Tuesday, August 25, 2009

For A Certainty

Check the time. Yeah, odd isn’t it. Most of the blogging is done either first thing in the morning or near the last thing at night so what’s this lunchtime post. Well I had a thought that I was compelled to write down after reading again. So there.

One of the best and worst things to happen to me is being right.

When I was younger, so much younger than today, I didn’t need anybody’s help in anyway. (Is that copyright infringement?) I was diving into reading and did so to accumulate knowledge that would come in handy for those moments when people are looking for that information and I supply it for them. There is also that quiz element where something is in dispute and my grasp on some tidbit that I picked up from some book somewhere allows me to emerge victorious.

It’s a root to pride. It can be a dangerous thing in terms of becoming aloof and somewhat smug and superior when approaching less informed people and trouncing them with the knowledge. Yet thankfully when used in humble means it can just support someone and reinforce or encourage them in a particular pursuit. There is just something good about being right.

It is exactly because I am not always right that I like finding out what it is to be right. Then in the larger context of life that’s where a relationship with God is so crucial because He allows me to pass that responsibility back to Him. After all, being omniscient as He is, He has a handle on what is right, what is to come, what shall be and so because He knows, I don’t have to worry about being in that position. Thus if anyone is in a position to be smug, it would be God. Rather than be smug, the holiness of God and His character of love allows me to see that it’s actually right for others to be built on what is right – which is God.

I was thinking about that supreme level of certainty when I read an area of the Ramsey biography by McKinstry. Now if the country can make a fuss over some blokes dressed in white beating their cousins from Down Under, I can imagine the jubilation that must have been felt when they actually beat the world at a sporting competition. What was even more profound was that Ramsey had said some years earlier that England would win it. McKinstry reveals that at the time Ramsey wasn’t so sure about it after he said it, but as the tournament drew close his belief in the outcome was overwhelming. This was to the extent that even in the pre-tournament training when his coaching staff expected to be off, he assured them that they would be with the team at the final when they won the thing.

Now that level of belief of certainty can be perceived as arrogance sometimes, but when you’re right and just quietly go out and prove it then people have nothing to say except – you’re right.

This isn’t the first time that we come across that level of certainty,

From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. (Matthew 16:21)

So recently I’ve been saying that faith is focus, but what I read here as faith as certainty – not wishful, fingers crossed, pick a lucky charm and gamble for the best. There is that level of this is going to happen. Now when I read the context of the scripture and see how Peter gets a bit upset at what Jesus is talking about, I always wonder if Peter missed the last bit of what Jesus said – the bit about being raised on the third day. I mean in the larger scheme of things in terms of being a winner, how much bigger does it get than coming back from the dead. I mean you’ve been killed and you comeback from that – even death can’t keep you down. That’s big news.

Jesus is saying all this as a fact. As something that will happen. Not only does it state the air of certainty it also gives something to look forward to in the midst of the tricky stuff in between like the suffering, like the rejection, like the misunderstanding, like the sleepless nights, like the tears – when there’s a focus with a prize bigger than the stuff in between it makes it all worthwhile. To put it another way,

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2)

There are tons of other scriptures that give us an assurance that in the same way that Jesus was able to endure because of the certainty of what He was to inherit, similarly there is the hope that we have if we hold out that we will inherit stuff that will make the suffering nothing in comparison. Faith then is in one who speaks and it happens for a certainty.

For His Name's Sake



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