Sunday, April 18, 2010

Faith, Hope, Love..

Greetings..I wanted to write an update today regarding what the Lord has been doing in my life.

What I am going through these days is kind of a reinvention of sorts. I am groing and groing sometimes comes with pain. In my case all this pain is internal as I strive to be a better man today than I was yesterday and the day before etc. In the midst of this pain, as I struggle to grow internally, the Lord has reminded me of some important facts. Namely, he reminded me that in the midst of this growing, or anything else that our lives might be consumed with today, the way to get through it, and thrive through it, hope, love.

The keys to success in this life are not being the most organized, being the best planner, the hardest worker, or having the most insight or wisdom or anything like that. The Lord recently impressed upon me to REST in him. He impressed upon me that although my past is flawed due to all my own screwups, I have gone from one success and triumph in life to another. He asked me, "how did this happen? Was it because of all your wisdom and superior strength and foresight and planning etc?" To that question I had to laugh, and cry and answer no.

The reason for everything good in my life has been faith in him, hope in his lovingkindness, and love for him. Through all my internal ups and downs, the Lord's faithfulness has come through for me again and again and again. What's so great about the Lord's love and faithfulness is that I didn't have to know the future, or be perfect, or be the best, smartest, strongest person in this race called "life." Because I did not have to "be" all those things, and yet I still prospered, I can REST in him. FEW things are required to succeed in this life. What things are required? Faith, hope, love.

I want to add a note on what "love" is here as God defines it...John 14:15 "If you love me, you will obey what I command."

Love means obedience. My past is checkered with failures however the Lord's grace, his mercy and his strength has enabled me to pick up the broken pieces of my screwups day after day after day and re-engage life again and again...following these things, faith, hope and love.

I have been very encouraged today that the Lord has reminded me of these things. Its not all on my shoulders to figure everything out. I don't have to "be perfect." I have to have faith, keep up my hope, and above all...LOVE, my God, my family, and all of mankind to the best of my ability.

As I rest in the Lord in faith, hope and love, he is encouraging me to push forward to be a better man. He is sustaining me in this pain that is growth. He does expect us to put forth, to bear fruit, but he is a gentle taskmaster to those who remain broken before him.

Because I ramble, I want to wind up with this as a message to you. What is happening between me and the Lord today, may have some application to you today. We do not live on islands apart from each other, although to the eye it appears we do. We are all one "in Christ" so I want to encourage you to REST today. When you are resting, remember that the battles are not yours even though you seem to be the "star" of the movie called "your life" you have a great helper who loves you. Keep the faith, rest, hope, love, believe. Know that you know that you KNOW the Lord is going to help you again because you love him, and he loves you. STRIVE, put forth effort, GROW where you have been planted today knowing that whatever you are today is temporary, whether where you are is good or bad..

Okay, one more rambling comment on the power of words. The Lord recently gave me this mental picture of each of us waking up to each new day like an artist stepping up to a fresh, clean canvass to paint. What goes on that canvass is up to us. The words we use inside our hearts and minds are the paint on that canvass and WE CHOOSE THEM. Realize the power of the words you use. We were created to be like our God, and he tells us...John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The "word" was God, was with God and WAS GOD. The word of God is Jesus himself, and because we are like him, he has given our words power just as his words have power. We must be very careful then, to watch our words..both those we speak and those we think. Remember that as a man thinks, so is he. As we believe, so things are done unto us.

Let's be careful then to watch ourselves. Let us paint beautiful pictures within ourselves on the fresh canvass we are given that is called a "new day." Let us be encouraged to REST in our God. Let us strive to become more as a people because we love our God and our fellowman, but as we do this let us recognize that the battle and the outcome are the Lord's. That is not an excuse for us to lay back and say "well then, let him do everything!" because he expects us to engage in each day alongside of him.

Be encouraged today, continue to pray. Do not give up your faith or your hope or your love. Believe the Lord for BIG things in accordance with the growth of your soul and your walk with him. Our God is very VERY good, and his eye is on us today. Do not be fooled by his apparent silence because he speaks in many different ways at different times. Renew your strength today in the Lord and be patient for the answer to your prayers. Look for your answers tomorrow as you pray with great hope and expectation today.

One day, our hearts will swell with joy and we will be glad that we adopted the attitude of a soldier to fight on for one more day...for our God, for our families, for our brothers and for ourselves.

May the Lord bless you and keep you today, may his face shine upon you and may he grant you peace..BLESSED BE HIS NAME...grace and peace

brother d