Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God (2 Corinthians 3:5)
Ever feel like a square peg trying to fit into a round hole? Boy I do, often. Sometimes, it gets so frustrating trying to fit in we just want to give up. Its not that our hearts are not in it, we want to make a difference, we want our lives to account for something. But the world comes at us hard and soon we begin to question if even our best efforts are good enough.
I was deep into this mindset recently – but then I came to 2 Corinthians 3:5 and the light came on. I was right! I am not sufficient, but most of the time I work as if I am. I want to be Wonder Woman, to be strong, indestructible, fast, durable, accomplished. Oh, and one more thing, I want to be beautiful.
Who we are, the abilities we have, the good of the life we live – these are gifts from God. He has equipped us to do the work He gives us to do. If we want to enjoy the full benefits of God’s gifts, we have to learn to agree with Him, to accept that its His work, not ours and we have to learn to depend on His sufficiency. We have fit our lives into who God wants us to be rather than striving in our own ideas of who we think we should be.
Remember – you are not who the world says you are, nor even who you say you are – you are who your Father says you are. And He thinks you are pretty wonderful.
Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. GOD, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places. (Habakkuk 3:17-19)
There are times when God’s word leaves little room for comment. This is one of those times. And so, I simply ask…
Will this be the day you pray this prayer? Will this be the day you make it your own? Will this be the day that you put behind you all troubles and doubts and allow your heart to be filled with the joy of your salvation?
bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection (Colossians 3:13-14)
Above all. Put on love. Bond of perfection.
As I read the above passage and reflect on the events that took place in our city this past week, I become painfully aware that I am not there yet. Amidst the anger and violence going on all around us, can I honestly say that I love those who want to do me harm? Can I say that I forgive, for no other reason than that Christ has forgiven me? Sadly, I can’t.
Peace seems such an elusive thing these days. More than ever before, I have been praying for peace – in our world, our nation, our city, in our families. Here in these verses, we see that it is love for others that produces the peace we long for. It is love which will help us to bear with one another, forgive one another and in turn will bind us in perfect harmony.
It is the Spirit of Christ in us that will bring us to that perfect peace. We must put aside all strife and come to Him with broken and willing hearts. He has shown us the way, it is up to us to walk in it.
But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. (1 Corinthians 2:9 NKJV)
The massive sky, the countless stars, the depths of the seas, none of which can be measured. The beauty and wonder of creation with unlimited hues of color, species of every kind throughout nature. The singing of the birds, each kind with a different song, the first cry of a new born, the laughter of a child, comforting words from a friend.
Unimaginable beauty and wonder. And yet, there is more.
Granted salvation. Promised eternal life. The joy of Christ. Inexplicable peace. Unfailing love. Endless mercy. Unmerited grace.
Beautiful words, beautiful promises, beautiful hope. All these things we see and hear and know – it would be enough. And yet, there is more!
And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. (Luke 12:29)
My grandmother was a mighty woman of God. From as early as I can remember, she taught me the love of Jesus through the testimony of her life. However, as strong as her faith was, especially where it concerned the people she loved, grandmother was a worrier. We used to joke lovingly that if grandmother didn’t have someone to worry about she would worry about not worrying.
As much as I like to believe my own faith is strong, there are too many times that I battle with an anxious mind. I don’t so much worry about the basic needs of life, for surely God provides richly for all my needs, just as He has promised. No, its the other stuff, the “wants” of life that give me an anxious mind. Am I good enough, will people like me, will I succeed? And, its the “what-ifs” – what if I get sick, what if the car breaks down, and so on, and so on, and so on.
I used to believe worry was a lack of faith, but I don’t think that’s necessarily so (just my opinion). I think more often it is a lack of thankfulness. It just makes sense, if we fill our minds with gratitude, there won’t be any room for the “wants” or “what ifs”. If we set our thoughts on all that God has done for us, on His unfailing love, then what can there be for us to be concerned about? I don’t know about you, but I think I’ll give gratitude a try, can’t hurt.
Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds. (Psalms 36:5)
As far as the eye can see and beyond. Higher than the highest mountain and deeper than the deepest ocean. Broader than the expanse of the horizon – this is the limit of God’s mercy. This is the measure of His faithfulness.
Can you count the times you have experienced the Lord’s mercies? Can you even begin to name the times has He proven Himself faithful to you? This one is easier, can you number the times He has failed you? Actually, let me answer that last question for you – never!
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23)
Whatever you are facing today; whatever fears, uncertainty or sorrow, the Lord wants to show you that He is merciful and faithful. Let Him.