remembering the cross

Love spring days

This week, walking down the Holy Week and up to the Good Friday – yes, this is a week of hope. We look to the cross, we walk closer to the cross and yes, there is the hope that makes all things new. As we remember Jesus bearing His cross, as we try to take up our own cross and follow Him – there is hope that this heart of ours, it can become something like His. As we are reminded that it was our sin that He died for, that took Him to the cross – we are also reminded of the love that is so much greater than our sin.

No matter where your heart is, no matter what your circumstances are: there is hope. Hope for your heart. Hope for you.

“And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life.” (1 John 2:25)

It is easier to love those around us when we remember the love with which Jesus loved us. It is easier to forgive those who have hurt us when we remember how Jesus forgave us. It is easier to encourage, to speak words of love to those around us when we remember the mercy and grace of Jesus dying for us on the cross. It is easier to forget the shame/jealousy/envy/anger/whatever we hold on to when we remember what Jesus had to endure on the cross. It is easier to spread the Good News when we remember why we ourselves need Jesus. It is easier to hope when we remember what Jesus accomplished on the cross.

There is hope for those who are broken. There is hope for those who are hurting. There is hope for those who have lost it all. There is hope for those who are waiting for it all. There is hope for those living in the mundane. There is hope for those who feel lonely. There is hope for those who feel like it’s all too much.

No matter where your heart is, there is hope. Hope for your heart. Hope for you. Trust that He is making all things new, that He is completing the work which He has started in you.

His grace is sufficient

Light

I never thought much of life verses or anything of such sort. But there is a verse that I keep coming back to time and time again, one that I’m just not able to let go.

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

I absolutely love David Guzik’s commentary on 2 Corinthians 12:9. The way that Guzik breaks down this verse, breaks down something in me every single time.

“Grace could meet Paul’s need because it expresses God’s acceptance and pleasure in us. When we receive His grace, we enjoy our status of favor and approval in God’s eyes. Grace means that God likes us, that He is favorably disposed towards us and that we have His approval and promise of care.

Grace could meet Paul’s need because it was available all the time. When we sin or fail, it does not put us outside the reach of God’s grace. Since grace is given freely to us in Jesus, it can’t be taken away later because we stumble or fall. When we come to God by faith through the blood of Jesus, His grace is ever ready to meet us and to minister to our insufficiencies.

Grace could meet Paul’s need because it was the very strength of God. So much of the power of this world is expressed in things that can only bring harm and destruction, but God loves to show His power through His goodness and grace. Sometimes we associate goodness with cowardice or timidity. When we do, we take a worldly perspective about power and strength, and we deny God’s truth about the strength of grace and love. Grace is not weak or wimpy. Instead, it is the power of God to fulfill what we lack.”

Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’ (Isaiah 58:9)

So this week, I am learning 2 Corinthians 12:9 by heart. When I get so close to losing patience with whiny kids? His grace is sufficient for me. When I overthink things and fear takes over? His grace is sufficient for me. When I wake up feeling not enough or too much? His grace is sufficient for me. His grace is there in every single moment – in the messy, in the wrecked, in the weary, and in the blessed.

When I am weak, He is strong and His strength is made perfect in this weakness of mine. It still goes beyond my understanding, that God would want to work with all the messy and ugly pieces of my heart. But this is a promise that I want to hold on to. When I will call, He will answer. When I am weak, His strength is being made perfect. When I feel like I can’t or want to give up, His grace is sufficient to carry me through everything.

So look up today. Look up, look to Him and call. He will answer, and He is right there with you. Whatever you are facing today, whatever your day hands over to you – His grace is sufficient to carry you through, in this moment and every moment following this one.

light in this world

Sunny side of the road

Spring comes with sunshine and new life, yet I am afraid of being stuck. Because light shines to the darkest of corners and I see things in my heart that I would rather not notice. It is easier to see the wrong and the not right; the jealousy, irritation, and frustration; all the unforgiven and unforgotten. As spring calls for moving on and letting the light shine in, I find it difficult to handle all that is dark in me.

Which is when God comes in, and I am being reminded of His grace and the beauty of seeing Him in the small moments passing by. Because I believe in the small things and the small moments, and He is there to light the most ordinary of moments. When I abide in Him, there is light, even for me. I only need to choose to see the sunshine and keep it at that.

“I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.” (John 12:46)

So whatever your days look like, whatever this spring is revealing in you. Whether you see the sunshine or the shadows. Whether you wonder how you will get everything accomplished in time or if there is any purpose to your life at all. Whether you are trying to hold on or to let go.

God is there, in all those moments with you. His love can light up the darkest bits of your heart and soul because He is light and there is no darkness in Him. So stand tall and stand still; open your heart and see: He is here now, and He is here with you. And when you let His light shine into your heart? It will be only beautiful.

“I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!” (Psalm 27:13-14)

trusting in Him at all times

I've been here before

“Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.” (Psalm 62:8)

At the beginning of this year, I chose – very much so guided by God – a word for the year; a word that I felt would in a way direct how I draw closer to God this year: trust. Three months into the year, I am seeing how God had His hand upon this word from the very beginning and upon all that life is throwing my way. I am learning how to trust God with all at all times, and I am learning so much

The Hebrew word for trust in Psalm 62:8 is batach; to trust, to have confidence, to be bold, to be secure. This trust that comes with confidence and security, it allows us to truly pour out our hearts before Him and this is the beautiful grace of God. We can trust God because His Word tells us that He is a refuge, a shelter for us. We can trust in Him because all that we are, is secure in Him. No matter the storm in our lives, He is a shelter for us.

“But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.” (Job 23:10)

Those trials that seem to bend and break you? That pierced, shattered heart of yours; that soul aching dull? This day when you do wrong and nothing is right, or when life is overwhelming and just plain too much? That loneliness, hurt, rejection, fear creeping in? God knows it all; He has seen them coming already long before they are happening. He knows the way that we take because He goes before us but also because He goes with us.

But when He has tested us, when we come out of these trials? We shall come forth as gold because He has refined us and there is joy waiting for us.

“Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; but he who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him.” (Psalm 32:10)