This morning’s reading (June 24) in Oswald Chamber’s classic daily devotional, My Utmost for His Highest, was so very insightful. Here is an excerpt from that reading:
“This is your hour, and the power of darkness.” Luke 22:53
It is not being reconciled to the fact of sin that produces all the disasters in life. You may talk about the nobility of human nature, but there is something in human nature which will laugh in the face of every ideal you have. If you refuse to agree with the fact that there is vice and self-seeking, something downright spiteful and wrong in human beings, instead of reconciling yourself to it, when it strikes your life, you will compromise with it and say it is of no use to battle against it. Have you made allowance for this hour and the power of darkness, or do you take a recognition of yourself that misses out sin?…
…Jesus Christ never trusted human nature, yet He was never cynical, never suspicious, because He trusted absolutely in what He could do for human nature….
Probably the single greatest source of frustration in our lives (which often leads to emotional burn-out) is unrealistic expectations. Jesus never succumbed to unrealistic expectations. He “knew what was in a man.” He even knew which disciple would betray Him from the beginning. He knew Peter would deny Him well before it happened. Jesus was not surprised by the corruption of human nature. But neither was He intimidated or depressed by it! He knew what He could do within a person, when given greater access and control.
Surely you’ve realized that you are still capable of very carnal behavior? If we operate our lives outside of Christ’s control and the power of His Spirit, we all can still act in very corrupt ways. This will be true until we receive our new bodies in the resurrection. The people we love and trust are also still capable of doing stupid things. This is not a capitulation to sin’s domination, but rather a very biblical outlook that realizes that sin is a constant force to be reckoned with this side of Christ’s return.
Are you disappointed in someone? Have you succumbed to disillusionment because of a moral failure in someone (perhaps even yourself)? It’s time to get over it and get on with living in the reality of the Redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Christ’s death on the cross shows us how real and how ugly sin was and still is. But His resurrection shows us that there is life after sin and death. Never give up hope in the triumphant life of Christ in breaking through, even where sin’s hour and power have been recently evident. Don’t trust in human nature, trust in God’s redemption. Don’t look to human goodness, look to the virtue of Christ’s life overcoming human fallenness and brokenness…again and again.