Saturday, February 21, 2015

Striving After Wind

I cling too readily to things. People, possessions, plans. I grab what I think I can hang on to. Eventually, it falls through; it's merely striving after wind (Ecc. 2:26). Slowly, I’m seeing that everything is loss compared to knowing Christ (Phil. 3:7). The "everything is loss" phrase is a nice sentiment, until you start to actually lose things. It's not an easy lesson to learn. Lots of ugly sin spurts out of my heart at those times.

I’m learning to let go of things that I hold dear. Christ is enough.

I’m learning not to collect treasures that collect dust and can be burnt up in a second. Christ is enough.

I’m learning that my hope cannot be in people, because they will always fail me. Christ never fails. Christ is enough.

I’m learning that friendship and community, while great blessings of God, cannot be ultimately where I find my hope and comfort. Christ is enough. 

I'm learning that life is too short to hoard or store up for my future. If it means giving up all my materials possessions, I can, by God’s grace. Christ is enough.

I'm learning not to cling to comfort or things I know well. In seasons of difficulty or change, Christ is enough. 

If it means leaving family and friends behind in order to spend my life for the sake of the gospel, so be it. Christ is enough.

It’s hard to really understand what it means that Christ satisfies until other things are taken away and you are forced to make the decision to turn to Christ or to harden your heart and sulk in bitterness. Reality hits—I say Christ is enough, but will I live as though Christ is enough?

“I try never to grasp anything in life too tightly, because it hurts when God has to pry my fingers open to take it away.” Corrie ten Boom


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Hidden Blessings in Affliction

"It is good for me to have been afflicted, that I might know how to speak a word in season to one that is weary." 
Charles Spurgeon

It’s amazing how quickly things can change. Sometimes changes are exciting. Sometimes they are terrifying. I don’t know about you, but I find as I’m getting older the changes become more sudden and more massive.

I’ve noticed my sinful tendency to be concerned all about myself. I think about how a difficulty or circumstance affects me, I wonder how things are going to change for me; me, me, me! Instead of resting in the God of my salvation, I worry or try to trouble-shoot the future, even if I can do nothing about it. Reading this Spurgeon quote challenged me and reminded that the hard things in life serve not only for my benefit, but also for others. What a response Spurgeon had; thankful for affliction and difficulty because God could use him to then encourage and comfort others in their affliction. Hmm. 2 Corinthians 1? This is the attitude I need to have.

Let's not waste the difficult moments of life by falling into self-pity or responding in anger towards God or others. Let the Refiner's fire work the character in you, and humbly submit to the process. And then watch and see how God will use what He does in you to encourage and comfort others.

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God." 
2 Corinthians 1:3-4