Friday, February 1, 2013

There is a remnant

Romans 11:4
1 Kings 19:14-18
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We can only guess at the hearts of those around us. Sometimes what is in their hearts and minds seems pretty obvious, but still we should remember that we are looking at the results of their actions rather than the desires that caused them to make particular decisions. Elijah looked around at the Israelites and despaired at the number who were apparently following Baal wholeheartedly. With the queen's aggressive persecution of all followers of the Lord God, Baal seemed the much safer religion. Yet Elijah could not see the heart of each person in the marketplace and each individual in the field and each Israelite hiding in their homes from the queen's soldiers. God, who knows every hair on our head (Lk 12:7), also knows the hidden desires of our hearts. He knew exactly how many Israelites had remained faithful and had probably intervened in their lives to protect them and encourage them to remain faithful. When we are discouraged by the lack of faith that seems apparent in our society, we can be encouraged by knowing that God works in the secret heart of individuals to preserve a number of people faithful to Himself. We may not recognize them or have the opportunity to interact with them regularly and we may severely underestimate the number of people who are faithful. Yet we can be encouraged that He knows each one of them, not just by their actions but by their thoughts and desires. And He will work in the lives of all of us who are striving to be faithful, to protect us and help us remain faithful to Him.

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