Good news in bad times

What is happening with the coronavirus outbreak has affected all of us.   The deaths across the world along with global uncertainty has been felt everywhere,  shutting down entire countries, shows us how completely vulnerable we are, in spite of our technological and medical advances.  We have been made aware of the risk to our health by governments and media alike, the danger for now is unlikely to end any time soon.  But this health concern now before us, serious as it is, may point to something even more grave, and though it is not going to attract headline news, still deserving of our attention.  Last Friday, we spoke about it at a youth meeting just before building closures were announced. Let me take you there now.

 As I said, our youth group met together for the last time, before major school facilities shutdowns took place.   A young lad joined our group for the first time and for the first time, he heard the gospel. It appeared that he may never have heard the gospel explained the way he did that night.  He remained fairly attentive throughout the lesson where he heard a true account of a 19th century tightrope walker named Charles Blondin, who had walked across Niagara Falls on a rope.  Twenty-five thousand people had gathered to watch him perform his daring-to-do feats with no net or safety harness of any kind, seemingly fearless and raging falls below. He did it successfully over and over on many different occasions,  sometimes on stilts, blindfolded, one time with a wheelbarrow full of rocks, the crowds gathered in mass numbers. They broke out into a cheering frenzy each time he made it! One time, the daredevil turned to a man in the crowd and told him to get into the wheelbarrow!   The man refused and neither were any volunteers found that day to accompany the showman in his act of defiance.

This true story is often used to illustrate real faith.  Those on the shore had watched the “Great Blondin” walk across the falls three hundred times on varied occasion to applaud wildly and give their happy nods whenever he asked if they thought he could do it again and again, all the while sporting  different props which he made use of to cross to the far shore, delighting the crowd with his death defying antics, all very risky and without a net beneath him, yet when it came to trusting that he could do it with someone in the barrel that he would push across, none of the spectators would come forward when challenged!    You see, for that moment they had lost their nerve or should I say confidence in Mr. Blondin. They thought that he could do it and did watch him walk the rope to their amazement, but their confidence failed each of them when they were asked if any one of them would join him and take a seat in the wheel barrel which he would push across.   You may have guessed the spiritual application by now.

   First, the illustration does not exactly do justice to our application.  Jesus Christ does not put any at risk when He tells us to trust Him, implicitly.  You only have to read the gospel story with any sense of understanding to see that Christ never failed His mission in any way, that He accomplished everything He ever said He would do.  When He predicted His Resurrection, that was documented and witnessed by hundreds of people and when he healed the sick, they remained healed, not anything He did or said was later found to have failed or false.  So trusting your life to Christ is not a gamble, because Christ is fully able to save and fulfill His promises to us. His Word is sure because He is God in the flesh, and God never fails to achieve His purposes in us and in His creation.   You have every good reason to believe in Christ, who gave His life on the cross that sinners may experience forgiveness and new life. We must exercise personal faith in Christ alone for what He did on the cross to be given newness of life.   Now let us get back to the young lad that you heard about earlier, After our gospel lesson was over, when we had gathered in our van to return the kids home, the young lad asked me about coming back to our group. I smiled. Maybe, next time he can take that needed step of faith!  

He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. …  Ro.4:21