For the past 2 weeks, we’ve been camped out in 2 Chronicles 7:14, learning about the goodness of God and how we as his children should respond to the craziness of life. While this verse is a warning, it’s a loving opportunity for God’s children to prepare for what comes. We are called to humble ourselves and pray. We are instructed to turn away from our sin and seek God’s face. And God promises the good gifts of his presence, his forgiveness, and his healing. This is a truly incredible verse—let’s read it one more time!
“if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)
It’s so easy, especially with promises like the ones contained in this verse, to get caught up in the gifts themselves. I tend to get stuck on the “heal their land” promise, begging God to restore not only our physical land, but our moral and social landscapes. The idea of wide-spread healing and freedom is immensely exciting to me. While we should be excited about these promises, I want us to think for a few minutes about what these gifts remind us about the character of God.
Here are the three characteristics this verse reminds me of, but I encourage you to sit with the verse and ask what this verse reveals to you about who God is.
The Comforting Listener
When we cry out to God, he hears us and he responds accordingly. He brings us comfort in the midst of difficult times and is always there with a listening ear. He’s not too busy for us, but loves those intimate moments when we come to him. He is a safe space and one who will never ditch us. He sticks with us in good times and bad.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV)
How have you experienced the comfort of God?
The Persistent Advocate
There are standards in this life and, the truth is, we’ve broken them. We haven’t barely missed the mark, but we blew it by a large margin—left to our own devices, we would never be able to come to God. Because The Lord is both righteous and loving, he couldn’t just wipe out our mistakes willy-nilly. Punishment needed to be rendered; a punishment Jesus willingly took on our behalf. He didn’t just die for us and then leave us alone, but he is our righteous advocate, at the right hand of the Father, interceding for us.
My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” 1 John 2:1-2 (NIV)
Are you aware of our persistent advocate, Jesus?
The Great Physician
When we talk about “healing,” I often think of physical healing. You have a boo-boo and God is willing and able to fix it. While that is true and absolutely incredible, there’s more to healing than just our physical bodies. I believe that God wants to heal not only physically, but emotionally, spiritually, and relationally. The stories of healing contained in the gospels are never limited to just a physical healing. When Jesus healed someone, he went deeper than the physical ailment, restoring their identities and, often, their relationships. He does the same for us today. Even if you’re fine physically, God has immense healing available and accessible to you.
“Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.” Matthew 9:35 (NIV)
How have you experienced God’s healing in your life?
We do serve an amazing God! He is deeply relational and sticks with us through good times and bad. He not only saved us, but continues to restore, free, and heal us. We are his children and he is pleased with us, not because of what we do, but because of who we are. I’m grateful that we are his people who are called by his name and that we can seek his face. Today, let’s draw near to him for who he is, not for the gifts he brings.
What does 2 Chronicles 7:14 remind you about the character of God?
Do you tend to focus on the gifts of God or the character of God? Why do you think that is?