STOVER: What if God went on strike in 2018

Published 1:15 pm Saturday, December 30, 2017

By LARRY STOVER | Praise Park Ministries Church of the Nazarene

What would happen if God went on strike in 2018? If God looked down on His creation and was not pleased with what was happening, could he possibly withdraw his blessings?

If people did not honor his son in the manner or level that he felt should be taking place, could he cut back on his acts of mercy, love and grace? Suppose that God saw so much sin and disobedience among the people on earth that he said, “That’s it, I’m through!

Could he go on strike? Would he go on strike? He’s not gone on strike in my lifetime. What could he possibly do?

What if he chose to cut off his grace? Some of the greatest songs of the Christian faith are about grace. That “unmerited favor” of God reaches down to every area and aspect of our lives. Prevenient grace watches over us and protects us in ways we will never understand this side of heaven. Saving grace is that miracle of our faith that justifies us in the sight of God and restores us to a proper relationship with the father.

His amazing grace is the cornerstone of our relationship with Him. With it in motion, we receive his wisdom, strength and guidance. I’m secure in the unknowns of the future knowing that God will be with me there. When we go through emotional or physical struggles, that grace gives us hope for a better tomorrow. His grace has no limits.

What if he cut off his love? His love is unconditional! It is at the heart of His nature. Over and over again, the Bible is clear, “God is love!” Sometimes, when our world comes crashing at our feet, the only love we experience is from our heavenly father. He becomes our shelter and refuge during the crises of life.

It was his ultimate love that sent Jesus Christ to the cross to die for our sins. While we were living in sin and disobedience, making a total mess of our lives, the plan was already in place to offer forgiveness and pardon. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” That is still at the heart of God’s will for people everywhere.

What if he cut off his mercy? Our loving, forgiving heavenly father has no shortage of mercy. How many times would we forgive someone if they continually disobeyed us, tried to hurt us or smeared our integrity with their lies and hate? The Bible speaks of forgiving someone 70 times seven, and that is just a statement meaning there is no limit as to how many times we should forgive. We are to forgive others as Christ has forgiven us. His mercy is never-ending!

It could be worse. Suppose he gave the orders to the sun to cut off our heat and light supply. It takes approximately eight minutes for the light of the sun to travel some 93 million miles. Talk about weather changes. Our heart bills would go through the roof; Lights would be left on all the time. Without the sun, we are told that we would experience another “Ice Age” with catastrophic consequences.

You know, he really would be justified. Look how he is treated these days. He sent his only son into the world to save the people from their sins, yet people barely give him lip service at times.

You might be thinking, “God has never gone on strike before.” But the truth is, he has done it once! Have you read the story of Noah and the Ark.? The people in that day had become so evil that God was displeased with them to the point that he wished he had never created man. The ensuing flood wiped every living thing from the planet except those on the ark.

It may not happen on a world or national scene any time soon, but our actions during 2018 may very well reflect the benefits we receive from God. His mercy, grace and love alone are blessings worthy of my choice to be a Christian next year. My choice to reflect Jesus Christ on a daily basis during the coming year will definitely make 2018 “Simply Beautiful.”