July 19, 2011

Anchors away

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
-1 James 1:2-5

So many things in this life are uncertain. Just think about it.

Especially when it comes to people. and the future.

Whether it's a friendship, friend groups, relationships, current circumstances or stage of life, wherever you are right now - nothing is guaranteed, and things seem to constantly shift. Even if you fight against it.

I hate the pain of rejection - but then again, who really doesn't? I'm one of those people that wants everyone to get along all of the time and wishes everyone could be BFF's . . . my sister told me that I'm a pacifist, and I think she's right.

Anyway, I was thinking about the uncertainty in relationships and the fear that accompanies vulnerability . . . in addition to the fear that latches itself onto the relationships that you have with friends and family - what if this person moves, what is something disastrous happens to them, etc. etc. (ultimately the fear of losing loved ones, or the fear of being hurt by them)

J.D. preached an awesome sermon on fear a few weeks ago, and it came to mind.

It's times like these, when these fears or insecurities threaten to jar my spirit that God reminds me of who He is and who I am in Him.

Even if I am rejected, disliked, hurt by those from whom I crave relationship, my ultimate security and validation is not found in people. It doesn't change the fact that these things still hurt and still upset me, but I am reminded that my God will never let me go. That I am secure in His grasp, even if others turn away from me.

He has promised to never leave or forsake us, and when God makes a promise, He keeps it. God is not fickle, He is just, true and holy. Scripture even says that it is impossible for Him to lie, and that our hope is anchored in Him. (Hebrews 6:17-20)

Nothing can separate us from His love . . . He is immensely faithful and remains the same, when I am all over the charts, emotional, and doubtful.

People will ultimately disappoint us in some way or fashion - we're human, after all. We weren't meant to find lasting satisfaction, joy or fulfillment in anything or anyone other than God - no human can fulfill your soul's longings. I promise that if you get to know me, I will disappoint you too. I hate to admit it, but I'm just not perfect ;).

If I am anchored to God and His word, then I won't be as devastated by the things of this world that let me down or don't work out the way I want them to.

If I am secure in His love, then I won't rely on a friend, family member, or spouse's love to be perfect. I can in return love more fully, forgive more fully and have a generous spirit if I truly grasp the Gospel.

Like I mentioned before, it still hurts to be let down or rejected, but you know what? Romans 8:28 says that God is working everything together for our good, and I believe that. God works through painful circumstances daily to bring us closer to Him and to reveal Himself. It's called sanctification. In the pain of our struggles and trials, God is working a greater purpose.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
-Romans 8:38-39
Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget,
I will not forget you!
See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands . . .
-Isaiah 49:15-16

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