When God awakens us to our sin, we shouldn’t despair

Yes, our sin hinders our relationship with God, but we shouldn’t despair – we shouldn’t feel hopeless. In the beginning of Jonah 2:4, we learn that Jonah feels as if he has been…

“‘…driven away from [God’s] sight;’”

(Jon 2:4a)

The word Jonah uses for “driven” carries the idea of being forced out, to be forced away from. It’s what I do to our dog when he comes in the kitchen while I’m preparing food. I drive him out of the kitchen back to his bed.

As Jonah is sinking down to his watery grave, Jonah felt as if he was forced out of God’s sight. But even though Jonah felt that way, he didn’t despair. In the remainder of verse 4, he says,

“yet I shall again look upon your holy temple.’”

(Jon 2:4b)

The reason Jonah didn’t despair, the reason Jonah wasn’t hopeless, even though he felt like he had been driven from the Lord, was because he knew the Lord was a God of loyal love. Because God is a God of loyal love, we can turn back to the Lord through repentance.

The same is true for us. While our sin hinders our relationship with God, we can always turn to Him because He is a God of loyal love. You haven’t messed up so big that you are driven from God’s sight forever. You can repair your relationship by repenting. That’s exactly what we should do when we discover we have sinned against God.

When God awakens us to our sin, we should repent, turning back to the Lord.

We should repent, turning back to the Lord even though we might feel as if we have been driven from God’s presence because God loves us and wants what’s best for us.

X-Ray Questions: Where do you bank your hopes?

This week we continue our X-Ray Questions series, as we look at where we bank our hopes. You can read the other posts in this series by clicking here.

X-Ray Question:

(4) Where do you bank your hopes? 

The future dimension is prominent in God’s interpretation of human motives. People energetically sacrifice to attain what they hope for. What is it? People in despair have had hopes dashed. What were those shattered hopes?

Understand

When we bank our hopes in something or someone other than Jesus Christ, we will always be disappointed. When we place our hope in something other than Jesus we are really placing our hope in an idol. Idols will never satisfy us, in fact, they will always disappoint us.

If we place our hope in our husbands and wives, finding ultimate meaning in the way they treat us, then we will always be disappointed. Man is sinful, and at some point that sin will cause us to treat others unkindly.

Alternatively, if we place our hope in a raise, promotion, or new job, we can almost always be guaranteed to be disappointed. Oh, we may get the raise, promotion, or new job, but when we do, we will find it did not provide us with the satisfaction or significance that we were hoping it would.

Riches will not satisfy us either. 1 Timothy exhorts us not to place our hope in the riches of our current age because riches are uncertain. One minute they are here, and the next minute they are gone. The bursting of the real estate bubble and subsequent recession a few years back, of which we are still feeling the effects, attests to the uncertainty of riches.

Repent

We should repent by realizing that our only hope lies in Christ. He is the only one who will never disappoint us. His value will never diminish, and we will always be satisfied in Christ. Where people, jobs, and riches fail us, Christ will not.

Scripture

Here are a few passages from God’s word to meditate on this week, as you consider where you place your hope: 1 Peter 1:13; 1 Tim. 6:17

All X-Ray questions taken from David Powlison’s book Seeing with New Eyes.