In trials Jesus grows sweeter and sweeter to my soul; every time I have a trial I’m reminded of just how much I need Jesus. It’s like He knows how forgetful I am; and He uses these trials to bring me back to the fold. Yet, life has been… tough lately. I’m not coming on here to complain to you, because, honestly, my heart is more full of sober joy and hope than ever before and freedom. There has been a lot of the grief mixed with living in this world that still has sin in it. There have been deaths in our church body; these people are my family, very dear to me, sometimes hard for my sinful, weak self to love, but through Christ Jesus I have learned to love them more than I ever have before. My grandma just had a stroke, and my heart is burdened because she doesn’t know Jesus Christ, that she needs to be saved from her sin, and that that can only happen through repentance and believing on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Death makes eternity seem more real to me. I’m not here to be morbid, but I want to be thoughtful. I don’t have any desire to avoid topics because they aren’t politically correct to talk about, because I know that the weight of the human soul is so important.
Jesus himself continually reminded us of the eternal value of a soul, and what happens if a man loses his own soul.
“ When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 35 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? 37 Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:34-38)
I know I miss this in talking about health and wellness and recovery. What would it matter ultimately if I gained so much money and good food and good workouts in this world if I lost my own soul? It wouldn’t matter anything.
But Jesus Christ. came. Jesus Christ changed every single thing about my view of eternity.
He is that hinge point in this grief. He is that joy that comes in the morning.
He is that dawn after the darkness.
He is bringing healing to the brokenhearted and sight to the blind.
In the midst of a world where we’re wracked by sin, the effects of it being murder, death, bitterness, hatred, malice, scorn, racism; Jesus Christ comes into the scene with a sword to destroy the evil and bring lost souls, lost sinners into His fold.
I freely admit that I’m not always the most cheery person; you might meet me on a day and think, ‘What a grump.’ I’m a grump sometimes, and I forget just what Jesus did, just who God is, just what God did in the person of His Son.
This line from a hymn that I had never heard before last year really says it:
‘See where it shines in Jesus’ face,
The brightest image of His grace;
God, in the person of His Son,
Has all His mightiest works outdone.’
God’s grace shines like the sun breaking forth into the darkest. darkest night. And we’re facing really dark nights here. This isn’t just a forgetting of the problems. Jesus Christ conquered the problem. He conquered the sin in me, the sinner that I am; sin was my identity.
Sin was misery. Sin is misery. Sin was me, a lost, damned, sorry, wretched sinner.
Then hope came.
The whole point that I keep coming back to in the midst of my heaviness is that Jesus does win; I don’t know all of His purposes, but I know that He is good. I know that God my Father is good; I know that because the Holy Spirit assures us of God’s truth. The Holy Spirit verifies the truth in our minds.
I can’t verify this truth for you if you’re doubting or struggling, but I can pray for you, pray that you would know the height and the depth and the width and the breadth of the love of God in Christ Jesus, that you would be filled with all the fullness of God, that you would know how much you have been forgiven, so that you can know how to love to the fullest.
This life is so short.
Let’s not waste it focusing on food.
Let’s not waste it focusing on whether or not people like us.
Let’s find sweetness in being forgiven, being adopted, being renewed in the spirit of our minds, repenting before our Father, and finding in Jesus our all in all. Let’s find hope in these realities, this truth.
Yes, life has been tough, but in Christ Jesus I am more than a conqueror. In Christ Jesus I have hope. My God is my refuge, and He is my hope. Our body of believers here will recover, and we will be stronger in faith. Though we’re walking through these fires and through these incredibly deep waters, there will be a light. There is always a light, because Jesus Christ has come.
And He will come again.
So when life gets tough, my prayer is that you wouldn’t look inside yourself to find strength but that you might see your need to run to the cross and find the strength of Christ that truly strengthens us for any battle we might face, leading us on into eternity.
Hope in God. He will never ever fail.
In the midst of these tears and lots of prayer and lots of hugs and notes and reflecting, I’m thankful to have had many happy, precious gifts this past week. I wanted to end this post by sharing some with you.
My First Time Making Almond butter Cups: I used Georgia Grinder’s Honey Roasted Almond Butter and strawberry filling to stuff them and boy they were SO SO GOOD. I daresay that I liked them way more than Reese’s. I was inspired by Rachel Mansfield’s Crispy Dark Chocolate Nutty Cups.
These BEAUTIFUL Cinnamon Knots my sister made: My dear sister is an amazing baker, incredibly conscientious and always excellent at what she does. She also took this picture, which explains why it’s so beautiful.
Nothing Like the Texture of Creamy Skippy PB: Nowadays I usually support smaller nut butter companies, but occasionally I love scraping out a jar of Skippy PB. 🙂
Being in Awe of God’s Majesty. We went snowboarding last week for the last time this season, and I was just so struck by how little and insignificant I felt looking around at all those mountains and thinking that the God of the universe gives the gift of KNOWING Him through His Son Jesus Christ. He’s not far away and distant and some indistinct being. He’s real and personal, and He cares deeply about His children. He cares deeply about sinners enough to send His Son to die.
And it gives Him all the glory, because we didn’t do anything. He did it all. It’s just INCREDIBLE!!!!!! Pardon the shouting, but it really makes me so excited.
‘But I wrought for my name’s sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen, among whom they were, in whose sight I made myself known unto them, in bringing them forth out of the land of Egypt.’ (Ezekiel 20:9)
‘For my name’s sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off. Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction. For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another.’ (Isaiah 48:9-11)
For His name’s sake He did it, and we get to be part of it.
. . . no more words. . .
Has your hope grown more when you’ve gone through harder times?
Have you had tough seasons in your life?
What has God taught you through tough seasons in your life?
Has Jesus grown sweeter to you through those tough, rough seasons?
How have you found hope in trials?