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.’”
Does your faith ever feel passionless? You haven’t stopped believing, but your beliefs have become such a routine part of life that they almost seem commonplace. They don’t inspire excitement anymore. Perhaps you have even worried that you are taking your faith and your Savior for granted and slipping into complacency.
At such times we might envy these people filled with a sense of holy awe and spontaneously praising God. They watched Jesus raise a young man from the dead in the city of Nain. If we had just seen a dead person sit up and start talking, I’m sure we would be excited, too. No wonder the news about Jesus spread around the country so quickly.
We don’t have less to make us excited. Every day Jesus forgives the sins that would otherwise 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. Nothing Jesus has done is more worthy of our retelling.
But as exciting and life-changing as this is, he does it for us everyday. Through no fault of our Savior, we become so comfortable with his grace that we don’t find it special anymore. Maybe you can relate to the example a man once gave to his pastor: “Coming to our church,” he said, “was like a man dying of thirst crawling through the desert. Suddenly he creeps over a sand dune, sees an oasis, and goes running down to the water. He jumps in, he yells and splashes around because he is so happy. But all around him are people who have lived at that oasis their whole lives. They stare at him and say, ‘What? Are you nuts?’”
Sometimes our Lord lets us suffer grief and then comes to us with his comforts. He let us find our help in his promises, and in his answers to our prayers. In such cases, one of the blessings he brings 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.
Professor Siegbert Becker 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 promises. Look to Jesus, and you will know that God still comes to help his people.