Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Supreme Happiness in Christ.

We often believe, even if we would never say it out loud, that if just one thing would change then we could be happy. Maybe in your case it's more than one thing but regardless of how many things you hope to change to finally bring about happiness, it won't. You don't have to wait for a circumstance to change to be happy and joyful.

Your happiness isn't rooted in your husband being romantic, your house finally being organized, your home being decorated a certain way you've always envisioned it, having amazing friends, having children who are well behaved, date nights, a clean house, or finally seeing results of you're eating healthy and staying fit.

It's completely resulted in being satisfied with the One who made you. Treasuring Christ deeper than anything or anyone else. When you are worshipping God you will find your identity in Christ and you won't need the above 'check list' to be happy. Is it nice when your husband takes you on date nights? Absolutely, but your happiness isn't dependent on it.

A lovely way to see if you are being satisfied in Christ and not trusting idols to bring about your supreme joy is: When your house isn't clean are you angry and ill? You may be striving to find security in a clean home, feeling that you are accomplishing something for yourself. When a friend does something that hurts your feelings are you crushed to your core? Your friend cannot be your Savior, she is a sinner just like you, hope in Christ who will never disappoint and display his patience towards you when you sin to your friend.

Do you get shook up and extremely frustrated when you kid's don't behave, especially when others are around? Maybe, your forgetting that they have Adam's inheritance of sin, just like yourself. Don't be surprised when they will treasure things other than Christ, they will, and you will to.

image via: Desiring God.


Linking:  Better Mom MondaysTitus Tuesdays, Domestically DivineTeach Me Tuesdays,  Living Well WednesdaysEncouraging One AnotherRaising HomemakersWomen in the Word Works for me Simple Living,  


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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Blooms During Trials.


Months ago I shared a small taste of the Storms in my Life. They are still here and stronger possibly than ever. Even though I can't see a major end in sight to these specific trials I see the most important end: worship. We are beckoned to worship in each situation and trials even in the midst of our sinful questioning heart. When we experience trials we must be anchored. Anchored to God's Sovereign and good hand, knowing that this pain isn't wasted, it can cause roots to grow even deeper and bloom fruits of making much of Christ. Jason Gray's song, Nothing is Wasted as become a go-to song for the past week and has brought me daily perspective.

"The hurt that broke your heart
and left you trembling in the dark
Feeling lost and alone
Will tell you hope is a lie
But what if every tear you cry
Will seed the ground where joy will grow"

Hope is not a lie. When you are in the middle of trials or suffering and can't see an end know that hope is alive. Hope that God is working this for your good to expose idols in your life and to cause you to Treasure Jesus for the glorious redeemer He is. Every tear you cry, every anguish and pain of the unknown will cause roots to sink down into your belief that God is Sovereign and good in this situation. 

Nothing is wasted. 
In the hands of our Redeemer
Nothing is wasted.

Nothing in the Christian's life is wasted. God will use everything for your good. He will turn what is seemingly meaningless and show you it's not useless but a tool to bring you greater joy in Christ.

"It's from the deepest wounds 
That beauty finds a place to bloom
And you will see before the end
That every broken piece is
Gathered in the heart of Jesus
And what's lost will be found again."

When everything is going as smooth as it can we easily forget Christ. We forget how are very breath, and our spiritual state is dependent on Him. We will not remember our need for Him. In the pain, suffering and trials we are stripped of one of our biggest set backs, our 'seemingly' independence and pride. At this place we will begin to see, by God's grace, that we are in reality completely dependent on Christ. On His righteousness, His perfection, His obedient life, His blood on our behalf to have a right standing before God. When we see this blooms will begin to appear even in the darkest nights because what is sprouting is our understanding that a good, loving, and Sovereign God is with us.
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Friday, July 20, 2012

Sin will Highlight God's Attributes.


I'm reminded this morning, as I hope to be reminded every morning, that my sin highlights many attributes of God. Sin is trusting in anything other than Christ for your supreme joy and happiness. It's settling for a cheap imitation of happiness that will leave you empty and desperate. When you are in this position, and we all are, all the time, see God for who He is.

God takes sin seriously. When you sin you are telling God that you can be happy without Him and that worshipping something else is what you were created for. God despises sin but at the same time He is with you and doing so many good things in your midst. He is wooing you to Himself by exposing your sin and showing you that your supreme Joy rests solely in Him. He is being patient with you, kind, steadfast in His love, offering you freedom and forgiveness.

I need to be reminded of this, daily. For so many years I viewed God as despising me when I sinned, I knew He loved me but that was called into question when I failed with the same sins over and over. I thought God was backing me into a corner and pointing his fingers and shaking His head, almost as if He knew I would mess up again and saying, "Look what you got yourself into".

I've come to realize that when the Prodigal Son returns his father doesn't hep condemnation on his son. He doesn't stiff his lip and tell him, "I told you so." He does the opposite. He literally runs to him, rejoices with Him and hosts a huge party to celebrate his excitement. Although the Prodigal Son's example of us first coming to Salvation it is a depiction that can be used in how God relates to us after salvation. When we sin after salvation, and when we are repentant, God will come towards us offering patience, kindness, grace, mercy, unending love and a robust intimacy with Himself.

This is one of the ways theology matters. The way you view God in the midst of your sin, and in your state of repenting is important. You must see God as the Bible describes Him. He is not careless about your sin and overlooking it. On the other side, He is not demanding penance or demanding you stay hidden in a spiritual corner until you read your Bible enough or feel condemned enough. He is serious about bringing you to repentance, exposing the idols you treasure above Him but in the midst being patient with you, kind, steadfast in His love. This is where you will grow to understand attributes of His patience and His undeserved, unearned, unwavering love for you because of Christ.

May you remember today that God is for you. He is calling you to repentance. He is being patient, kind, steadfast and will work even your sin for your good to cause you to treasure Christ more. Look at His attributes that are being highlighted in your repentance. Worship Him for being patient with a sinner as such as yourself, for loving you despite your sin, for wooing you to Himself when your wanting something other than Christ.


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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Facebook Moments.


Do you  ever find yourself in a facebook moment? The moment that everything is 'good' the kids have been behaving well, you and your spouse are in a fairy tale, you've just completed your gourmet meal and dishes are clean and you are all sitting around playing a board game laughing? Or your on vacation and everything is 'good'? The tendency is to plaster, 'life is good' on Facebook for everyone to see.

The reality is that as a believer, in that moment your life is good.

Do you ever find yourself in another facebook moment, when the opposite is true? The moment when your children are fighting despite your efforts to calmly teach them that the Gospel is being patient with the other one as Christ is patient in the amidst of our sin? Yet they still fight. At the same time you really don't feel like cooking dinner and birds aren't chirping when you and your spouse are together? The tendency here would be to plaster on facebook, 'what else could go wrong'?

The reality is that as believe, in that moment your life is good.

As Christians we want to believe that everything is good in our life when we are comfortable. We want to say how good God is when in a physical drought we get the much needed rain. What about when the town literally needs rain? When farmers will loose all their crop if it doesn't rain, are we saying God is good and for us, during this?

The scriptures awaken us to the reality that God is for His children. Those who have redemption through His Son can always rest assure that everything is good. It may not be in the comfort we like but  it is good because God is transforming us to the person who makes much of Christ in every situation. I've recently read that instead of looking at difficulties as Irrational Troubles we should accurately view them as Transforming Tools.

Issues, uncomfortableness, problems aren't really these things. They aren't irrational as they seem, they are tools to transform us to treasure Christ more deeply. May God graciously begin to help us see all of life as tools for transforming us not as irrational troubles that cause us to question God's goodness.


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