God's been really smacking me in the face lately... in the best way possible. It's been one of those weeks where I feel like he keeps showing me the same thing over and over again but every time I hear it I'm like, "Oh yeah..." I wish it would stick, but I'm a sinner and it hasn't, so I'm thankful for the constant reminders...
My happiness, peace, contentment, etc. will never be found in my circumstances... it will only be found in Him.
It first came at church this past Sunday. Our pastor preached about how following Jesus brings supernatural peace from God. Things of this world give us a counterfeit peace and we will only get real peace from Jesus. That's the quick version. :) (Here's the long version if you want to listen.)
Then last night I was reading this book called The Gospel Primer and there was a section about Perspective In Trials. It said, "More than anything else could ever do, the gospel enables me to embrace my tribulations and thereby position myself to gain full benefits from them. For the gospel is the one great permanent circumstance in which I live and move; and every hardship in my life is allowed by God only because it serves His gospel purposes in me." That's good stuff! I love that God is a god of redemption - and that He doesn't just let crappy stuff happen, but He uses it.
Then this morning I was listening to one of my new favorite songs "It Is Well" by Bethel. And the lyrics are just powerful... "Through it all my eyes are on you. Through it all it is well." No matter the circumstance - through it all - it is well.
I've also been trying to memorize Philippians 4:4-7 this week. It's basically perfect. "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Rejoice - it says!
What I'm learning is that I need to let go. As Bethel's song says, "So let go, my soul, and trust in Him. The waves and wind still know His name." The waves and wind, the crappy (or even fantastic) circumstances will come and go, but Jesus will remain, and He'll use those gosh darn waves and wind. But with Him comes peace. He promises it.
I am thankful for a God who doesn't give up on me. Who keeps growing me and teaching me and loving me. How undeserving yet thankful am I.