2 Timothy 1:8-9
8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, 9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity
Why must I suffer? Why did I go through the things I went through? Why has my life been so hard?
These questions and more were primary in my thoughts as I wrestled in the first couple years of recovery. My past made no sense. What parent who claims to love their child would physically hit their kid with rage, emotionally yell and scream and condemn as if never good enough in their eyes, or cross the ultimate boundary and sexually assault their child.
There are no answers to those questions without the understandings that come through knowing Christ Jesus.
Today in hindsight when thinking of the calling God has placed on my heart to love, honor and serve Him through fellowship, outreach and support of those still hurting and broken in this world, I see only a plan.
I am not saying God planned for the suffering of the small child, but He can bring goodness and glory through all things.
I’ve read so many stories of doctors choosing their profession because they felt helpless as a child when a loved one suffered with an illness, or medical scientists who entered their profession because they wanted to cure diseases, or counselors who chose their profession because they witness so much needless suffering through dysfunctional relationships.
This too is the same calling for the one who has been Saved by Christ.
There is a desire in my heart not to heal others, for I know that I am only a man who can only do so much. But instead, to point others to the One Healer who can heal all things. The One who can mend a broken heart, straighten a crooked path, resurrect a dead life and fill it with purpose, joy, fullfillment through grace, mercy and forgiveness.
The Apostle Paul, who had it so wrong in persecuting Christians had a profound life changing experience at the hands of a loving God. That change led to a purpose filled ministry to preach the Good News of Christ to the whole world. And that He did, with passion and a resolution that said nothing will stop me, for nothing can stop God.
I can’t understand halfhearted Christians who voice faith but go on living the same old way they always have.
Yes we may wrestle with God over the surrender of our flesh, our old ways, our old fears. But how does one know the One and Only True God in Jesus Christ and not be filled with a desire to tell the world what He has done for them and ache over their own sin and seek everything in God’s power to become the man or woman God predestined them to be?
Salvation is a forever thing! Can there be any greater news on heaven and earth than the Good News that Christ lived, died and rose again and to whom believes and follows our Savior will be bestowed with everlasting life and bring a peaceful rest while on earth through a trust and reliance on God to work all things out to His glory and our sanctification.
We no longer have to rule our universe, we can simply ask God for the strength to have His will be done and not ours, then watch for His lead and have the boldness to walk through the doors He opens and trust that the doors that close are for our best and His glory.
If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.
[ Jesus Is the Light of the World ] Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”
And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.
And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.
And Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”
If you have heard the call of Christ on your life. If you can honestly acknowledge the broken path behind you, whether it be addictions, hurtful and harmful behaviors, isolation or depression, and you desire more, are filled with an ever-deepening awareness of the emptiness the world offers and are ready to be overwhelmed with purpose, to have your life make a difference in the short time we are here, then choose to surrender the old life and follow The Savior Christ.
God is the Redeemer of broken souls. It doesn’t matter how deep the hurt and broken goes, Christ died for that, and new life awaits anyone willing to just let go of our understanding of how we think things are or should be and simply seek God’s wisdom and understanding through fellowship and study of God’s Word, then get ready to live like you’ve never lived before!
Father God, that you would take a broken soul such as myself and through incredible mercy give me hope, purpose, wholesome desires, vision, joy, a growing peace and soften my heart to my own shortcomings and compassion for those still suffering is beyond my comprehension. Your Word clearly says we are chosen by You for Your purposes and that Your ways are not our ways, and that You are beyond human understanding. I know this to be true in my life Lord, but I seek more of you just the same. You continue to show mercy when I fight You for control of my life, when I try and interject my will into the people and situations that You have placed in front of me, and gently course correct me when I get off track. Thank you Lord Jesus for the price You paid that gives all of mankind the offer to be able to look God in the face and claim our right as adopted sons and daughters, not because of who we are, but because of what You’ve done. Continue to bend and mold us into Your likely Father God so that we may be the light and life that you called all of us to be. In Your precious name I pray…