It’s normal to lose track, lose track of time, life and Jesus. Everybody goes off the track at some point in their lives, but the important thing is to find the path again and give thanks to God. Even when we are falling short of the glory of God, we can recognise it, although sometimes it takes a while for us to acknowledge it in our hearts and make a spiritual step back. But isn’t it glorious that even in those times, Jesus is standing, waiting for us? It reminds me of the prodigal son in Luke 15. Verse 20 (NLT) says “And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.” Even when we are off the track, Jesus sees us and is waiting for us to see him.
We are so quick to assume that Jesus isn’t there, that he doesn’t see us because all we can see is our mess. But it’s not Jesus who needs to look, it’s us that needs to look at him. Jesus is our Rock, he stays. Our life gets messy and tough and we end up falling away from him.
Sometimes when we forget to trust God, it’s when we see a blessing that we realise we’d forgotten. Faith isn’t based on our feelings. In saying that feelings are very important as a Christian because it’s truth that produces good feelings. Faith is made up of truth, it’s our faith that allows us to see the truth. Our faith isn’t based on our feelings, but without our feelings we wouldn’t be able to express our faith. But don’t give all the credit to your feelings because it’s your faith that draws you close to God!
I forget and I let my faith depend on my feelings. As a result, I’m not always close and honest to God; I might pray twice a day, but I forget that Jesus is my friend. He doesn’t want occasional chit chat, he wants a 24/7 honest and truthful relationship, and ironically, I want more too.
I’ve been in quarantine the past 14 days and if any of you have been there, you’ll know that it can be hard. It’s easy to make excuses ‘I can’t go for walks, so how can I find God?’ I’m so not busy to the point that I am busy ‘I just don’t have the time’. But I don’t hear God making excuses to come to us… In fact, he says the opposite: ‘Draw near to God and He will draw near to you’ (James 4:8). Also we have no excuses because the the Holy Spirit is with us always: ‘I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever – the Spirit of truth.’ (Jn 15)
I had a couple of good conversations with a friend a few weeks ago and each time we would end up talking about temporary happiness vs joy. I’ve spoken about this a lot in previous blogs, so I won’t be on the subject long. But I’m going to share some of our conversation with you.
You can’t have happiness and sadness together. But you can have joy and sadness because they are both on different levels. Happiness and sadness are both feelings that we can receive from the world, I mean we receive them from things we see; people, fun, partying, these are actions that take place and as we participate in those things, the feelings will be the result. However, other ‘fruits’ as the bible calls them like joy, peace, patience and self-control CANNOT always be found in the obvious. These can only come from God. Also, these are gifts that bless us and enable us to live life to the full in the world as Christians. The biggest of these is love and that’s the kind of love God shares with us. Therefore, we want to respond to God’s love by loving as he first loved us.
Following on from the verse I took from John 15 it says: ‘The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you’. That’s why it can be hard at times to live this out in the world around people who don’t understand. But we must persevere! Maybe we should embrace the times when we are struggling or feeling disconnected and see them as an opportunity to grow in the real fruits of the spirit, relying on God and not the things of this world or our feelings: ‘That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Cor 12:9-11
But if you are only focused on the giving back, the gifts and the fruits you will be in trouble. For it is the giver we worship not the gifts. We also need to count the blessings that are around us
It’s also important to remember that God is the giver and He’s at the top of the hierarchy, otherwise when we aren’t feeling the gifts or the fruits we will sob, but that’s not the point. He does a lot more than strengthen us, he gives us all the ability, the motivation, the courage and the power. We need Him, don’t distant yourself or find excuses when you aren’t feeling it. It’s at these times we need to proclaim his name loudly so our fear and shame can leave. Sometimes we need reminding to just sit in his presence!
Before writing this, I thought that I will just cover some of my thoughts; finishing it I realise that there is so much more. I’ve taken some thoughts from others and added them to my opinion. Let me be clear that God doesn’t set rules to punish us. He doesn’t feel good every time we …
Similarly, to my previous blog ‘Don’t let your mind corrupt you’ our perception on people should change drastically when believing in God. Of course, if you were able to love and see others before then you should carry on doing so, if not more when knowing Christ. However, if you were very different to how …
We live in such an influential society, don’t we? Do you know that if you go to a different culture, once you get there you will notice everyone believes and opinions but after a while you don’t tend to notice them anymore, why? Because their beliefs have become yours. We take too much to heart …