This week is my last of graduate class homework! Yippee! I really don’t even have time to write right this minute, BUT I just had to give God a shout out!
Last week was one of those weeks…you know the ones so I don’t have to go into great detail, but discouraging would be a good adjective to describe it. Enough said.
I’ve been part of a women’s Bible study since the fall. I’ve been able to go only a handful of times because of family issues. It has been a very discouraging thing to me.
I NEED FELLOWSHIP!
Tonight is Bible study, and I texted all the ladies about 2 hours ago and asked them to pray that everything would go smoothly so I can join them.
They’ve all been praying. I so appreciate it.
I just received a text from a lady in the study who barely knows me, and this is what she said,
“Praying that we will see you tonight. Do you have a favorite tea? I’ll pick some up for you.”
I read that and tears sprung to my eyes.
Just a simple act of loving friendship, but what an indication of faith that God will provide a way for me to be there!
I love it.
I’m afraid lately I’ve been less than stellar in my faith. It used to be that I felt faith for the big things, and faltered with the little. Now it’s just everything.
I think after a while it’s easy to assume that nothing is going to go smoothly…mostly because the record of smoothness has been pretty abysmal.
My life has gone more like a ride through a ravine full of rocks that jolt and branches that whack.
And yet, God IS faithful. I do know it to be true.
I think I have always taken fellowship for granted. I’ve always had friends nearby. I’ve always had support, encouragement, and love from people around me.
Now, not so much.
And those precious few who live in my vicinity…poor ones…they get to be near the neediest of women. I could probably suck the life out of anyone at this point.
I have found that in the moments when I feel desperate or just down, the One I must turn to is God. As much as I want a friend to listen, encourage, help, and hug…God really does answer the needs of my heart better than anyone I have ever met, near or far.
I think I have had all these same feelings with regard to a husband. The longings to be a wife again…the missing of daily care and love of a husband…real things.
Real things that can be answered by a real God.
Amazing as that sounds. It is true.
I do not need to be afraid of loneliness, because my God understands.
In fact, He knows sorrow, grief, and loneliness much better than I ever could, or ever want to know.
He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. Isaiah 53:3-4
Sometimes (although I wish all the time…
I am in awe of what Christ did for us…for me. I cannot wrap my brain around it. This perfect man…this loving, kind, gentle, wise man…
But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:5
And this is how awesome God is….
We have been studying Hebrews in our Bible study and tonight’s lesson is on Hebrews 9-10. These chapters are beautiful reminders of why the Cross matters.
But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. Hebrews 10:12-14
When you compare the old covenant with the new, the differences are amazing! The one that really stuck out to me was that the old sacrifices purified the flesh, but Jesus’ sacrifice of Himself purifies our conscience. Our sins are forgiven…completely. Our sins are forgotten…completely. And that knowledge is almost too wonderful to comprehend. And in only grasping it a bit, we can approach our God and Father with confidence, trust, and faith.
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:19-23
When I read those verses I think, why does my faith waver so? Where is my full assurance?
And AGAIN, for the millionth time, God brings the gospel of grace RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY FACE!
This seems like a great time to preach the gospel to myself…those times when my faith is not the firmest and my fear is taking hold…that is the time to remind myself that God is with me…that God chooses to be with me…that my mess can be meaningful in God’s hands…that the struggles, setback, and sorrows are not wasted when I have a God who loves me faithfully and perfectly…that Jesus’ sacrifice on that beautiful, scandalous Cross was so that I would be forgiven, so that I would be His forever. His love is amazing…His grace is overwhelming.
So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgement, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not be perfected in love. We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:16-19
I can’t even remember what my point was when I started this blog…nothing new…my brain is a little mushy by the end of the day…and sometimes it is so fun to see where the Holy Spirit leads…well, actually it is pretty awesome!
And I feel so refreshed by the Scripture He put before me…so blessed by the reminder of His sacrifice…and so comforted by the knowledge of His love.