Sunday, February 22, 2015

No Pain; No Gain???

Oh my head is full as is my heart. I am recovering from my time at church in a good way. 

If you have ever felt the touch of the Holy Spirit, you know what I mean. I have been slightly heavy hearted by many things. I see pain around me, I see sin, I see the decay of creation, and all of it saddens me. I think on the reality that with life comes pain in many versions. I see both believers and non-believers all suffering in the same ways.

Truth is, no one is immune. There is no guarantee that we will forego the suffering of this world because we have received eternal life in Christ Jesus. What sort of ministry could we offer the suffering world, if we never experience it. But we have the assurance of knowing that God will be with us, and that according to scripture what the enemy intended to harm or destroy us, God can use it to mature us and reveal His glory in and through us.

Honestly, my greatest times of maturity and seasoning has come amidst struggle, strife and suffering. Trials become like an olive press that squeezes out the best in us all. Studies show that in times of difficulty, people are kinder, reach out to one another and tend to be the best of themselves.

As I think over this very real fact, I am staring at the reality of my oldest daughter leaving to head off to college in the fall. I constantly am aware of my longing for her to embrace my God as her own God. I long for her to know Him as I do, I want her to desire Him as I do and I ache for her to be matured by Him. I long for her to cling to His word, seek His counsel and embrace His precepts. I want her to have the relationship I have with Him and then some. Then I think on all that I have gone through, and the pain I have experienced that brought me to this place. I stupidly longed for her not to go through any of the pain. Can she know Him as I do without the suffering? Do I long for her to know Him enough to desire that she suffer in order to know Him deeply? That is a message that will never gain in popularity. But isn't it grounded in truth?  The suffering of this world cannot compare to the all surpassing glory of knowing HIM!

There is a way that seems right to humanity, but it truly leads to destruction. However, many must find this out themselves. There is truth that can be learned by study, and by trusting those who teach us, but unfortunately many of the lessons I learn and keep as my own are those that I learned by my mistakes. Mistakes, consequences of our mistakes, and loss of opportunities can be a high price to pay, but if it leads us right into the arms of the wonderful savior, then it is all worth it.

Again, there is a way that SEEMS right to man, but it leads to destruction. Then God's way is what is best. It is not a list of do's and don'ts, but it is a way to live life in victory. A way that will lead to restoration, rejuvenation, revival, renewal and healing. 

I long for my children to embrace His ways by faith, but I live with the knowledge listed above. There is a way that SEEMS right to man, but there is a way that IS right. It is faith in Jesus Christ as our righteousness. 

We will find Him when we seek Him with all our heart. We do not have a righteousness of our own by keeping the law, but one that is in Christ because it is the gift from God and we get it through faith. My goal is to know Him and the power of His resurrection, to fellowship with His suffering and to be conformed to His death. Not that I have attained this goal, but I forget what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead. (Jer. 29:13, Phil. 3:9, 10, 13) Remembering that God counted Abraham as righteous because he believed.  

Yes, much of the last paragraph is a combination of my memory verses for the year so far. I am working on truly memorizing the word, and it is really becoming a part of me. The Word is become alive and active through me.

Although I have studied the Word for years and even tried to memorize for years, this year I have been able to actually find a way to memorize that is working for me. Thanks to the Siesta Scripture Memory Team 2015, I have found a way that works for me. Because it is only one verse that I pick to memorize, and I have two weeks to learn it, I have finally been able to do it. Like eating an elephant; one bite at a time.

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