Confidence in the Covenant

“‘Just as I swore in the time of Noah that I would never again let a flood cover the Earth, so now I swear that I will never again be angry and punish you. For the mountains may move and the hills disappear, but even then my faithful love for you will remain. My covenant of blessing with you will never be broken,’ says the Lord, who has mercy on you.” - Isaiah 54:9-10

What does it mean to live in the confidence of the new covenant that God has given us through the gift of his one & only son, Jesus? Another question that I have been pondering lately is what happens when God doesn’t fulfill His promises to us in the way that we expect?

One of my favorite parts of my testimony happened during my seventh month of life. My parents noticed that I was constantly sick and cried more than other babies. Concern from my doctors indicated that something was wrong. Out of desperation, my dad really struggled with the idea of his first and only child being sick or enduring something every parent fears, the uncertainty of medical unknowns. One late night, he heard God speak to him in the most clear and audible way he has ever encountered in his life. Through the dark of the night, he felt God say, “I control the day and the night and I declare that Katie will be okay”. Although he was startled, instant relief washed over my father. Who wouldn’t find peace and reassurance with that resounding response?

Imagine his surprise when the next day he returned to the doctor’s office and heard the unexpected, all of the suspicions of the doctors were correct. My lungs had a severe disease and there was no cure possible. This season of my parents’ life was marked with mourning and learning to cope with the unexpected. How can we trust a God who works in ways we can’t always understand?

I imagine a similar feeling of confusion when God’s people encountered Jesus, a carpenter from Nazareth, when they expected a messiah in the form of the emperors they had known. One of the most challenging aspects of life with God, in my experience, is that He doesn’t always show us the full picture of how He is working all things for our good during a trial. What God’s people didn’t know when they encountered Jesus on earth was that the new covenant he was establishing was far greater than the previous covenant God had created with His people.

“But now Jesus, our High Priest, has been given a ministry that is far superior to the old priesthood, for he is the one who mediates for us a far better covenant with God, based on better promises.” - Hebrews 8:6

The people desired for their enemies to be defeated. Jesus defeated the power of death. They wanted sicknesses to be healed. Jesus is our ultimate healer. They wanted a deeper connection with God. Jesus is our perfect High Priest constantly interceding on our behalf to God. They wanted a new way to sacrifice and talk to God. Jesus was the perfect sacrifice who makes it possible to commune with God constantly.

“This is the new covenant I will make with my people on that day, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” Then he says “I will never again remember their sins and lawless deeds.” And when sins have been forgiven, there is no need to offer any more sacrifices.” - Hebrews 10:16-18

In every category, Jesus exceeded what the people of God desired, but He came in a way that did not check the boxes of a typical ruler of the day. He blessed the meek, sat with the outcast, dined with the sinners, and loved those who were often overlooked. Yet he fulfilled every prophecy written in the Old Testament written about the Messiah. 

Out of God’s great forgiveness and love, this new covenant with Jesus was created due to His people of the past rebelling against Him. Instead of turning His back on His beloved people forever, God extends kindness and grace by offering up His only Son as a sacrifice for those who He knows will never fully understand the depth of His humility and sacrifice.

“Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son He created the universe. The Son radiates God’s glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven. This shows that the Son is far greater than the angels, just as the name God gave him is greater than their names.” - Hebrews 1:1-3

What freedom and blessing are we called into as God’s children!! The gift of abundant life with Him, trusting that when we don’t fully understand His plans in the word that He is using it all for the good of those who love Him.

I remember asking my dad if he was ever upset that God’s word to him did not come to fruition in the way he wanted it to. He said, “Katie, you have been okay, it hasn’t been easy” with a smile he added, “but God keeps his promises.” 

“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.” - Ephesians 3:20-21

Author | Katie Courson

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