Last week I wrote a blog on sexual sin. In that post I highlighted the depth of God's grace. Grace that meets us even in our deepest sin. At the same time (and by that I mean while holding on to that understanding of the grace and goodness and mercy of God) we must also actively pursue repentance with every ounce of our being. So what does it meant to repent?
I drop a load of heavy grocery bags on the kitchen counter and walk out the front door to grab the last of the bags. I look back over my shoulder at our two-year-old puppy as he tilts his head at me, asking me (in his adorable dog-way) where I'm going. "Sit....... Stayyyyy," I say. These are daily words in the Bowerman household as we try to train Chief, our adorable rescue pup.
In asking me to stay, God expanded my understanding of missions to be not just going to an overseas country to share the love of Christ, but rather leveraging any opportunity or situation to make disciples and share the gospel where I am.
You know that feeling when you literally have no idea how something is going to work out? When you know there's a "next step" that's coming but you have no idea what it is? When the deadline to have things figured out is just a month (or a week) away? When people ask you "what's next" and you can't answer because it feels like there's just this big black empty void of a black hole ahead of you that will swallow you if you get too close?
Do you ever have those days when everything seems to be crumbling? When things are just falling apart left and right and you don’t have the strength to hold it together anymore? When it seems like everything is just too much and you want to give up?
...We are therefore able to have immense joy in the time of suffering because Christ Himself is our present joy and our future hope. Let us not be thankless and praiseless because we are in a season of sorrow or trial. Instead, may our pain and loss bring praise to our lips as we are reminded that our Savior is our only true comfort and our only true rest.
It seems like the enemy has tirelessly worked to bring me low and make me believe lies. And I confess, I’ve allowed him to bring me low and I’ve believed the lies. But like firm ground underfoot that can’t be seen through the thickness of low-settled fog, with every step I have been able to rest firmly in the knowledge that He is sure and steadfast.
What do you do when you so heavily feel the weight of the brokenness of the world bearing down on you? When you are so overwhelmed with the pain caused by sin that you feel suffocated? When your heart aches with the hurt and grief of the people around you? How do you let it more deeply root yourself in the goodness and love and sovereignty of the Lord?
...regardless of what is happening in my life [or my feeling that nothing is happening in my life], God is still on His throne. So even when I don’t know what is ahead I can rest in his sovereignty, cling to His character, and walk daily in obedience. I can stop seeking for direction or clarity and start seeking to live a life of abandon right where I am to the glory of God. I can find rest in who God is...
Find pleasure in Me. Delight in Me as I delight in you. Be satisfied in Me and let your delight in Me overflow in praise. Rest in My love. It is perfect. It is unfailing. It is unconditional. It is a love that will not let you go. And it is enough.
As humans we naturally think that we are so self sufficient and that our faith is something we can manufacture on our own. But it’s not! And praise the Lord for that because there’s no way we can sustain our faith on our own. I try so hard to figure out the secret to resting and trusting the Lord and it’s so simple...
Saving grace: ascribed to God, grace is his voluntary, unrestrained, unmerited favor toward guilty sinners, granting them justification and life instead of the penalty of death, which they deserve Reading through this definition I am overwhelmed and humbled. Grace. Without restraint. Grace. Excessive and Abundant. Grace. Life and hope offered to vile and wretched sinners.
He is faithful. He is utterly dependable. He is the antithesis of everything fickle and fluctuating. He is constant. He never changes. He is faithful always, no matter what my circumstances are. IN ALL THINGS He is holy and sovereign and good. He is faithful even when I am unfaithful. He is faithful to fulfill His purpose for me. He is faithful to fulfill all of His promises. I have no more reason to doubt His faithfulness than to doubt His very nature and being.
But when you feel like you're searching blindly for the next step on the path, when you're not sure if or how the Lord will provide, when you don't see how your daily monotonous living is bringing Him glory, when you wake up every day with more questions and you are no closer to the answers than you were the day before, well... then it's harder to say every day, "Yes Lord, I trust You. Yes Lord, You are faithful."
Just take a moment to meditate on the vastness of our God. He is Creator and Sustainer and Shepherd and Father and Redeemer and Savior and He is REAL. His very name proclaims His existence! We are able to trust in and put our hope in Him because He is real and true... He is reality.