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Carrying a Cross

Today’s reading: Exodus 4-6; Matthew 16

6 Say therefore to the people of Israel, ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from slavery to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment. 7 I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. 8 I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. I will give it to you for a possession. I am the Lord.’” Exodus 6:6-8

27 For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done. Matthew 16:27

God’s promises are clear, but, from our human viewpoint, the fulfillment of those promises is slow in coming. It was true for Israel in Egypt. It was good news that God sent Moses to them with assurances that the Lord was going to deliver them from slavery and take them to the land He had promised Abraham, but in the short run all they got was more oppression. Pharaoh made them find their own straw and required the same daily production of bricks.

Jesus promised a day would come in which He, the Son of Man, would come with His angels, in the glory of His Father repaying each person according to what he has done. That day has still not come. We, no less than the Israelites, must wait in faith that the Lord Jesus Christ will come on His schedule and bring just and final judgment.

Meanwhile, we cry with the psalmist:

How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me? Psalm 13:1-2

The answer is “as long as God wills.” Even though we cry for His kingdom to come, we must hold fast to His promises and His loving kindness to sustain us till then. Are you carrying a cross? You are following Jesus.

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