So I have been rubbing shoulders with a number of people who just feel overwhelmed and bogged down with life. Life is hard. It hurts. It’s exhausting. It’s stressful. It’s lonely. It sucks.
Bottom line: Life beats us down and wears us out. The good news is that life is broken down into seasons…some are good and some are bad. Some seasons are short and others are long. If we don’t have a remind ourselves of the Gospel every day, it’s easy to give into the lie that God doesn’t love us, is punishing us for something, or just took off
My friend, nothing could be further from the Truth. The Gospel tells us that when we were at our worst, God sent His Son Jesus to die for us (Romans 5:8). He loves us as much as He loves Jesus. That blows my mind! When God looks at us, He sees Jesus. And since He can never be upset, disappointed or just over Jesus, He will never be upset, disappointed or over you.
Just this morning I was reading in 2 Corinthians 1. Here are some of the verses:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, Who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows…[comfort] produces in you patient endurance.”
I love the line that says, “Just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.” We are going to face hard times. God tells you that straight up (got to appreciate His honesty, am I right?). But, He also promises His comfort. His presence. His peace.
Some of you may be thinking, “Hold the phone. I am in the middle of my own personal hell right now and I ain’t experiencing no peace.” (Disclaimer: I am sure you practice better grammar than that). Well, let me ask you this: Do you believe that God loves you…and even likes you?
That’s a simple question…with a really difficult answer for some. I was just talking with a friend who is going through a tough time right now and she was absolutely convinced God didn’t like her and was out to get her for past mistakes. Oh how that broke my heart. We will have to face the consequences for our decisions…and sometimes those aren’t pleasant. But there are also times when we are in the middle of a “crapstorm” that we didn’t create. Either way, God is WITH US and FOR US. He never leaves us, and He surrounds us with HIS GRACE and all the chances we need.
Paul (if you aren’t familiar with the Scriptures, Paul is a big deal in there) was suicidal at times! Isn’t that crazy? I mean, check out the verses above…”we despaired even of life.” Hello. He didn’t want to live because life got so bad at times. But, he gives the answer: “This happened that we might not rely on ourselves, but on God, Who raises the dead.”Tough, terrible, horrible times often reveal the “dead” parts in us: Those things we are still hanging on to to give us meaning, identity, and worth apart from Jesus. Those things that when we lose them, we feel like we can’t go on. The good news is God wants to raise those dead parts to life by giving us His abundant life through Jesus. We have to “set our hope” on Him (see above). We have to believe that He truly does love us more than anything and will finish the good work He’s started (Philippians 1:6). We are worth Jesus Christ to God! We have to accept Jesus as our Personal Savior (apart from anything good we can or will do) and believe that only through Jesus can we have a personal relationship with God. Then, we have to remind ourselves everyday that the same love God showed by trading in Jesus for us, He offers everyday. We just have to accept it. You may not feel it at times. But you have to choose to believe it. And when we are living grounded in God’s unfailing love for us, we can face anything knowing that God will give us what we need to face it.
God will give you more than you can handle, because He wants to handle it for you.
I love the last few verses in 2 Corinthians 1:
God affirms us, making us a sure thing in Christ, putting His yes within us. By His Spirit, He has stamped us with His eternal pledge – a sure beginning of what He is destined to complete.
God affirms you…not your circumstances. He defines you. Not the difficulties you are facing now. If you have accepted Christ as your Savior, God has stamped you with His “Yes!” And He promises to complete what He has started in you for your good and His glory (Romans 3:23).
Hang in there dear friend. Keep reminding yourself of the incredible love of God that He demonstrated for you when He had Jesus Christ die in your place on the cross for your sins (past, present, and future). Trust in Him, and not in your own works. Believe that He is your only hope for Heaven and that He loves you no matter what you do, what other people say, what circumstances you face, or how you feel.