Times are very different for me today than they were when everything seemed to be set perfectly in place. Then our family was near and within reach. The balance of family closeness was intricately intermingled into my life. Then change came, and with it I had to adjust to a new kind of balance. Change isn’t bad, just different. I needed to readjust to a different kind of life style. I had to give up some of my life-dreams to find freedom in what God ordained for my life. I must confess, in the beginning it was difficult. The brisk current of change was like a storm in a raging sea. It knocked me off my feet. All that happened changed my life forever! How did I come to acceptance?
I come to share my wilderness experience with you. It began with my son Michael’s death. When Mike died, I died! My world was shattered. I was caught off guard. Tragic, violent, unanticipated, murder! It didn’t make sense! I felt shaken and unsure of God’s love. I questioned why God would allow my son to be taken away from me…let alone his life taken in a violent way. It was difficult to believe God was near and would make a way for me. The pain seemed to be more than I could bear zapping all my energy. I felt lethargic! The swirl of confusion put me in perpetual disarray with disorganized thoughts which pulled me apart inside out. Ahead was a long journey, yet how was I to make it through even another day?
This is my experience. What experiences have you’ve been through? You may have wondered is God enough? Perhaps you’ve considered whether God is with you right now. Tribulations in life’s personal encounters can dash our dreams. The results can be a crushing despair! Are you groping in the dark, trying to find your way out? Then consider this my friend.
“For whatever is written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (1).
Perhaps what you need is hope…hope that God will make a way. God has given us hope and guidance in the Living Word. When I was taken away with grief God paved a way giving me fresh rivers from the rivers of the fountain of life. I felt life would never be good again. Just glimpses of God’s truths help me to see God’s lovingkindness and in time that eventually transformed my life. How did that happen? God revealed Himself to me in the Word, which gave me a future and a hope. May I inform you of some wonderful blessings of hope that are Yours. Let’s set out on a journey of exploration and discover some of our privileges as a precious child of God. Perhaps these too will give you consolations of hope and comfort.
I found, in the sacred Scriptures a way to endure trials. It wasn’t until I began reading the Scriptures that my sense of despondency began to lift a bit. Little by little, small rays of light slowly began shining through my dark world of despair, bringing hope and eventually healing. As years passed, I began to realize how some truths had been distorted where I believed things not true. I was partly deceived, because I was more concerned for answers to “why” all these troubles came upon me. I questioned, “Was this part of God’s plan for my life? “
When I focus on God’s ways my views change. Perspective is everything! It’s true! Sometimes in the heat of tribulation we can’t see clearly, let alone stay focus. We need a fresh perspective! Even today, I notice the need for reminders, refreshment and renewal of the Scriptures to speak truth to my frail heart. O searching saint, take God’s truths and use them in counseling yourselves for God’s love sweeps away all confusion. On these grounds I urge you, to read the Scriptures, even if only a few or just one verse a day. Then allow the Spirit to fill your mind by speaking truth into your soul. God will stir your appetite for aspirations to seek and follow Him. In light of the gospel you can defeat the doubting fears of unbelief. It’s the implanted Word of God’s love through free grace into your soul which brings transformation. Let’s take a peek at the inheritance we have in Christ. May these truths be riveting to your soul as you are liberated?
Living for Jesus is accepting Him as the only atonement for your personal sins. You are given a new life, in Him. If you have not accepted Jesus, today is the day. Simply, confess your sins, believe on Jesus’ name and begin today to start living for Him. If your life is centered in Jesus and He lives in you…you are His and He is yours. You belong to the Lord! I love the word belonging…it rings ownership, a beautiful security. It gives us assured confidence we are His. “…Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by Name; you re Mine”(2). God has ordained your life, and chosen you. He claims you to be His own. It is at great cost that you have been redeemed. The cost of a righteous, pure sacrifice on the cross, Jesus paid for you. Thank the Lord for your redemption, my friend; He is so good to have called you. His eye was on you! He LOVES you, greatly! God assures you…”you are MINE” The Word confirms you were called to Him by name. How personal is that? God loves YOU! In His great love He redeemed you.
By Grace we are saved through faith. However, faith is not only about obedience and your behavior but above all else, it’s about Jesus. Who He is, what has He’s done and how He has changed you? Look at all Jesus has done. Focus on Him and your world begins to open up, bigger, deeper and brighter than before. Spiritual eyes are broadened. Wider than before! Self-improvement or man-made efforts to clean up or get better exhaust themselves in their own resources producing failure. I encourage you to let go of these and shift your focus off yourself. Look up! Jesus is Lord! Soak in the conquest of our Savior’s work in resting in the sufficiency of Christ. Let’s proclaim hallelujah to our King! How great is He! The truth is, when you focus so exclusively on Him you are increasingly fortified. You then are given might and strength in the midst of struggle and hope increases. Let’s look at another truth.
Our gracious Redeemer has forgiven sins. Dear Christian, through confession and repentance Jesus washes away all guilt…it is gone forever! We stand justified! Cleansed from the power of sin by what Jesus dearly secured for us. This is great victory! Let’s not forget Who Jesus is, what He’s done, and that we belong to Him always and forever. After salvation a process of sanctification begins.
The Lord brings us to maturity by sanctifying us. Sanctification is God’s out-working in and through us. It is a life long process. God is working His best in us making us useful for His Kingdom purposes. Jesus, is producing a complete work of wholeness in you…until the end. Isn’t it wonderful to know He never gives up on you?
“…being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus”(3).
Christ is more than just a close friend, He is Savior, Lord, Almighty, great to deliver, ready to save! With this being said, let’s encourage each other by a gentle reminder of these truths. What a great hope we can share with others who are struggling…Christ in us is our hope of glory! He has done a great work in us by securing us to be qualified, redeemed, deliver, sanctified, and forgiven. Not our work, but only Gods and He completes His work by the Holy sacred Word.
The Scriptures are REAL, living testimonies. Earnestly, we seek to be kept and grounded in them, so that we can walk in freedom – freedom from self, freedom from self effort, freedom from self focus, freedom from the cares of this world and its traps.
Christ keeps me! It is His victory! His truth holds me…together with Him. To abide and remain forever in Jesus! There is victory in Jesus! My victory! Your victory! Our victory! As a child of God we are given everything we need in Christ to live triumphantly! In gratitude, take time to thank Jesus for many blessings that bring a hopeful future. Abundantly, so much more hope to cover every hardship that is allowed into our lives. May God be glorified!
1. Rom. 15: 4 (esv) Biblia.com
2. Isa. 43: 1-6 (nas) Biblestudytools.com
3. Philip. 1: 6 (esv) Biblia.com