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“…and the Lord did for Sarah as He had spoken. For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham’s son in his old age.”  Genesis 21:1,2

“So Joshua took the whole land, according to all the Lord had said…”  Joshua 12:1

” But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb.  Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.”  Luke 24:2,3

“Then those who gladly received this word were baptized and that day about three thousand souls were added…”  Acts 2:41

Whew!  Everywhere one turns today, we are confronted with and confounded by failure.  We hear that our institutions like government, schools, police forces, military are failing.  We witness people’s failures of lying, cheating, stealing, killing.  We watch as our worldly society fails to care for those who are in desperate need and fails to keep peace within and amongst nations.  The world would even have us look at ourselves; we are not slim enough, educated enough, rich enough, popular enough, in short we are failures.  Sadly, even our churches are weighed down with the sense of failure.  Where is one to turn to find hope?  Where is one to turn to be certain of success?

Sarah felt like a failure.  She so wanted to give Abraham a child but year after year she failed.  Yet God had told her very plainly that she would conceive and bear a son.  In faith she followed Abraham as God called them to move to a new land.  Sarah did laugh at the thought of having a child such an advanced stage.  Scripture tells us that Abraham was 100 years old when success came.  Sarah conceived and Issac was born.

The people of Israel had been slaves for 400 years.  Then Moses came and by great acts of God, the people of Israel were freed and led toward a promised land.  Yet when it came time initially for them to enter the land they were too afraid.  So for 40 years they wandered in the wilderness until the generation that had feared had now passed away.  Moses has died and a new leader, Joshua, takes his place to lead the people.  There were over 40 kings and kingdoms arrayed against Joshua.  The people of Israel were not the physically strongest, they did not have the best weapons, they did not have the largest numbers.  What they had, who they called on, was God.  After seven years of conquest, the land promised to Israel if they would be faithful to God, belonged to them.

It had been a hard frustrating fight.  The Jewish leaders had tried ignoring Him.  They had tried arguing with Him.  They had tried threatening Him, but nothing seemed to work.  Jesus kept thwarting them at every turn and seemingly growing more powerful with more followers all the time claiming He was the Son of God.  Yet the leaders knew better.  The leaders were smarter.  And finally, finally, they were able to get the people to turn on Jesus, they got the Romans to judge Jesus and the problem was over.  Jesus had been crucified and three days ago He was buried.  However, now the tomb is empty.  The curtain in the temple has been rendered in two.  Prophets have risen from their grave and have been seen in the city.  And there is word that Jesus has been seen.  Jesus has been seen, not as a ghost or phantom apparition, but in flesh and blood. Jesus Christ is risen from the dead.  The Jewish leaders are defeated.  Satan has lost.

The word is out from the Jewish leaders; do not preach Jesus Christ.  The word is out, do not believe what His rabble rousing followers are saying about Him rising from the dead and ascending to heaven as God’s risen son.  Do not join this heretic movement or you will be banished from the temple and much worse.  The Jewish leaders have imprisoned His followers.  They have publicly beaten them.  Surely this fad of Jesus Christ will pass.  Yet that man Peter keeps preaching and not just a few, not 20 or 30, not even a couple of hundred, but thousands, thousands!; are joining those followers of Jesus Christ every day!

The aforementioned examples are just a very few of Our Heavenly Father’s successes.  Successes that seemed so improbable.  Successes that appeared to be failures at one point.  Successes on personal levels and on societal levels.  Indeed, there is no record of God’s failure.  Why?  Because it can’t happen.  God can’t fail.

It’s not a glass half full, half empty type of argument.  It is a cup runeth over reality.  Dear sisters and brothers, please, please do not let us buy into the world’s words and judgements of failure.  Let us not become mired in the mud of hopelessness and despair.  Yes indeed their is failure.  The world that only relies on the worldly will fail.

Yet you and I belong to God.  Through the loving sacrifice of Jesus Christ we have been made clean so that we can come into the presence of God Almighty.  Because we belong to God, we are a part of God’s plan and again I state God will not fail; He has never, is not now, nor will ever, fail.  So rejoice.  Rejoice in Him.  Rejoice in the knowledge of His triumph certain to come.  Rejoice in the hope that is testified within us by the Holy Spirit.  Rejoice in the blessings promised by Jesus Christ.  Let us make our petitions to God Almighty, not in doubt or uncertainty, but in faithful confidence of His Loving Power.  Let us read and rejoice in His Word which holds such promise and examples of His faithfulness.

God will not fail.  Staying faithful to Him, repenting of our sins, loving Him and His creation, studying His word, we will not fail either.  That in our triumph we will humbly give praise to Him should be our response.  All hail His triumph in us and our triumph in Him!

Our Most Gracious Heavenly Father, this world and the prince of this world is full of lies, deceits and words of doom and failure.  Pour out Your Spirit that we might stand strong against those words.  We also ask Your forgiveness when we forget that we are Yours and find ourselves living in dark despair.  Lift us up Dear Father.  Shelter us with Your Love.  Show us Your Divine Will that we might be partakers with You in Your ultimate triumph to the praise of Your most Holy Name.  In the Name of Jesus Christ we pray.  Amen

“Or if he asks for an egg will give him a scorpion?  If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children; how much more will your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”  Luke 11:11, 12

“The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden and there he put man…..the Lord God made every tree grow that is….good for food.”  Genesis 2:8,9

I want to start out categorically stating that I don’t believe we have the capacity to see Our Heavenly Father as He truly is.  His glory, his very perfect nature is beyond our ability to comprehend.  So this is not about our perception being His reality.  Yet how we see and perhaps how we attempt to see our Heavenly Father, I believe makes the biggest difference in our lives.

Jesus is very clear as He speaks about God and His relationship to Him.  He calls God, His Father.  Jesus also, though, does not stop there.  For in teaching us how to pray, he calls upon us to start out “Our Father”.  In Luke above, Jesus Christ uses the term “your Heavenly Father”.  Jesus could have used the term your Creator or your God, however, seemingly He wanted to communicate a level of relationship.  The relationship of a Father.

On the one hand there is a great blessing involved in Jesus’ words in that He who is the creator of all things; the Alpha and the Omega, desires to have a personally close familial relationship corresponding to the sense of a parent to a child.  On the other hand, we may be tempted to compare that which we can not truly, accurately comprehend; the relationship of Our Heavenly Father to His children, with the earthly relationship most have some familiarity with; our relationship with our earthly fathers.

For a brief moment, let’s take a look at that earthly relationship and let’s say it comes from the standpoint of the most loving, devoted earthly father.  So that earthly father is going to want to provide for his children.  The earthly father is going to want to protect his children.  That earthly father is going to want to see his children grow, physically, mentally and spiritually.  The earthly father is going to want to see his children mature and gain a certain amount of self-sufficiency.  Of course, in this instance the earthly father is going to love his children dearly.  The earthly father knows he will not be on earth forever, so he wants his children to able to live abundantly when he is not there.

So we may have been blessed with a wonderful earthly father or father figure and we might be tempted to look upon, even lovingly, our Heavenly Father based on that earthly example.  To the extent that we do that, is to the extent our vision is skewed and our perception is extremely flawed.

Why?….Well, let’s take a look.  What is crucial to understand is the limitations of one and the complete lack of limitation of the Other.  We must realize that to even attempt a comparison is a very perilous thing to do.  First, earthly fathers have significant limitations at least as it applies to the capabilities of Our Heavenly Father.  While an earthly father may want to protect us; they have little to no power over an earthquake or tornado; earthly father’s can stop a cell from becoming cancerous no matter how much they desire.  Secondly, all earthly fathers have finite resources and power.  Regardless of their wealth and stature, earthly fathers have limited degrees of influence over societal processes like conflict or hatred.  Finally, no earthly father is perfect; his love is going to falter at times.  He will grow weary of doing good for his children or he will expect some return on his investment in his children.

Here’s where our inadequate vision comes into play.  For our Heavenly Father lacks no power to protect us.  All phenomena, all natural processes are under His control.  Second, our Heavenly Father has all resources, all power at His control.  Our Heavenly Father is perfect; His Love is perfect without end.  He will not grow weary or tired, not once of His children.

Finally, there is one huge, overriding difference in the earthly process of being a father and the Heavenly process.  Earthly fathers expect that there will come a time of maturity for their children, where the need of fatherly influence will diminish.  Earthly fathers understand that there will be a time of physical separation at death.

When we look at what Our Heavenly Father intended, it is clear to see that Our Heavenly Father desires that their never be a time that His influence will diminish.  Our Heavenly Father never looks to a time where we do not need Him any longer.  Our Heavenly Father wants nothing to separate us from Him.  At the time prior to the original sin, we were in the garden where, out of love, all was supplied.  Everything was supplied, we were completely safe, the environment was so controlled, so perfect,  that we did not even need clothes.

In a wisdom that I can not comprehend and a plan that I don’t understand, He gave us the ability for self determination.  He gave us the ability to reject Him; and that is exactly what we did.  To our potential eternal doom, we, as earthly children decided to go our own way.  At some point an earthly father would have let us go; would have said goodbye.  Our Heavenly Father instead, gave to us a gift that we could not obtain ourselves.  He gave us salvation, and it cost the life of His Only Begotten Son for us to receive it.

Thus dear sisters and brothers, we should not, we dare not view our Heavenly Father in any aspect of earthly terms.  We must attempt to see Him within the state of Being that He is.  There is only one way that can come about; and oh by the way it doesn’t come from us.  The gift of the Holy Spirit, the gift of the Spirit of God Himself that can dwell within us, is the only way we may gain insight into the true nature of Our Heavenly Father.  With that gift; we can come to the understanding that there is no plan for us to be on our own, there is no desire for separation, that Our Heavenly Father wants to be the all providing, all protecting all loving Father for all time to come.

Our Most Gracious Heavenly Father, we are awestruck that You want to be Our Eternal Father and the lengths You are willing to go to accomplish that.  We thank you for the sacrifice and salvation of Your Son Jesus Christ.  Forgive us Heavenly Father, when we become rebellious children, desiring to reject You for own ways.  Give us the gift of the Holy Spirit who will teach us of Your true nature and guide us back to being Your loving children.  We pray in the Name of Jesus Christ.  Amen

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