The Father Comes to Us
We are a people who are prone to wander. We are so drawn to instant gratification. We're drawn to the things that we can see that are tangible and right in front of us. But the Scriptures tell us that without faith, it is impossible to please God and that faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you cannot see. And so it's our human nature—as old as Adam and Eve—and an inner sin nature to be drawn to the things that are right in front of us.
And faith is a discipline to trust that God is good, that he is faithful, that he will meet us in our needs. That is hard work. That is the work of the Christian empowered by the Holy Spirit, to remember who our Father is. And he is a good father. What I love about the nature of our God is his immeasurable mercy and his endless grace. We are prone to the idols of our age—to those empty promises, those counterfeits—over and over, a hundred times a day.
Quite honestly, we put our hope in the things of this world. We put our hope in ourselves rather than lifting our gaze to our God above and placing our hope in him. But he's such a good father. I love the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15.
I just love the image of the father who is waiting and watching the son who has already taken the inheritance from the father. And he's gone out to a far country and spent all of his father's money in reckless living. And then he has come to himself. He's hungry and he's suffering because that empty promise did not deliver. It promised him life, but it delivered death.
And he comes to himself and he goes back to the father. But before he can even get to the father, Scripture says that the father is looking for his son while he's a long way off. And he goes running to the son and he takes on the shame of the son himself. And he gives his son a robe and shoes and a ring. And he lavishes him with a kiss and says, We are going to have a feast because you have come home.
The gospel is full of endless hope, and it will never run out.
That is the goodness of the gospel. No matter how often you and I wander, no matter how many times a day we put our hope in an empty promise, our God still runs to us because his Son has reconciled us to himself. So the gospel is full of endless hope, and it will never run out. Our God's love is unconditional and his mercy is never-ending. I just want to encourage us to put our hope in him.
Jen Oshman is the author of Cultural Counterfeits: Confronting 5 Empty Promises of Our Age and How We Were Made for So Much More.
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