Hopeless And Helpless
Read Isaiah Chapter 64
Isa 64:4 Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides You, who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him. 5 You come to the help of those who gladly do right, who remember Your ways. But when we continued to sin against them, You were angry. How then can we be saved? 6 All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
Verse 5 asks a very difficult question. “How then can we be saved?” As we think about the depth of our own unrighteousness, it is easy to throw up our hands and say, “It’s no use.” Just as Isaiah says, we are unclean. All our righteous acts are like filthy rages; our sins sweep us away. Each of us has battled our same-sex attractions since that first realization that we were “not like everyone else.” We have struggled along the way as we pondered the depth of our helplessness, and wondered how we could ever overcome our tendency to give in to temptation.
There is only one answer, the same one which Christ gave the disciples in this passage:
Mt 19:23 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” 25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?” 26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Notice that the disciples asked the same basic question as did Isaiah. “Who then can be saved?” It is equally impossible for you and I to obtain our salvation, for that is even more difficult than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle. You and I are indeed fortunate. We are painfully aware that there is nothing we can do to attain our salvation. We’ve tried to live perfect lives and found it to be impossible. At every turn, our efforts have been found to be less than adequate. Jesus came to our rescue by stating something which gives us not only hope, but it gives us absolute assurance that we need not despair. “With man this is impossible, but with God ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE.”
We are among the most privileged few of all the peoples who live. We have been granted the honor of knowing the truth.
Jn 1:10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him. 11 He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him. 12 Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
As we ponder the enormity of our salvation, our gratitude must increase – to the point when our thanksgiving becomes so overwhelming within us that we simply refuse to give in to our temptations. Our right-standing with God, our assurance of undeserved hope, must lead us to abandon all things which displease our Savior. We had no hope, and now we have the certainty of hope.
We must take our good fortune seriously, and not allow our freedom from sin to make us believe we are now free to sin.
Prayer: Thank You, thank You, thank You!!