Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Heart of Life Is Good

Sitting here in Jackson's cold sterile library, alone with my thoughts; listening to a song by John Mayer called "Heart of Life" and feeling melancholy, thinking about life...

How's life going for you? Mine is going pretty good, optimistically speaking, but reflecting on all the despairing headlines in the news ( the violent earthquake in Italydisastrous flooding in the neighboring state of Louisiana, chaos in the Middle East, and political chaos here on the home front) I am reminded that "pretty good" is just not the case for everybody. I know even some close to me, in my circle of friends, that are dealing with some pretty tough stuff these days. I consider myself to be in a pretty blessed season of life right now, but honestly, I can't help but think that surely trouble is gonna find me. It's inevitable, isn't it? For this reason, I am reminded not to hold onto my life, or anything in it, too tightly.

So what do we do when trial and adversity strike?


NOT FRET, for one thing (for it only leads to evil- Ps. 37:8)! I feel like Romans 12:12 has been a theme verse for me lately.

" Be joyful in hope,  patient in affliction,  faithful in prayer. "

Romans 12:12

This morning, during my reading in Matthew God provided me with an answer to my question. Matthew 16:21-28 says:

From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.

Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”

Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done. Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

...So from that, I concluded that the answer to what we should do when trial and adversity strike, is to keep hope, remember God's promises, and have eternal perspective.

I mean, think about what the worst bad news in all of history probably was; hearing that Jesus was to be crucified (having not known, or maybe having not the faith to believe that He would rise again to be our great eternal, victorious, savior, redeemer, and bridegroom) 
And in the moment of Christ sharing the bad news with his disciples; because He had eternal perspective  Christ was able to rebuke Peter, who opposed the thought of Jesus' God-ordained destiny...which was a destiny of hope and promise.

that just amazes me!

...and because Jesus was able to have in His mind, the concerns of God above merely the concerns of man, the GREATEST news in all of history was then able to come about; The good news of the gospel; that Jesus as an ultimate sacrifice would die on the cross, and shed his blood for all of man kind, taking on the punishment that should have been ours so that our sins might be forgiven, and that we might be made whole and live reconciled to God!

Mindblowing!

I see from this account how, realistically YES, affliction is hard to face; for on lookers (Peter and the disciples) and for the victim ( Jesus himself) as this can be explored further in other chapters in the bible. But I can also see how God had a far greater purpose and plan that was to come out of Jesus' trial and death, and Jesus knew it. He trusted God, and we have a lot to learn from his example about our own trials and afflictions keeping hope, remembering God's promises, and having eternal perspective, so that ultimately God can bring glory to himself, which as a believer is our greatest desire, and blessings for us will be reaped in the process. It is promised.

...So as John Mayer's song says:

"Pain throws your heart to the ground, LOVE turns the whole things around ... 
No, it won't all go the way you think it should ... 
... But I know the heart of life is good" 
 
So... I have no more reason to be melancholy. Let's keep hope, remember God's promises, and have eternal perspective. Below I have listed some fitting truths and promises we can remind ourselves of in the midst of life's twists and turns:

  • "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." ~Romans 8:28

  • "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." ~Genesis 50:20

  • "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." ~Hebrews 4:15-26

  • "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones." ~Proverbs 3:5-8

  • "For my thoughts are not your thoughts neither are your ways my ways declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." ~Isaiah 55:8-9

  • "I know Lord that You can do all things; no plan of Yours can be thwarted" ~Job 42:2

  • "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell." ~Matthew 10:28


Please feel free to add additional scriptures you find helpful in the comments below! 




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On a different note, here is some good news to share with you! I leave to Brazil for my missions trip in TEN DAYS! And my airfare is almost completely covered now, aside from 50 more dollars! Praise the Lord! If you feel led to support my trip financially, click here! I CAN'T BELIEVE there are only ten days left before heading out. Our days have been so full here (and of Christmas choreography of all things)! I have had no time to even think about Brazil...aside from every time I watched the Olympics ^_^ I don't know how to pack or even what season it is over there, winter? spring? I will definitely be taking bug spray. I guess I have to start getting on the ball with all that. Do any of you have any good packing tips or advice about traveling to brazil? Do Share!

I can't wait to start blogging and updating you from Brazil! We are VERY expectant of the Lord and of what He's going to do through us. For the inside scoop and more detailed information, please sign up for my newsletter at the top of this page. Below is a list of things you can join me in prayer about, concerning Ballet Magnificat Alpha's missions trip to Brazil. 
  1. Pray for divine ministry opportunities, for salvations, and deliverance EVERYWHERE we go!
  2. Pray that language barriers would be overridden.
  3. Pray that God's favor would rest upon us, especially in terms of setting up our trainee program.
  4. Pray that God would draw people to our performances, and that they would logistically go well.
  5. Pray that as we pour out, we would also be poured into; that we would find time of refreshment along the way; personal time to spend with God despite are busy schedule.
  6. Pray for travel mercies, and good health.

God is SO Good.
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