Luke 7:16 “They were all filled with awe and praised God. ‘A great prophet has appeared among us,’ they said. ‘God has come to help his people.’”
Do you sometimes feel as though your faith has become passionless? You haven’t stopped believing, but your beliefs have become so much a part of your everyday life that they almost seem commonplace. They don’t inspire much excitement anymore. Perhaps you have even worried that you are beginning to take your faith and your Savior for granted, and you are slipping into complacency.
Then you could envy these people being filled with a sense of holy awe and spontaneously praising God here. Of course, if we had just seen a dead person sit up and start talking, we would all be a little excited and awe-struck, too. No wonder the news about Jesus spread around the country so quickly.
We don’t have less to be excited about. Every day Jesus forgives the sins that would otherwise keep us out of heaven and send us to hell. Isn’t that you and I receiving our lives back from the dead? That alone is all the reason we need to be filled with awe, praise God, and tell others. In fact, there is nothing more worth telling to others about what Jesus has done.
But as exciting and life-changing as this is, he does it for us everyday. Through no fault of our Savior, we can get so comfortable with it that it doesn’t seem special anymore. Maybe you can relate to the example a man once gave to one of our pastors. “Coming to our church,” he said, “was like a man dying of thirst crawling through the desert. Suddenly, over a sand dune, he sees an oasis, and he goes running down to the water, and he jumps in, and he yells and splashes around because he is so happy. But all around him are people who have lived at that oasis all their lives, and they look at him and say, ‘What? Are you nuts?’”
One of the blessings our Lord may bring into our lives by letting us suffer grief, and then coming to us with his comforts, and letting us find our help in his promises, and in his answers to our prayers, is this: he fixes our attention firmly on himself again. We don’t take him for granted anymore. We know that he is our life, our hope, our all. We can’t keep that to ourselves.Our hearts and mouths are filled with awe and praise.
An old professor at our seminary once wrote: “…children of God learn to know that God is nearest just at the moment when he seems to be farthest away. At the time when he seems to be most angry, when he sends them afflictions and trials, they know him best as their merciful Savior. When they feel the terrors of sin and death most deeply, then they know best that they have eternal righteousness. And just when they are of all men most miserable they know that they are lords over all things.” God isn’t missing when tragedy strikes. Look to his word and to his promises, look to Jesus, and you will know that God still comes to help his people.