Rediscovering God's Grace in the Midst of Suffering
Updated: Nov 14, 2019
Is God's love and grace really enough? Today, I had to face this question head on in my struggle to justify that I also need other things to really be content and happy. This was my conversation with God, "I want to believe that you are enough. Can I really ever live this life saying you are enough and not want anything else? I don't think it's attainable as long as I'm here alive on this earth surrounded by needs and wants? Is there anyone out there who did not want anything more but you except for Paul (the apostle)?" Weeping, I asked Jesus these questions with a real worry in my heart that I'm unable to follow him any longer. "If a Christian life is being satisfied with just you then I don't know if I could do it. I don't know if I could shut down the other longings in my heart. I try so hard and I've prayed but they won't go away. I want to be satisfied with just you but I can't breath where I am now. I need this and that to be able to breath again. You're presence was able to bring hope to me right now but as soon as I open my eyes and see my reality I find myself in despair again."
Have you ever had this struggle in your walk and faith with Jesus? As I cry out to the Lord for help and for a deeper understanding of what it means to prioritize loving him more than just using him to fill my wants and needs I' am reminded of a few things:
1) He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high (Hebrews 1:3). Sometimes are circumstances can lead us to question the truth about who and what he says he is in the bible. But today he reminded me that my feelings, thoughts, and beliefs about him doesn't change who he is. Sometimes, I may feel that God is unfair or that he is forgetting about me. But it doesn't change the truth that he is fair and that he does care about me. He will forever be true to himself and who he is is not changed by my circumstances or feelings about him.
2 Timothy 2:13, "If we are faithless, he remains faithful - for he cannot deny himself." He will not stop loving and caring because it is who he is. He will never deny himself. So, I could choose to continue in the lies that my circumstances and the enemy are pointing me towards to or I could choose to continue to believe in who he says he is no matter what the circumstances maybe.
2) He too suffered! In my "suffering" I often forget that he too suffered. And the truth is he suffered more than anyone. Jesus brought me back to that day on the cross. He suffered tremendously emotionally, physically, mentally, and much more than I could ever imagine and can never relate to. Jesus didn't have to choose the most painful death but he did. In my "suffering" and whenever I feel that life is unfair, I have to remember that He too suffered. "Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born the likeness of men, And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross." Philippians 2:5-8
3) He gives me more than I deserve! I remember something my bible teacher once told our class, "The only thing we deserve is hell and we didn't get it." In life, most of my struggles come from the, "I deserve more than this" attitude and belief. I battle with this every day! I deserve to have this and I deserve to have that and when I don't think I'm getting what I deserve everything crumbles. Yes, I'm that weak! My happiness and "joy" gone! My purpose and faith gone! Truth gone! Today, I'm again reminded that He has given me more than I need. I'm saved! I'm redeemed! I'm forgiven! I can know him! I can talk to him! He's healed me! He provided and continues to do so every day! And I can't even count all the other blessings he's given me and my family despite my shortcomings and unbelief.
My hope and prayer is that you will have this revelation of God's love and grace for you as well today. I'm blown away! Yes, I'm not 100% where I want to be in my walk with Jesus. Yes, my circumstances are the same. Yes, I still will have to battle these questions more often than I want. But today, I choose Jesus. I choose to prioritize loving him even when my needs & wants are not met. Because he is more than just a genie in lamp. He is my Savior, my King, my God, and my Friend.
Have a blessed day!