Saturday, February 2, 2013

New Post: "Knowing God - Even In Our Despair"

I write about what I know from personal experience,
and from what I learn from others along the way.
In my life I have walked closely with God (albeit comparatively),
and I have walked separate from God (mostly from anger, and pride).

So, what would you say to someone who claimed to do God’s Will,
but it felt and seemed they were far from Him?
What if the person were you?
Seeking God each day, yet seeing little change or cause for hope??

The Internet has a good definition for the word despair:
Despair suggests total loss of hope, which may be passive or may drive one to furious efforts, even if at random: in the depths of despair; courage born of despair.

When is Your hope all gone?
Is it when you know for sure that God has left you?
How about in the moments when your death seems imminent,
or the never ending suffering of an on-going disease?
What do you do then?

John the Baptist was the cousin of Jesus, and yet he suffered.
He was imprisoned for his beliefs, and later John was even beheaded.
Was John in despair when Christ showed up on the scene,
yet still he was made to suffer persecution?

John was doing the will of God by announcing the coming of Christ,
yet he was unable to avoid the painfulness of separation from God...
would that bring despair to you?

Where was Jesus? And what can we learn from Him in this story?

Jesus continued to do God’s will, yet He left John in prison.
He rescued other people from their infirmities,
but He did not rescue John from certain death.
Then Jesus honored John before God, saying...
“I tell you the truth, of all who have ever lived,
none is greater than John the Baptist.”

Jesus also said something else important,
“God blesses those who does not take offense at Me."
Would you ever be offended in Christ didn’t honor you?

What if He left you in your ‘prison’ of suffering?
Emotionally broken, mentally in turmoil, physically sick...
would you still be able to find you know God?
Perhaps this is the greatest challenge of all in life;
to be left without an obvious sign of hope for the future,
yet too believe that God loves us, and has a plan beyond our understanding.

Knowing God is more than receiving His blessings,
reading the bible, and living in obedience.
It is learning to have faith beyond that which we can produce on our own.

For this I am glad God gave me an imagination,
for with it I can think up many possible scenarios for why life is this way,
and yet I can still smile because even my creativity is limited,
but God is not limited.

Don’t put restrictions on God, for what He should do.
Instead, learn to expect something better.
Wait on it, like an unexpected surprise that you cannot wait to see unfold!

The drama of life is full of God’s promises,
and even if they look different from what you expect...
it is probably because the One above
has greater plans than we can possibly understand.

Can you suspend your limited beliefs,
to instead embrace a hope in that which has yet to unfold,
even if it doesn't look how you want?

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