To Fully Trust the Rewarder
When we don't get the promotion, the spouse, the raise, the children, the recognition, the house, the attention, or the answer to our prayers, we find ourselves with the same cry, "but, why?"

To Fully Trust the Rewarder

8/30/16 Christian Living

We’ve seen those children. The ones whose requests for mid-morning sugar are being denied by their parents. They grab our attention with their whining and agonizing cries of “but, why?”

And when they dissolve in a fit of tears and hysteria and call their parents “mean” or “unfair,” we secretly cringe at their response, glad they’re not our children. Any parent would be irresponsible to give a 5-year-old a dozen doughnuts for breakfast.

We rationalize this misunderstanding that leads to their great display of emotion. We tell ourselves that the child is just too young to understand that their parent is doing what’s best for them.

But that’s only partially true.

Really the issue is not the child’s age as much as it is their lack of faith that their parent is doing what is best for them. Because it’s easier to use the words mean and unfair and whine when you don’t believe the person who has authority over your life is someone who really is for you and is orchestrating everything so you receive the very best.

It’s easy to look at children and be baffled by their reaction. However, as adults, we do the same thing—just not with doughnuts.

Our desires look different. Our attempts to sway the argument in our favor are more nuanced and well researched with different examples of why we deserve to get what we want. Our vocabulary is more advanced. We use words, such as unreasonable, unjust, distant, and harsh. Only now, we’ve moved from having that conversation with our parents to having it with our Heavenly Father.

When we don’t get the promotion, the spouse, the raise, the children, the recognition, the house, the attention, or the answer to our prayers, we find ourselves with the same cry, “but, why?” We don’t cling to the truth that He wants greater and better for us than we want for ourselves.

It’s during these times that we can quickly forget the nature of our good, gracious Father and abandon the truth for a lie (Romans 1). We find ourselves walking away from the truth that the God who created the heavens and earth was a Father long before He ever made anything, that He is also the One who says I am “the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). Our Father is the One who “is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).

Our good Father is One who is not just able, but willing—and even eager—to reward His children. This is His nature.

We see this clearly displayed by Jesus, the visible image of the invisible God, who said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” (John 14:9–10).

In Luke 22, we see God’s character displayed through Jesus as He talks to His disciples who are about to betray Him in His last hours of life.

“But you are those who have continued with Me in My trials. And I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one upon Me, that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” (Luke 22:28–30)

When we think about this scenario, it doesn’t seem to quite make sense that the Son of God, the perfect sinless Lamb, would talk about rewarding a group of guys that is about to desert Him in His hour of need, a group that will forsake Him when He is about to endure embarrassment, humiliation, and torture on the cross for everyone. “Continued with me?”

But Jesus sees past this moment in time to what and who the disciples will be based on His blood and forthcoming sacrifice. As the Lord states in Isaiah, and often proves, His ways are not our ways. While the average person might be tempted to withhold any form of blessing from those who are about to betray them, our Savior chooses to bless and declare over them the destiny that He is making possible.

As His children, we’re afforded the great benefit of receiving from God’s righteous right hand. We can know that in every situation, with every instruction and command, the Lord is finding ways to bless and reward us—through trial,tribulation, and even through the moments when it seems like our prayers are going unanswered. His heart’s desire is for us to be recipients of the great reward He has for us. Like Jesus, we can know that there are treasures laid up in heaven for us, that we too have joy set before us.

We can trust the God who is faithful to all that He promised and “know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). We can trust God because we know His character and nature.

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