"How sweet all at once it was for me to be rid of those fruitless joys which I had once feared to lose! You drove them from me, you who are the true, the sovereign joy. You drove them from me and took their place. O Lord my God, my Light, my Wealth, and my Salvation."-Augustine
Couldn’t have asked for a better conference to attend on Valentines Day weekend to point me back to my first and ultimate love; Jesus. This conference has been a balm to my weary soul.
"How sweet all at once it was for me to be rid of those fruitless joys which I had once feared to lose! You drove them from me, you who are the true, the sovereign joy. You drove them from me and took their place! O Lord my God, my Light, my Wealth, and my Salvation." -Augustine
"If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful." Luke 6:32-36
If you believe in Jesus and you rest in Him, then suffering will relate to your character like fire relates to gold. Do you want to know who you are – your strengths and weaknesses?
Do you want to be a compassionate person who skillfully helps people who are hurting? Do you want to have such a profound trust in God that you are fortified against the disappointments of life? Do you want simply to be wise about how life goes?
Those are four crucial things to have – but none of them are readily achievable without suffering. There is no way to know who you really are until you are tested. There is no way to really empathize and sympathize with other suffering people unless you have suffered yourself. There is no way to really learn how to trust in God until you are drowning.
But God is with us in the fire.
He knows what it’s like to live through the miseries of this world – He understands. He is near, available to be known and depended upon within the hardship. He walks with us, but the real question is – will we walk with Him? If we have created a false God-of-my-program, then when life falls apart we will simply assume He has abandoned us and we won’t seek Him.
Tonight as I was journaling I decided to go back a few months and read a few of my previous ones. Considering the circumstances of this past week, this old post absolutely wrecked me. So I just thought I’d share a piece of it with you guys.
May 17, 2013
“Our whole life we will wander and constantly run to people and things to satisfy our needs that will leave us empty. Not until our idols fail us will we begin to understand the futility of idolatry and how nothing else can truly satisfy us. Jesus will continually recapture our hearts and chase us in our rebellion.
If anyone else gets to read this and there’s one piece of advice I could give to you, is to allow Jesus to strip the falsehoods from your life when it’s time, no madder how naked and alone you may feel, let him strip you. ,because it is better to live naked in truth than clothed in fantasy.
That is one thing I can honestly say that the Lord has done with me these past two years. It has been grueling, depressing, and some of the darkest times of my life, but I know Jesus is pursuing me and wooing myself to Him for my good.
If there’s anything that I’m 100% sure of its that I need Jesus every waking moment of my life. I’m just a wretched sinner loved by Christ. The gospel HAS to be real to change this glory-thieving heart of mine. Soli deo Gloria”