Life is ups and downs. Do good. Do bad. You run into life’s ails somewhere along the road. But we also have a faithful companion who sticks closer than a brother, it is written in Proverbs 18 verse 24. Our friend promised “call on me when you are in trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory” (Psalms 50:15) and in Isaiah 46 verse 4 “I will sustain you and I will rescue you”. These are promises from our faithful friend of whom it is written “I am with you until the end of the world”, Matthew 28 verse 20. Faithful promises from a Father who loves us and His loving Son who was willing to die so we could have eternal life.
The way I used to live, full of anxiety and indecision, which was a paradox of me, because if someone asked for help with something; I was a hundred miles an hour, coming through, heaping of I’m helping. It didn’t take much, just ask and I went from sleepy to looking like I’d downed ten cups of coffee. But along that road I met a friend who told me there was a better way. And He was willing to show me the better way. As long as I was willing. I was willing because He was willing. His name is Jesus.
What comes out of being willing to accept his invitation is realizing that the downs in life are because of the rushing and the unwillingness to stop – ironically that is mostly because we believe we have stuff to do in timely fashion. But in the willingness to listen to Jesus, I learned that what was written in 1st Peter 5:7 “cast all your cares on him because he cares for you”, is a wonderful offer worth taking the Lord up on. In casting my cares on him and letting him lead, I learn more and more to trust him and in trusting him, learned to start taking my hands off the wheel more. What I found out about those downs was how much of a jerk I was being sometimes.
In a short span of time I had to unlearn everything I thought I knew, even after I had unlearned before and began to relearn my own new ways. When I saw the truth of me I was worried. But the Lord, our faithful friend gave a true testimony in the book of Matthew Chapters 5 – 7
Blessed are the poor in spirit
blessed are those who mourn
Blessed are the meek
Blessed are you who hunger and thirst after righteousness
Blessed are you who are merciful
Blessed are you who are pure in heart
Blessed are the peacemakers
Blessed are you who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake
Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you
Do not judge or you will be judged
Ask and it shall be given to you
And above all of this trust in the Lord to accomplish any of these things we ask him for (Every book of the Bible repeats this promise).
These he counseled me on, showing me that these blessings made one grow in the Love of God, true love, the love that we get from God, which is the Law that God desires for us to acknowledge and live. To put away our fast life and envy of one another for these blessings. To give up going my own way.
I will admit to you that I am not fully there, according to what people consider “there”. But I see the value of trusting the Lord and His righteousness instead of what I believe I know, because I have come to realize that the things I do cannot compare to how the Lord unravels the downs in life and helps me give praise and thanks for the ups. That was probably the first sobering truth I had to come to terms with.
The other was as simple as it was difficult, because I’d grown up believing I had to put my back into it and get it right. The truth is when we “submit (give) ourselves to the Lord” and resist the need to go our own way and do our own thing as it is written in James 4 verse 7, the better outcome is a wonderful thing, in my eyes anyway. This is a good test of your faith in Jesus. Ask and wait and let Him go to work for you, even though you and what you want.
In Christ I have had to learn that what I want or what I envision isn’t always the outcome that matters. What matters is trusting the path and the outcome of anything we ask for, to the Lord and being thankful for what happens, because there is in this humble way of seeing things, a greater victory in waiting on the Lord to accomplish His will for us in everything. In this submission I have also learned one very important thing; “Not my will, Lord, but your will be done” is an expression of love that supersedes everything I thought I knew about getting stuff done.
My walk with Christ has been sobering, so far and eye-opening. I’ve seen my guilt and repented in contrition and have been through the humbling. I’ve given my pain to Him and was able to let it go because of him, not just “let go”; there is a difference I can only hope everyone was willing to test and see. I have learned that confidence in Christ is a healthier confidence than self-confidence. But most importantly, I have learned that Love, the love of God, a gift of God through His Holy Spirit in Jesus is the one thing I have been searching for my whole life. In short, my walk in Jesus Christ has humbled me and given me the Love and the missing pieces I have been searching for my whole life.
I hope you will join me by testing the spirit of Christ – forget every excuse you use to not go to Him. The Lord has testified in Psalms 103 verse 12 that “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” Forgiveness is a grace of God, not something you have to work for, not something you have to go lengths to achieve, and there is nothing you can do to earn salvation (forgiveness from God), except to turn to Jesus Christ and “confess with your own lips that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior” Romans 10 verse 9. This is why Jesus testifies in John 3 verse 16 that “God so loved the world that He sent His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life”.
That is our offer to walk with Jesus Christ. In Christ is life, real life. Freedom from your sins (I testify). Freedom from your anxieties (I testify), freedom to live according to the life God has planned when he made our people – because the Lord is Love and the chain breaker who invites us to freedom in Jesus Christ. A wonderful life worth living.