I’ve been trying to work on other things this morning but I can’t…because my heart is overflowing with joy this morning! So why not finally write something encouraging and exciting! Over the past few weeks, I’ve had some ups and downs, highs and lows, and have been very frustrated with the Lord, have harbored ill-conceived grudges and bitterness towards friends, and have overall just not been myself, or at least not the new creation version (2 Cor 5:17) of myself. Truthfully, I had overall given God the cold-shoulder and then wondered why it was that He wasn’t showing up in my life. My prayers were empty and coming from an impure heart, begging God to show Himself to me, without actually believing nor fully wanting it to actually occur. But today, my friends, I am rising from the depths!
Last night I found myself extremely frustrated with man…you see, the problem was embedded in the fact that I could not be satisfied by the people around me. They could not give me enough love, encouragement, time, prayer, consolation, challenge, etc. Don’t get the wrong impression, I love my friends! Truly, I have some of the most amazing people in my corner (given they are certainly not perfect, but who is?) and I am eternally grateful to the LORD for allowing such beautiful people to be a part of my life for however long He sees fit.
So, I was laying in bed (where all deep thinking occurs late at night) and stewing over the aforementioned frustrations and then it hit me like a train…”Justin, what are you doing trusting in men and not me?” (Holy Spirit) Which lead to me praying out of a humbled and desperate heart for God to truthfully fill me up and reveal His glory to me. This morning, to my excitement, I was blessed by the overflowing and overwhelming joy of the Lord! I despise mornings, but today was different. For 7am, I was rather chipper as I headed to Starbucks and ran into a cheerful friend of mine, Wes (and his fantastic moustache)! If you don’t know Wes, you should meet him, because he is legit; filled with the light of Christ, growing in discipline, and becoming more and more a man of God every day. Anyways, speaking with him for a few minutes was great and God reassured me that I was dearly loved in those few minutes.
Have you seen “Despicable Me”? Well…remember when Gru says, “…LIGHT-BULB!”? Well, I had a light-bulb moment myself, as I sat at work and realized that I hadn’t hungrily read the Word of God in a while. I dug into 2 Corinthians and was amazed at the message God had waiting for me there.
“If anyone has caused grief, he has not so much grieved me as he has grieved all of you, to some extent—not to put it too severely. 6 The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient for him. 7 Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. 8 I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him. 9 The reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything. 10 If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, 11 in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.” (2 Corinthians 2:5-11)
Satan would LOVE IT if I continued to be bitter and unforgiving of my brothers and sisters in Christ. Undoubtedly so, thanks to the Word of God we are not unaware of his schemes and I shall not lament any further. In forgiveness I have found so much freedom and speaking of freedom, look what I found next…
“Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. 13 We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away. 14 But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. 15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:12-18)
Does anyone else receive chills when reading this passage? How could a child of God not become elated with excitement over such a passage?!?! The veil that was once there has been taken away and our unveiled faces reflect the glory of the Lord! Not to mention, “where the spirit of the Lord is, there is FREEDOM!” If you know God, then freedom is readily available to you, saints! Why do we choose to remain chained to the darkness of this world?
“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:13-14)
Today I have chosen to walk in light of His Truth, to rise from the depths, and to rejoice in the freedom of the Lord! Will you “Embrace God’s Grace” with me?