“He gave them over.” Romans 1:28

It’s a stark line of scripture. It can seem cold and unfeeling, hasty, even unsympathetic. But no prophetic word is of any private interpretation. We can’t be like those broadcasters who only quote what works to boost ratings and sell their own propaganda. If we want to understand scripture, we gotta see the whole picture.

If we hope to know who God is—we need to hear Him from beginning to end. 

This is how Eugene Peterson in his book, The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language, wrote this particular line of scripture: “God quit bothering them.” Sheds a little more light don’t ya think? God doesn’t give up on people; He gives people what they want more than anything—even when it doesn’t include Him. 

Look around. We can be tempted to wonder, Why does it seem like God doesn’t hear? Why didn’t Jesus put a stop to all this?

Oh, He does.
Oh, He did

This is why it’s so crucial to keep our head in the scriptures. Remember God’s patience? From Genesis to Revelation—God desires that none should perish. From Adam and Eve to the seven seals—mercy endures forever from the throne of heaven! 

This is what I’m hearing from the Holy Spirit—who knows all too well my bleeding heart: Sometimes…you must let people go.

We’ve prayed to the Father, wept, mourned, given, spoken. But when our pearls from Jesus become like fodder to others—we may need to brave another person’s unwilling decisions. Why? Because of love. 

Love is not rude, does not seek its own, it is patient, kind, suffers long, thinks no evil, rejoices in truth. Love bears, believes, hopes, endures all things—even things that crush our hearts.

Jesus is very clear about not being accepted in His own home town. Another way of putting it: we will be hated for His sake. I type these words like they’re easy to hear. Truth is, it can be the heaviest cross we bear. If, by chance, your feeling the full measure of it this morning, I want you to remember something: you are not alone. 

I’m no theologian, but I’m wondering about Simon of Cyrene. We learn through scripture how God has purpose in everything He does; nothing that goes on is beyond His reach. So why Simon? What reason do you think God pulled one out of the crowd to help Him carry the cross? Do I think Jesus needed help? Do the arms of God need the hands of man? I think not. In my limited opinion, I’m going with: God wanted us to knowno kid of His will ever walk alone.

You may feel like letting someone you love have the life they want is giving up. It’s not. Our broken hearts bend at the knees and we cry out to the One who saved our own willful soul. We follow in Jesus’ footsteps, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” And we put all our weight on Godenduring to the end.

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