Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”
Romans 10:10 “For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”
Let your heart be free to trust God. The heart longs to trust its Creator. The heart is created for faith. Our heart is the place we cannot fully control, that causes us to believe beyond our wildest imagination, to hope for eternal life, to live adventurously a life of faith and love. The heart is the wellspring of life. We come to God, we enter His living presence and receive His love, through our heart.
Photo: Paris, France
Romans 8:5-6 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.
When Christ resurrected from the dead and ascended to Heaven, God’s Holy Spirit – in the same likeness as God, the Father, and Christ, the Son – descended into the hearts of believers. His Spirit testifies and reassures we are God’s children. We are “in Christ” because of God’s Indwelling Spirit. His Spirit, to quote Charles Stanley, is “the God resident” in us! And so, we who live by the Spirit of God in us, desire what His Spirit desires for us. His Spirit is the solution to all of our fears and failures, for His Spirit brings life and peace. Abide in God’s peaceful, Indwelling Spirit.
Photo: Sedona, AZ
1 Peter 5:9-10 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
God’s grace transforms our pain. He is in the midst of restoring our broken lives. Allow Him into the hurt. His strength enables us to endure suffering and establish faith in Him. His eternal salvation is the salve for our wounds. He is close to the broken-hearted; He rescues the crushed in spirit. His Spirit is mightily at work to redeem our sorrow, comfort our racing thoughts, resist temptation and evil, establish a firm foundation of faith, heal our broken places, and call us to His eternal glory in Christ Jesus.
Our ultimate hope, joy and comfort is in our redemption through Christ’s suffering. Romans 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
Photo: Umlauf sculpture garden, Austin, Texas
“If God is for us, who can be against us?” -Romans 8:31
The Creator of the universe, the Lover of your soul, the Savior of mankind, the Prince of Peace….He is FOR you. He is your ultimate gift. He is your greatest support. He works out His good purposes in you. He fulfills your every need. He comforts you in sorrow. He protects you from all evil. He restores your peace. His path is righteous and trustworthy. His love in us conquers every fear. His presence is with us in every hardship. Cling to the great promises from our God who is FOR us!
For, He is in control and He is the good Shepherd… Psalm 23:1-4 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Photo: Yosemite National Park, California
Romans 5:2 “And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
See how God’s peace goes before our suffering and His hope comes out of our suffering. Because we stand firm in His grace, our suffering doesn’t cause us to give up, but to persevere; suffering leads to perseverance in Christ! Ever-growing perseverance develops a strong character; Christ is laying the firm foundation for who we are. Strong identification with Christ brings eternal hope, sealed by God’s love.
1 Peter 4:13 “… be very glad–for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.”
Richard Rohr says that people “who are in union with both the pain of the world and the love of God, are prepared to read the Bible.” As our mind is changed by our sensitivity to suffering and our acceptance of God’s love for us, we are able to understand God’s Word, know Jesus internally and serve Him outwardly. Sometimes it feels 2 steps forward and 1 step back, as we often first blame God for our suffering, or don’t feel His love in the moment… but if we persevere and willingly take on the mind and character of Christ, He can use and transform our suffering by His great love to lend deeper understanding of His Word and Will, develop our character, and deliver hope.
Photo: Barcelona, Spain