Mind the Mystery

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, December 30, 2015 0 comments

by Logan Ames

As we bring 2015 to a close, we find ourselves in basically the same unique place that we do every year at this time. Christmas has come and gone, and all mysteries related to what you or your children were going to receive as gifts have been revealed. Whether you eagerly awaited or fearfully dreaded spending time with your family members over the holidays, it has happened and there is no more wondering how your time with them is going to go. This particular year, another “great mystery” has been revealed during this season. I’m talking about “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Personally, I couldn’t possibly care less about it, but my Facebook newsfeed has certainly showed that people are serious about it, with many putting the threat of “unfriending” in place for anyone who spoils it for prospective watchers. Now that it’s been out for a while, any mysteries have been revealed.

I say that this time of year puts us in a unique place because, despite these mysteries being revealed, we have one big new one right in front of us. You’re wondering what 2016 will bring for you, your loved ones, and even this nation. Some of you can’t wait for the adventure, others get anxious just thinking about it. You worry about your job, your health, your loved ones’ health, your finances, your children, your marriage, and a host of other uncertainties. At the same time, you know that Jesus says, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34). No matter how much you worry about 2016, things will happen for which you were not prepared. Your only choice is whether or not you accept this now and choose to depend on the One who is never surprised. Are you willing to mind the mystery?

The Apostle Paul concludes his letter to the Roman believers - and we wrap up our year-long series on this letter - with encouragement in looking toward the unknown future. In Romans 16:25-27, Paul shares that God is able to continue to establish his people through the gospel of Jesus Christ. This belief is not based on faith alone, but also the evidence. Paul knows that the church in Rome is being threatened. He is aware of their persecution, as well as the false teachers and dividers within their midst. Through it all, he has seen God continue to sustain them and establish new believers despite those threats. He also encourages them to see that God’s plan will not be thwarted. The mystery of God’s plan of redemption for the whole world through Jesus Christ was “hidden for long ages past” (verse 25), but is “now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all the Gentiles might come to the obedience that comes from faith” (verse 26). In other words, Jesus is the connection between those prophetic writings and salvation coming to all peoples of the earth. He is the answer to the mystery, the now-opened Christmas gift, and the hope for the future.

One of the most fascinating men of the Bible is Simeon. We know very little about him, but his part in the story of Jesus can be read in Luke 2:25-35. Take a moment to read those verses. Simeon had been waiting most of his life for the mystery of the promised Messiah to be revealed. His faith was strong, as he believed the Holy Spirit who revealed to him that he would not die before seeing the Messiah (verse 26). You can imagine that day after day he wondered if he would finally get to see the Messiah, but the answer was “no” for potentially many years, though we don’t know exactly how long he was waiting. On the day Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple to consecrate him by offering a sacrifice in keeping with the law, Simeon was finally told by the Holy Spirit that this child was in fact the long-awaited Messiah. Look at what happens after he holds Jesus. He asks God to go ahead and let him die in peace! In knowing that Jesus was real and the promise had come true, Simeon didn’t need anything else! He understood that Jesus meant salvation for all peoples (verses 30-32), but also that his presence would divide people in the sense that no one could remain neutral regarding Jesus (verse 33-35). Because of Jesus, people would either rise or fall depending on how they responded. What more do we need to know?

I want to share with you some personal mystery coming up in my life. If you are one who specifically follows my writings, it’s important that you know that this will be my last one for a while. If you haven’t been reading the blog posts of others on this site every day of the week, I recommend doing so. They are gifted, passionate, and most importantly, they love God and his Word. I do not intend to completely abandon the ministry of Worldview Warriors, as I believe in what the Lord is doing through it. However, I am planning not to return to weekly writing until at least August of next year. I praise God for the people of this ministry and for the break he is giving me, but there is uncertainty for me regarding what that will look like. I have been writing every week for this ministry for over 4 years! Like many of you, I presume, staying busy gives me an excuse (a poor one, by the way) for neglecting my own walk with the Lord. Thus, not being as busy and focusing on personal growth will be challenging at times. I’m also getting married in July, and I recognize the need to prepare physically, spiritually, and logistically for the blessings and changes God is bringing. All of those things being said, they are all according to the Lord’s will and as he permits. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow, so obedience to him today must remain our focus.

You don’t know what the future holds and neither do I, but I know that Jesus is real and how I respond to his work in my life is what will determine whether I fold under the pressures of life or patiently endure whatever he brings me. God is good and there will be blessings, but it’s a guarantee that we will have troubles as long as we are in this world (John 16:33). Jesus has overcome the world, and celebrating his birth as we have just done should be our reminder going forward that his presence is all we really need to face the future. God keeps some mysteries hidden from us so that we can trust him by faith and depend on his presence. He’s never failed before, and he won’t start now. So go ahead and mind the mystery. God remains in control and he is ENOUGH for you!

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