Tuesday, April 24, 2012

GIVE IT TO JESUS by MARI-ANNA STALNACKE


Christ is risen! Act like it!
What do you do when you doubt?
What do you do when you are overwhelmed?
What do you do when a disaster strikes?
What do you do when the future is unclear?
What do you do when God feels distant?
Your response is critical for your spiritual well-being. Your response defines your future. How come?
You let the distress bring you to God, not drive you from him. The result was all gain, no loss. Distress that drives us to God does that. It turns us around. It gets us back in the way of salvation. We never regret that kind of pain. But those who let distress drive them away from God are full of regrets, end up on a deathbed of regrets. And now, isn’t it wonderful all the ways in which this distress has goaded you closer to God? You’re more alive, more concerned, more sensitive, more reverent, more human, more passionate, more responsible. Looked at from any angle, you’ve come out of this with purity of heart.(2. Cor. 7: 9-11, MSG)
MARI-ANNA STALNACKE
At those moments when we are distressed for one reason or another we decide who we trust. This is when we practice resurrection or not. This is when we put our hope in the Lord or not. This is when we choose our side. It is easy to believe in God when everything is well. But what do we do when things are not ideal? What do we do when we can’t sense God’s presence? That is when we are defined. That is when we choose our destiny. God or no God?
God is not expecting us to solve our problems. God is not expecting us to be perfect or out of trouble. God expects us to turn to him in everything. God is expecting us to bring our distresses to him and let him deal with them. Life happens. And life is messy. God does not want a sterile version of us. He wants us as we are. With our feelings of inadequacy. With our doubts. With our troubles. God is waiting for us as we are. It is HIS strength that works in our weakness. It is HIS vision that will clear the path for us. It is HIS grace that will cleanse us.
He said to me, “My grace is enough for you, because power is made perfect in weakness.” So I’ll gladly spend my time bragging about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power can rest on me. Therefore, I’m all right with weaknesses, insults, disasters, harassments, and stressful situations for the sake of Christ, because when I’m weak, then I’m strong(2 Cor. 12: 9-10, CEB)
So. Whatever is your problem, give it to Jesus. He already carried all our problems, troubles, and messes on the cross. It is done. We are not to carry our own problems. We are to give them to Jesus. We are not to mess with our doubts on our own. God can deal with them fast. Whatever it is that bugs you, give it to Jesus. And receive peace upon peace. Love upon love. Grace upon grace. God loves you just as you are. God keeps working on you. We just need to keep on turning to him. Especially when we don’t feel great. Because that’s when we need him most. And that’s when his grace transforms us. Time after time.
Gracious God,
You are beyond amazing.
When we come to you,
you love us as we are.
When we are down,
you lift us up.
When we are weak,
you strengthen us.
When we have doubts,
you fill us with faith.
When we bring you our dead ends,
you give us a bright future.
You sure are beyond amazing.
Be praised forever more!
In Jesus’ name,
Amen
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