As a pleasing aroma I will accept you, when I bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you have been scattered. And I will manifest my holiness among you in the sight of the nations. 42 And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I bring you into the land of Israel, the country that I swore to give to your fathers. – Ezekiel 20:41-42
For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. – Romans 11:29
A few years ago a couple came to me struggling in their marriage. I listened to their story – a common one – offered guidance from God’s word, and prayed for them. It also became clear that they needed some more in-depth counseling, and I referred them to a Christian counselor. During that time they gave permission for the counselor to share their progress with me. When she did, however, I was saddened to hear her say (somewhat matter-of-factly for that matter), “I don’t think they’ll make it.” I couldn’t imagine such an assessment on the part of the counselor. Sadly, however, she was right. They did not work things out; their marriage failed.
On another occasion, however, I experienced the opposite outcome. During a difficult time with a couple experiencing grave marriage troubles, I prayed for the restoration of their marriage. It was a singularly memorable moment of prayer: God’s Holy Spirit moved me to believe with no doubt that they would work things out. The next day, when I called to ask how things were going, the answer was, “You wouldn’t believe it.” Yes I would. They are still married these 25 years later – thanks be to God.
Our commitments may be fickle. People break marriage covenants, financial contracts, and personal commitments. It’s at all not surprising to us when that happens. But God’s calling and gifts are irrevocable. Nothing deters him from delivering on his promises.
We may wonder if God is at work, or if things will ever work out. We may struggle to see the goodness of God in difficult situations. But God has promised to redeem us. Even the worst injustice will be set right, the most severe deficit will be made up, and more. When it happens God is displaying his glory. We can count on that.