Thursday, November 15, 2012

Take heart!

Jesus Calling has stirred up a lot in me this morning!  I need to get it out.  If you are a reader of this awesome devotional, then you may know what I am talking about.  If not, then here it is...... 

November 15 -

Approach problems with a light touch.  When your mind moves toward a problem area, you tend to focus on that situation so intensely that you lose sight of Me.  You pit yourself against the difficulty as if you had to conquer it immediately.  Your mind gears up for battle, and your body becomes tense and anxious.  Unless you achieve total victory, you feel defeated.

There is a better way.  When a problem starts to overshadow your thoughts, bring this matter to Me.  Talk with Me about it and look at it in the Light of My presence.  This puts some much-needed space between you and your concern, enabling you to see from My perspective.  You will be surprised at the results. Sometimes you may even laugh at yourself for being so serious about something so insignificant.  

You will always face trouble in this life.  But more importantly, you will always have Me with you, helping you to handle whatever you encounter.  Approach problems with a light touch by viewing them in My revealing Light.

You will always face trouble in this life.........yes we will.  One of my favorite verses is John 16:33, which states, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world."  I love this.  Jesus states emphatically with an exclamation point, take heart!!!!  I am here, I have overcome, there is more to this life......well, than just this life!!!!  I think Jesus allows hardship, trouble, pain, calamity, into our life because He loves us SO MUCH!  And I know that sounds weird, from a human perspective, but from a God perspective, just think about that?  He loves us, and he knows that when things are good, floating along just fine, we don't need him as much, so we wander around, try to do things our own way, and yet we are not experiencing the full love of God, of WHO HE IS!  I know when things seem to be fine, that doesn't automatically equal happiness in my life, you know??   Sometimes, it's just kind of blah, and I think, ok, well on the outside everything appears fine.  Life is good.  But on the inside, I am not necessarily pressing into God, and experiencing His full love.  The love that has been proven in my life that I won't experience without hardship.  Now I know this is not for all people.  Some people can really press into Him in the good times, and experience His full love.  But generally speaking, I think it is safe to say, that many of us often have to be brought to our knees, to really let God in. And to turn to Him, and to let him have his way with us.  As Jesus lovers, I think, we can do this the easy way, or the hard way!  You know??  And I often times have to learn the hard way.  And He wants to show us Himself, but often times He can't, until all we can do is focus on him.  Until things are so bad, or we are in so much pain, that all we can do is scream his name, JESUS.  And He is right. there.  Always.  The same, yesterday, today and forever!!  And we will experience Him in ways we never have, and never could before.

The problem is, that we all have brokenness.  Every. single. one. of us.  It looks different.  As I sat with people this week, and reflect on my own life, here are just a few areas of brokenness.......fear, anger, depression, bitterness, pride, jealousy, envy, struggling with anorexia, unhealthy relationships, as we look to others to find significance.  Really, anything that we look to, to find our significance, OTHER than Jesus Christ, will always fail.  Will always let us down.  Will always never (love that, double negative) work out. Will always be broken.   Because it is not in God, our Maker and Designer.  And so God allows things in our life, and Satan wants to mess with us.  It can be any or all of those things.  Satan knows our areas of weakness, and brokenness, and wants to dig in right at that spot.  To discourage us, and ultimately take us out.  But because God is the victor, he wins in the end.  And he uses our brokenness, and works IN and THROUGH our brokenness, to REDEEM our brokenness and USE our brokenness to bring glory to Himself.  He takes broken pieces of our hearts, and puts them back together.  He brings beauty out of ashes.  Because it is then clear that it was HIM!  There is no other answer, no other way that healing could have happened.  Sometimes we even need to take ourselves out of situations, and rely on God alone, if we are ever going to see change happen.  We think we need to be involved, if something is going to happen.  I am guilty of this!  And that is so prideful!  Oh our humanness.........ugly, but a place where God can reach in and turn into beauty!  So if we do not experience hardship, I would wonder????  He loves us too much to leave us where we are......Do I really desire to know Him, and want His best for me??  Or do I want to settle for what the world has to offer??  Outside of Jesus, it is a whole bunch of crap.  It takes breaking and tearing away of our will, and surrendering to His.  He wants to bring our hearts and our lives in line with His will, and His purposes.  Be encouraged today.  If you are going through it right now, God is in it with you!  He has a purpose and a plan that He is working out.  Or He would not have allowed it in your life.  It doesn't always make sense.  Well, hardly ever.  But He is Sovereign and has a good plan....He is good.  It will all be made clear when we get to see Him one day!

So I love that Jesus Calling today talks about perspective.  I can get so focused on my problem, that I lose sight of Jesus and His dealings and thoughts on the matter.  I lose sight of His perspective and what He is doing, and how He is working through situations.  When I can back up a bit, turn my eyes to Him, and focus on Him, then my problems don't seem as huge and overwhelming.  I need His light shed on the situation.  Take heart!  It is in me, and me alone that you will have peace.  I love that, because it is not in his blessings, or what he can give to us that brings us peace, but it is in He Himself.  His person..........He brings us peace, because He is peace.