Tuesday, March 7, 2017

"Out of life's misery, born of mans sin, a fuller, richer life begins. For when we are helpless with no place to go and our hearts are heavy and our spirits are low; if we place our poor broken lives in God's hands and surrender completely to His will and demands. The darkness lifts and the sun shines through and by His touch we are born anew. So praise God for the trouble that cuts like a knife and disappointments that shatter our lives. For with patience to wait and faith to endure,your life will be blessed and your future secure, For God is but testing your faith and your love before He appoints you to rise far above. All the small things that so sorely distress you, For God's only intention is to strengthen and bless you." 
-Helen Steiner Rice, Bouquets


Galatians 2:20

"I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."

 Through Jesus' death and resurrection we have access to God. We have access to eternity with Him, and access to a beautiful life of communion with Him here on this Earth. When we accept the grace and forgiveness that Jesus offers through the cross, then begins the work of sanctification. Sanctification is the concept of being "set apart." We are now set apart from sin; apart from the world, the mindset of the world, and the cultures of the world. The purpose of being set apart from the world is to be set apart for the purposes and plans of the Lord. To love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength (Deuteronomy 6:5). Galatians 2:20 explains the simplicity of being sanctified from the world to Christ. "It is no longer I who live.." The person I thought I was, the person I tired to be, the identity I tried to build for myself along with my ego; is now replaced with the person of the Holy Spirit inside of me. Having His Spirit inside of my heart I am now united to Him. My identity is no longer found in who I try to be; rather found in who Jesus is, who He calls me to be in His word and what Gods plans and purposes are for me here on Earth. This is my identity. But sanctification is not only the process of being set a part to Christ. It is the process of the Lord bringing us to Himself; being made more into His likeness.
Recently the Lord has allowed me to walk through challenging circumstances and difficult conversations. Walking through these situations has been extremely hard; externally and internally. At times my circumstances have felt very grim. I find myself asking, "Why Lord?" and He reminds of a beautiful promise. Sanctification. Every situation, every circumstance that I walk through in my life, He is in the process of bringing me to Himself. This is a promise. No matter the circumstance, the Lord wants to make us into His likeness. He desires for us to run to Him.
What peace that comes from resting in this! I can say this with confidence because I am experiencing this peace even as I type these words. The Lord allows me to walk through challenging circumstances and difficult conversations all for the purpose of the refining of my faith. He wants to invest into my life, and bring me to Himself, to His presences, where there is fullness of joy (Psalm 16).

 How amazing it is that the God of the universe wants to invest into our lives!