Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
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December 17 – Faith And Vindication

“But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.  Turn to me and be gracious to me; give Your strength to Your servant, and save the son of Your maidservant. Show me a sign of Your favor, that those who hate me may see and be put to shame because You, LORD, have helped me and comforted me.”  Psalm 86:15-17 

 Devotional Thought For The Day

Would that the whole world, every human being, might know God, the only True and Living God, that He is “merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.”  People tend to reflect the object of their faith, their “deity” as they conceive “God” to be – how blessed the world would be if all people reflected the mercy, grace, steadfast love and faithfulness of God, the True God!  But alas, it is not so – and even within the church we often encounter just the opposite, insolent and ruthless people whose real goal is to erode faithfulness to God’s Word, to destroy faith and morality, joy and comfort, from the hearts and minds even of God’s dear people of faith.  Lord, have mercy!  So we continue to pray frequently for God to be gracious to us, to give us His strength, and to save us from all harm and evil.

We often desire that God would publicly vindicate us, that He would provide a sign of His favor that would demonstrate to everyone that He favors us.  Sometimes, more than anything we desire this kind of vindication in the sight of our enemies and detractors.  We also want to see some pain inflicted on those who are “insolent and ruthless,” so that they have to acknowledge the wrong they have done and feel shame, and become fearful enough to desist from their evil designs against us.  However, such “signs” often do little more than further inflame their “hatred” of what is good and of us, and about all that is accomplished is the revealing of their hypocrisy – that they portray themselves as “loyal opposition,” but regardless of the “signs” of their error, regardless of the “signs” of blessing on those who remain faithful to God’s Word, they continue in hatred, animosity, malice, and evil intent.  Think about Joseph, the malice that his favor induced in his brothers, and how many years he had to suffer and wait for his vindication.  So perhaps we might want to defer such vindication to the Last Day, and God has promised just such full and complete vindication of His dear people of faith on that day!

It is enough, and probably better, that God has helped us and comforted us, and provided us with His strength and stability, through His Words and promises.  More important than public vindication is the assurance, full faith and trust in God’s grace, mercy, steadfast love and faithfulness – that He has saved us and given us eternal life in the joy and bliss of His heavenly kingdom in the gift of His Son, our dear Lord Jesus Christ.  While we still desire such empirical signs of His favor, and for shame to come on those who are committed to evil, some of this comes from our sinful nature – and does not reflect God’s gracious mercy and love.  Our faith dare never rest and depend on such “signs” either, but rather solely and completely in God’s precious and faithful Word to us, for we know that “we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.” [Acts 14:22]

So we rejoice in the small signs of His favor that God bestows upon us – taking care not misinterpret, for the wicked often mistakenly conclude that short-term profit from their evil is a sign that their evil is not so bad, and that God will not punish them.  And we do not allow our faith to hang on such signs, but rather our faith is created, strengthened, and sustained by the Word of God, His promises and assurances.  We rejoice when good prevails and evil is punished, but we also rejoice that God is gracious, merciful, long-suffering, patient, and full of steadfast love – in fact, this is our faith.  So we are willing to suffer the trials and tribulations of this life and wait for our final vindication on the glorious day of Christ’s return.  We will have no doubts or fears about this if we remember that God is always faithful to His Word and faithful to His dear people.  If He has said it, it is as good as done.

Prayer For The Day

Dear Lord Jesus, we too struggle when it appears that evil has prevailed, when our scope is too narrow to see the good that You work for Your people in all things.  Preserve us from doubt and the evil of questioning Your goodness and love.  Grant us to live in humble repentance and full faith and trust in Your Word, so that we may see how You bless Your faithful people, and how evil languishes under Your judgment.  Grant proper vindication to Your people, even as You have promised.  Amen.