Isaiah 33:2 O LORD, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation
in time of distress.
As in the parable of the Pharisee and the
Tax Collector, it is not those who reckon themselves good that God
listens to, but rather to those who long to be saved; who long for God
to be gracious to them. Graciousness is not fair. For it freely gives to
the undeserving. Such is abhorrent to the fair-minded legalist. Thus for
example Judas committed suicide rather than seek God's graciousness. But
through the cross God's graciousness is reconciled with God's judicial
nature thus allowing salvation to be provided through the forgiveness of
sins. But the gospel is of no value to those who are not seeking for God's
grace. For they worship a different God; a god who is not a Savior; a god
who is not gracious; a god who is simply "fair". God longs to saves those
who long to be saved. But the self-righteous will be judged by the books.
Inherent in the attitude of those whom God saves is a longing, a yearning,
to be right with God. Job proclaimed, "I know
that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.
And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I
myself will see him with my own eyes— I, and not another. How my heart
yearns within me!"Job 19:25-27 And David, "My
soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh
cry out for the living God."Ps 84:2
The salvation which we long for and which God provides is not simply justification.
it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose."Php 2:13 There's an internal working of His Spirit, a strengthening
of heart resulting in perseverance of faith. So "May
he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the
presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all
his holy ones."1Thess 3:13 And not just in faith, but
in deeds and words which are outworkings of faith. So "May
our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his
grace gave us eternal ncouragement and good hope, encourage your
hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word."2Thess
2:17 And so also He strengthens us from the devil.
"The Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the
evil one."2Thess 3:3