Ryan & Jordan

with Pioneer Bible Translators

Tag: evil

What is the question?

by ryan

To be, or not to be–that is the question:

Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune

Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,

And by opposing end them. To die–to sleep

No more; and by a sleep we say to end

The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks

That flesh is heir to. ‘Tis a consummation

Devoutly to be wish’d. To die–to sleep.

Perhaps one of the most famous soliloquies in British Literature is the one partially quoted above, spoken by Hamlet.  Perhaps the question that begins it is one of the most well-known questions in English literature.  It is a question that many in North America still ask. It is a question asked by a person who knows evil. To live, or end my life? All too often, the answer is “End my life.” But this post is not primarily about suicide.

I want to back up and ask an ancient question, perhaps a question that would have been part of a soliloquy if the protagonist was penned by a playwright, brought to life by a playwright. But this protagonist was formed from the earth and received the breath of life. This protagonist is you and me.

One protagonist is called Eve.  Her question, our question, is: To obey or not to obey?

The Book of Genesis, as it is often called by the English-speakers, is about creation but it is also about ordination. In the beginning, God created. The earth and everything in it is the King’s, God’s. But in the account we also see a profound ordination: mankind is made to obey God.

Jesus

Instead of obeying the King, we have rebelled. You don’t have to look far to see the disease, the destruction, the disdain and the death this rebellion has caused. The problem for us is that there has only been, and there is, and there will always be, only One King. God will not be dethroned.

The fruit of disobedience is death. So before you choose suicide or death by rebellion, please ask another question and think carefully about your answer.

To obey or not to obey?

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Sweet Relief

by Jordee

I often feel it when I’m weary. When I feel the weight of the world and wonder if I’ll get rest soon. When I feel like I’m swimming against the tide, or when someone I love is barely holding on, finding strength only to come up and gasp for air.

We are not as we should be, and when we look around, the effects of this are everywhere. Sometimes the brokenness seems so awfully pervasive, and I wonder for a moment if there’s hope.

But only for a moment.

Then I remember the God Who Sees and the One who healed the sick and raised the dead. It only takes a moment because He is right here, holy and transcendent,  inevasible and loving.

He loves us.

He sees the pain and evil, our rebellion, weakness, and doubt. He does not turn a blind eye. He saw it and took it on Himself, and it had no power over Him.

A dear friend of mine was walking through a difficult time, a time of fighting the tide and gasping for air. She recently told me that she felt a breakthrough when she was riding in the car and a familiar song about the love of God came on the radio. Air filled her lungs again. She stopped flailing as if it were up to her to stay afloat. She said she cried out of relief.

He loves us. We are often burdened and broken. We are sometimes rebellious and ready to give up, but He loves us. What a divine relief.

Thank God.

Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus
Far surpassing all the rest
It’s an ocean full of blessing
in the midst of every test
Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus
Mighty Savior, precious Friend
You will bring us home to glory
Where your love will never end
Samuel Trevor Francis, 1890

trials, faith & rest

by ryan

King David wrote a song that declares “The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.”

His kingdom rules over all.  Over all.  And trials are a part of the “all”.  This week has been very challenging for Jordan and me.  We endured something quite evil.  But you see, God was not surprised.  He knows all things. God watched what happened to us, as King Solomon said: “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.”  And as he watched, his kingdom was still ruling over all.

Often hard things happen in our lives that don’t make sense to us.  And when they do, it is tempting to give up trusting God.  But we believe God is still on his throne, ruling the whole universe.  He always accomplishes his purposes, as the Prophet Isaiah has written:

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
    and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
    giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
    it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
    and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”

God always accomplishes his purposes and they are good and just.

So at the end of a long week, Jordan and I are reclining & resting knowing that our God is faithful to us.  So we walk by faith, being faithful to him.

We know many of you are going through challenging times, and if you are not, you will.  And when you are, may you walk by faith,  finding peace & rest under the shadow of his wings.