There are so many questions, mysteries, doubts, misunderstanding that surround our God – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. For all that, there are as many variations on the response – find something else to order our life around, deny, believe only partly, go through the motions with our guard up – so not to commit to fully… I read all these passages together this week and wonder about myself – why do I ever doubt? Why do I sometimes take God for granted, why do I ever think I deserve or need more? Yikes.

Another thing that I notice this week is that God is very gracious with those who He desires to see restored and set right. For those who, maybe out of good intentions, got off track, He pursues them and promises them a future of hope. He guides their journey gently towards Him and making it possible to live a life of joy and purpose.

Who could be further off track than Paul was…he was “uttering threats with every breath and was eager to kill the Lord’s followers”. Paul was passionately and sincerely sold out to a cause that was misinformed. Jesus sent another believer to speak into Paul’s life that he may be redirected, restored.

““Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road, has sent me so that you might regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” -Ananias. “Instantly something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he regained his sight (Acts 9).”

Before Paul, there were these people who openly disobeyed God and suffered the consequences -loosing everything that was to be theirs – land, community, prosperity. God did not give up on them, he did not get mad and forget them.

“I will bring them back to this very city and let them live in peace and safety. They will be my people, and I will be their God. And I will give them one heart and one purpose: to worship me forever, for their own good and for the good of all their descendants. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good for them. I will put a desire in their hearts to worship me, and they will never leave me. I will find joy doing good for them and will faithfully and wholeheartedly replant them in this land. (Jeremiah 32:36-41)

It is not just that God wants to and is worthy of our gratitude, our worship. This is not about a demanding God who wants to take all the fun out of our life by making us go to church, to obey him, to live a “goody-goody” life. This is about a God who finds joy in doing good for us – who is passionate about restoring His creation to what He created in the first place.

“…your blood has ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. And you have caused them to become a Kingdom of priests for our God. And they will reign on the earth.” (Revelation 5:6-14)

For every tribe, every nation…may the scales fall, that we may see more clearly the greatness of our Creator, our King!