are not really daily experiences of toil, pain and disappointment; at the bottom of it all is our broken relationship with God, something we inherited from the first people, where we think we are better off without God.

We are curious creatures … so smart and resourceful and all, and yet so ignorant, blinded by pride … how can we be better of? And the ironic thing in this strange situation is that even though we don’t want to have anything to do with God yet we blame Him for all the stuff that is less than ideal. How does this make any sense? (Rev. 16:9)

But here’s the strangest thing of all, in a wonderful kind of way – even though we are dead spiritually speaking, totally living with our back turned on God, not wanting to have anything to do with Him … somehow He still loves us … [like we even care about that] … and wants to restore relationship with us. (Eph. 2:1-7)

Why? … I don’t know … I wouldn’t … but He does.

And we need that restoration, because should we push away His hand that is reaching to us we will have to by ourselves and for ourselves give an account for the life we lived to Him (Heb. 9:27). And there really is going to be one issue at stake – since I am made for Him, did I live to honour Him?

You know the answer to this question … this failure in our lives is what the Bible calls “sin” and for sin someone has to die.

That’s why Jesus came, the Son of God, to stand in our place and die in our place so that we would be reconciled to the Father (Rom. 6:23). That’s the strangest thing of all – He did that for us when we were really His enemies … (Rom. 5:10-11).

We are made to live in relationship with our Heavenly Father – and even though we continually mess up, He extends His grace to us, giving us something we do not deserve, and calls us to trust that Jesus stands in my place before Him, covering for all my sin, and making me a child of God (John 1:12-13).

Now, that does not make us immune to sickness, invulnerable to disasters, unyielding to sin – but it restores the most fundamental relationship we are made for … our relationship with God. And even though life is far from perfect … He gives a sure hope that it will once again be “very good” when He returns to restore all of His creation to all that it was meant to be (Rev. 21:1-4).

The Bible says that “everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved” (Rom. 10:13) – this invitation is extended to you.