"He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." ~Jim Elliot

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A Whole Heart

Psalm 86:11-12
Teach me your way, O Lord,
    that I may walk in your truth;
    unite my heart to fear your name.
I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,
    and I will glorify your name forever.

A few days ago as I skimmed through my Bible trying to find some source of hope, my eyes found this passage. The past several months have held a great deal of difficulty for me spiritually as I try to balance school, work, study, and seeking God. It's one of the hardest tasks I have been given. And for the most part, I have failed. It had been so long since I experienced the spiritual hunger and thirst for righteousness Jesus preached about in the Sermon on the Mount (Mt. 5:6).

There used to be days I could say with David, "O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you" (Ps. 63:1). But lately those experiences have been mere memory:
These things I remember,
    as I pour out my soul:
how I would go with the throng
    and lead them in procession to the house of God
with glad shouts and songs of praise,
    a multitude keeping festival (Ps. 42:4).

Needless to say, I have no desire for memories.

But I am finally seeing what I have been missing all this time. In an act of grace last week, God revealed it to me through His word. He does not desire external actions or dead religion (Joel 2:12-13; Rm. 2:29). He wants my heart. And not just a portion of it or most of it - He wants all of it. So often my efforts to please Him are only half-hearted. I will open His word and skim a few pages or go to church and take good notes, but the hunger and thirst are not fully there.

Only He can restore me to that hunger and thirst for righteousness I find so easy to go without. May we (believers) never settle for mediocrity in our fellowship with one another or with Christ. May we never rest on the mundane or be content to simply walk through life as a set of rules and rituals. Rather, let us hunger and thirst for our Savior, Jesus Christ - our Treasure.

And let us give thanks to Him with a whole heart.

Monday, March 3, 2014

When the Worst

What will be said on this blog is nothing new or original. If it were, it would not work. We get through life not by whimsically shooting at abstract new concepts but by relying on ancient ones (in the word of God). Because I am feeling a little down, I thought it would be beneficial for any readers to hear a brief statement on getting through hardship.

All I have to say is something C.S. Lewis has already said (which accounts for most Christian literature anyway). But here it is: when the worst happens, just press on. No matter how hard or how meaningless or pointless - just press on. The only alternative is suicide, which is ludicrously selfish. Stay in the game. Choose to believe that some day - somehow - things will get better.

That is all my mind has the capacity to think right now. I wish it could be more, and more substantial. But for now, this will suffice. God desires faith.

Trust Him. Keep moving.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Feeling and Being Alone

Alone. That is a word I loathe with a passion. It is so distant and even, in many ways in fact, deceptive. The truth is, those who are in Christ never have to suffer true isolation. God is always with us, and He promises never to leave us, forsake us, condemn us, or let any true harm come upon us. That is great news.

Holding onto those truths gives us comfort (even though it can be a little scary sometimes). And yet we so often forget or feel another way. This and that happened, he lost his job, somebody got cancer, another tragedy struck today, and so on. In our darkest moments, we feel alone. So often I think mentioning the solution only makes it worse because it attempts to quick-fix and eliminate. Sometimes that doesn't happen.

Keep your head up. Stay in the game. Some days are better survived than fought.

You are never alone.

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