STUMBLING AND GOD’S GLORIOUS OUTCOME
So I ask, did they stumble so that they might fall? By no means. Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean! Romans 11:12
When one I love stumbles over Christ, even vehemently rejects him, can that act mysteriously bear fruit in the kingdom? Yes! A rejection of Christ, temporary as in the unbelief of present day Israel, can be used in a sovereign way by God to advance the kingdom. The Gospel came to Gentiles like me because Israel stumbled. And it will be the Gentiles who become the catalysts to lead the nation of Israel back to God. Things come full circle in the mysteries of God. He weaves a path mankind could never think of. We get lost in the tragic story line. God’s plotline transcends tragedy to culminate in redemption.
Example. Earth was once pristine. Perfect. Man’s sin cursed it. Now, it is broken and will ultimately come to completely destruction. God will redeem it and make it new again. We will enjoy a new Earth and walk again in Eden. Full circle.
What does that mean for any loved one who can’t yet see the glory of Jesus? He stumbles over the Gospel, stumbles over the concept of sin and his need for a Savior, stumbles over losing his life in this world to invest in life eternal. His stumbling and life of sin is, even now, being used mysteriously for others’ good. If that person is my parent, their sin and unbelief is, at the very least, a living lesson for all who know them. If that person is my child, their stance against Jesus bears fruit in a parent’s need for a faith that is cultivated in the wilderness. That is a beautiful thing that bears much fruit. And this all happens before the salvation of the one who rebelled!
Israel’s stumble over Jesus meant riches for the world. The message of Jesus’ death and resurrection spread like wildfire to any one ethnic group who would believe. My loved one’s stumble over Jesus can focus a light on the salvation God offers and be just as contagious to those inside and outside the family. Perhaps the faith of just one new convert will bring the stumbling one to faith. Full circle. Full redemption.
I’ve seen it with my own eyes. I know it’s true. Stir up the faith of any of us who doubt your power to redeem. Amen