Hi, friends, this is Joni Eareckson Tada and welcome to Joni and Friends.
Years ago when I was on my feet, I used to ride my horse past Liberty Lake near Eldersburg, Maryland. It’s a beautiful lake and at the far end there was a big dam. The trail took us around the side of the dam down to the river which, at the base of all that looming concrete, I tell you this little river was nothing but a tiny stream. I’d cross that stream on my horse; I’d look up into the face of that monumental dam and I would feel so small. Not only that, crossing the stream I felt very scared. I used to think that all it would take would be an earthquake – now I realized there were no such thing as earthquakes in Maryland – but if there were, I always would think, man, all it would take would be a little jolt and I knew, I just knew that dam would crack and all of Liberty Lake, millions and millions of tons of water would come crashing down on me. It was enough to make me spur my horse along quickly across the stream and up the other side.
I thought about Liberty Dam when I heard my friend, Dr. John MacArthur, describe God's wrath… and he kind of likened God's wrath behind a dam. He described God's holy anger as a raging torrent. And only, only, God’s grace, like a dam, prevents it from spilling on us sinful human beings. The good news is that when we embrace Christ as our Lord and Savior, the dam of God's righteous anger breaks upon Jesus and not us. When Jesus bore our sins on the cross, the Lord was crossing the stream; He chose to be our substitute. Jesus Christ endured the white-hot fury, the deluge of anger, which the Father had been storing up for us.
What an analogy that is because we don’t talk much about God's wrath. Nowadays, the focus is on His love, often to the exclusion of His anger. I guess it’s hard to imagine God storing up holy anger against us, but it’s true. It says in Romans 2:5 that, “...because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath...” Whoa... is that scary or what?!
That’s why I love Jesus so much, because without Christ and His awesome salvation -- you and I -- we would be terribly exposed on the day of God's wrath when His judgment comes against all those who refuse to believe in His Son.
Friend, this is the love of God, but sadly, we forget it. So every once in a while God dips His finger in that lake and sprinkles “a little wrath” upon us in the form of suffering. Yet even this is an expression of His goodness for a “small touch of wrath” can cultivate the fear of God, it can remind us of His holiness, as well as what we are being saved from. So, friend, be encouraged. Romans 5:10 provides such a heartwarming reminder, “For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!” Oh, such love floods my heart with deep respect for God the Father and an overwhelming gratitude for God the Son!
Come by and visit me today at our radio page at joniandfriends.org and let us hear from you. Until next time, thanks for listening to Joni and Friends.
Previously aired as program #6151 on 11/28/05.
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