Monday, April 10, 2006

tired, yet ever going

Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.

2 Corinthians 4:16 (TNIV)

There is something invigorating about a relationship. Though the passage is speaking about blessings that come from our relationship to God in Christ, yet at the heart of it all is a relationship. To God, the triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. To each other, as sisters and brothers in Jesus.

Relationships are not easy. But this is where we derive strength. In this passage it is about deriving a resurrection life kind of strength. But this is really in the context of knowing God, of knowing Christ (Philippians 3:10). And as this passage says, though we are tired due to growing older in our bodies, and facing the hassles and pressures of life- yet God is at work in us, to renew us spiritually, day after day.

I have been depressed lately. But somehow, somewhere, in spite of hassles and pressures and even anxieties on my part, this depression seemed to dissipate and disappear. How? I don't know. But I do believe it has something to do with what this scripture is talking about.

This passage is about mission. It is also about "the face of Christ". We need that "face to face" relationship to God through Christ (like Moses). Let's turn our face towards God through Jesus. And seek to do that with like-minded followers of Jesus. Knowing that we do so as those who would bring the light of Jesus' face to the world. Then we'll be tired, yet ever going. Amen.

7 comments:

Cappa said...

Hi Ted,

As always, your posts leave little doubt as to what you’re saying and makes very good points, however, towards the end of this one, you stated something I’d like to call to your attention, and, perhaps, add a question to it as well. Your response would be valued as always.

"We need that "face to face" relationship to God through Christ (like Moses)."

I'm sorry, but my understanding was that Moses had a very intimate relationship with god, is that not so? Where, many times, God chose to speak to him and also, listened as he spoke? If that's so, then as you stated, "How? I don't know." to why your mood changed, well, how can you be so sure that it was god's intervention? For that matter with any change, how can you say for SURE, that it was? The bible does wonders to express what god can do, but the proof, as usual is left with a mixture of doubt and belief. The doubt of course, from people like me, and the belief coming from people like yourself.
Ted, I’m not fighting to disprove god, on the contrary, I’m fighting to prove he exists, but my proof, must come in the form that does not resemble a personal belief, regardless of how strong that maybe. I’ve had some very strong beliefs of the lottery numbers, but turned out to be wrong. I would hope your readers would see the validity in that statement, as well as my question.

Take care,
Neil

Ted Gossard said...

Neil, Thanks for your kind words and good thoughts and questions.

In the Psalms you will remember that the psalmist tells himself to seek God's face. This seeking, I believe for the believer, is ongoing. And in that continued seeking a glory is given to us, related to the glory Moses received when spending time in God's presence. (2 Cor says the glory in Christ in the new covenant is greater than that given in the old. For all, not just for a Moses or a priest.)

I believe the face of God (metaphorical of a reality) is mediated to us in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4). This involves a faith that is not free of doubts. Sure, doubts come and go- look at Abraham (and Sarah) as you'll recall. Yet in Romans 4 he is said to have a faith that did not waver regarding the promises of God, but that he grew strong in it.

Doubts are a part of life. Proof in faith still involves a walking by faith, not by sight. In other words it involves a dependence on God that, while never anti-rational, is beyond just rational "proof". And there is the Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we belong to God as his children, for us who have faith in Jesus.

Though in the faith found in Scripture, there are historical proofs given- in eyewitness accounts, etc. But faith must end with a dependence on God.

I think God blesses those who do not acknowledge him- to the end that they will come to acknowledge him. And those who do. Faith helps us to have assurance (Hebrews 11) that though we may very well not understand what's going on, yet we believe in God and in his promises, and we proceed accordingly. (true of Job, even as he was struggling in severe questions to God)

Maybe I didn't directly answer your question. I don't claim to know intricacies that only God would know, but I believe every good gift comes from him (James 1), so that I should acknowledge his goodness to me. And that above all, a relationship with the Triune God is a gift for our taking through Christ.

Hope these rambling thoughts may add something to your thoughts and understanding. Maybe just in a contextual way.

God's shalom to you,
Ted

Ted Gossard said...

Neil,

(I did my first comment this morning rather in a hurry, before getting out the door, so here's hopefully a better reply)

Maybe you should just start with the premise that God does exist and then put God's word to the test. His trustworthiness. As revealed in Scripture in Jesus. By committing your way to him as he opens up his way to you.

Maybe I'm not getting at what you want. The Christian faith is based on events that happened in history. God's story includes us in our stories. But we can not find our way, our true identity in his story apart from his revelation given to us in Jesus. So we have to commit our way, our life to him, who according to Scripture says he is the way, the truth, the life.

Am I getting nowhere again?

Ted Gossard said...

Neil, what I mean by "nowhere" is that I can so easily miss the boat as to what someone is asking or saying.

Ted

Ted Gossard said...

Neil, one more thing I want to add (I'm good at doing that).

We best find Jesus, as I would put it,- in community. In a community devoted to being followers of Jesus. A community of faith. We can begin to see Jesus in his people, very ordinary people, like myself.

Ted

Cappa said...

Hey Ted,

I read your replies, thanks again for your insight. As to the point you made about accepting the premise that god does exist, I’ll have to say that it's quite hard to do so, for the simple fact that there were a number of events in my life that led me to question the very faith I have invested a great part of my life towards.

Well, Ted, what I’m actually attempting to say is that it's hard for me to put my faith back into something so easily. For that reason, I guess, the logical stance on events and outcomes gives me that insurance to believe in its validity.

As you may have been able to tell, I’m fighting this battle nearly every day. My hope is that one day, I’ll realize the true value of religion and perhaps god him self. Until then, the bible seems to be the last book my mind really wants to read, however, my heart says otherwise. I’m looking forward to see who’ll win.

Take Care,
Neil

Ted Gossard said...

Neil,

Thanks for your reply and for graciously reading my comments.

The story of God is one that would pull us in, to along with a good number of characters, see that God is good and is for us. So I pray that you'll find your special place in the Jesus community.

grace and peace to you,
Ted