Thursday, September 30, 2010

God's Work of Comfort

I find it amazing how God works and fits all things together.  Even situations that may seem unrelated and random come together for His purposes.

I read a few blogs regularly, one of which I have become very attached to and can't wait for each new post.  Through reading it I am always pointed to what and who is most important.  I always gain a broader perspective.

If you don't read any other blog, you should read this one:  A Holy Experience

holy experience

The last three posts have been more than a reminder of God's grace to me.  They have been words to things I am going through and yet can't seem to express when I'm so lost in myself.  They have been words written as if straight from the depths of me yet I have never met Ann personally.  I read, I pray, I weep, I'm comforted and my heart expands beyond myself seeing how God works through the struggle, in the struggle of another woman with a heart devoted to Him.

 "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.  For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.  If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer.  Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort. 2 Corinthians 1: 3-7

Here are the three posts in order:

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Struggle

What do you blog about when the struggle seems so big?  I could go into the struggle.  I could complain.  I could vent.  But largely, the struggle is actually with myself and I'm kind of tired of talking about myself.  I know there is One much greater with a picture much more glorious than I can imagine.  How can I get a better glimpse of His perspective?

Maybe a good idea would be to focus on the One who struggled, but never faced defeat.  The One who, when he anticipated the climax of His purpose on earth cried tears of blood, begging for another way, but submitted to the will of His Father.  This man, made my brother, my friend, my Lord, and my Savior.  Tempted in every way, yet without sin stood in my place and gives me the honor of being in His.  How great the Father's love for us!

The struggle continues, but we have the victory.  We fight the battle with Him and He gives us the power.  He gave us the Holy Spirit. I'm at my wits end with myself.  I can't live the way He calls me to.  I can't love the way He tells me to in His Word.  But the Holy Spirit can.  Now that I could submit to this Spirit within me, that His fruit will increase and I would decrease.  Praise God that He will complete this work within me!

"For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin." Romans 7:15-25

 "And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." Philippians 1:6

"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are" 1 John 3: 1a

"For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." 2 Corinthians 5:21 

Friday, September 24, 2010

List of Thanks

109.  God's patience with me though my heart is often far from him.
110.  God's loving kindness.
111.  God as my refuge.
112.  His light that enables me to see.

Transgression speaks to the wicked
deep in his heart;
there is no fear of God
before his eyes.
For he flatters himself in his own eyes
that his iniquity cannot be found out and hated.
The words of his mouth are trouble and deceit;
he has ceased to act wisely and do good.
He plots trouble while on his bed;
he sets himself in a way that is not good;
he does not reject evil.
Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the mountains of God;
your judgments are like the great deep;
man and beast you save, O Lord.
How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house,
and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light do we see light.
Oh, continue your steadfast love to those who know you,
and your righteousness to the upright of heart!
Let not the foot of arrogance come upon me,
nor the hand of the wicked drive me away.
There the evildoers lie fallen;
they are thrust down, unable to rise."
Psalm 36

Monday, September 13, 2010

Some answers can't be found on Google.

With so much struggle and so many people discouraged around me, I really want a definite answer, a perfect word of hope,  a quick fix.   Transition at my church causes my heart to be greatly burdened.  I read, I pray, I rest and meditate on God's Word, and I still find myself searching and wishing I could make everything better.  I pick up the computer and think about searching. Maybe Piper has a word, or maybe another great saint. Just what do you put in the google blank when I problem is so big, so all encompasing.

Well. I come up blank. My faith is tested. I must rest in the providence of God.  The God who knows and understands whats going on in my church, in the hearts of my family.  I pray more and trust deeply abiding in the One who works all things out for the good of those who love Him.

"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.  And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.  And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified." Romans 8:18-30

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Empty Arms, Expectant Heart

I thought I'd know you by now, thought I'd touch your face.
I can almost smell your breath as you rest in my embrace.

Your grip around my finger, the softness of your love.
If there were any way I'd come hold  you up above.

The embrace though not my own, provides rest in One far greater.
Your absence enables His way to make itself in me sure.

While my empty arms cradle a greater hope unseen
My expectant heart awaits to join you in His glory.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Where credit is due

There is a long standing joke in my family, and maybe in yours as well. My husband and I love to eat with our friends and have often been parts of weekly groups that meet together and each couple brings a dish to share a meal.  Actually, tonight will be such a night! Often when gathered around the table, the question will arise, "Did you make this?"  Of course, you know the response, "Well, do you like it? If so, then yes!  If not, my spouse made it." This lighthearted joking hints to a deeper motive in our hearts.

We love to revel in the glory of our accomplishments, but seek to hide from the responsibility of our not so glorious moments. 

As I study God's Word, I am struck with the truth that my accomplishments aren't really mine at all.  Not only are all of my good deeds tarnished with sin, but anything good from me originated first in the Father, the Creator who works in me to accomplish His good purpose.

How awesome that He gifted me with things that I can accomplish.  How sad that often I forget and think that I accomplish these great things.  As I read and pray and attempt to live God's Word, my prayer becomes, "Lord, keep me humble. Lord, show me more of your greatness, show me how to live in your glory and not the illusion of my own."

Upon seeing a great work of art, we often ask who the artist is.  I love to read the artist's biography and attempt to understand the painting at deeper levels; the painting conversely tells me more about the artist.  I may even revel in the beauty of the painting, the way the colors, textures, and composition work well together to speak to my spirit and communicate the story of the artist.  The source of the story, of the beauty, comes from the artist who created the painting.

May our lives and the beauty they hold tell of the Artist and communicate His story.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The list goes on...

102.  Netflix...I'm not sure why it took me so long to try it out.
103.  A full week filled with activities with my church family.
104.  Small group on Friday, which is always a great time of fellowship and prayer.
105.  A fun day bonding with my son.
106.  A quiet and productive night at home.
107.  The beauty of storms building in the distance. 
108.  Red beans soaking on the stove.
Related Posts with Thumbnails