Building Your Faith . . .
God morning! This morning in my Lent Study, I was led to Hebrews 5:7-9. Wow ... there is so much to take in from these three verses!
In the study of Holy Week, I have learned how more deeply about how Jesus was is great agony as he prepared to face death (see Matthew 26:36-45; Luke 22:41-44). Jesus told Peter, James and John in the Garden of Gethsemane, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.” In the Gospel of Luke, he simply says Jesus prayed, but in Matthew’s version of the story, he states, “... he [Jesus] fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My father if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as my will, but as your will.’”
I cannot image the suffering and sadness Jesus felt even before he was arrested. Knowing what was to come and what his disciples would do ... Judas would betray him, Peter would deny him three times, and all of his disciples would desert him. Left alone and abandoned to be tortured and crucified! How much sadness comes on my heart when I think of what Jesus went through for us so that we would have everlasting life.
Although Jesus cried out to God, asking to be delivered, he was prepared to suffer humiliation, separation from his Father, and death in order to do God’s will. My commentary gives me more insight on this portion of the gospels by reminding me that Jesus’ human life was not merely a script that he passively followed. It was a life he chose freely (John 10:17-18). It was a continuous process of making the will of God the Father his own. Jesus chose to obey, even though obedience led to suffering and death.
At times we will experience trials and not understand them, but each trial teaches us perseverance and growth in our faith. (James 1:2-4) Let Jesus’ obedience sustain and encourage you in times of trial knowing you will be able to face anything if you know that Jesus Christ is with you.
Have you ever felt that God didn’t hear your prayers? Be sure you are praying with reverent submission, willing to do what God wants not your will in all situations.
I found a good article by Cindi McMenamin (see link to full article here) and wanted to share a portion of it here about what reverence means:
“What does the Bible say about reverence and how can we be reverent in our daily lives? Do you have a reverent attitude toward God? And does it impact the way you address Him, refer to Him, and worship Him?
The question is worth asking in a culture that casually refers to God as “The Man Upstairs” and among believers who see Jesus as their “Homeboy” or “bud.” Reverence for God is elevating Him far above a mere exclamation like OMG and approaching Him with an attitude of WOW.
While reverence might sound to some like legalism or stodgy behavior, it flows out of a relationship of knowing who God is and responding appropriately ... to have a deep, abiding respect for Him which includes a holy, reverential fear or honor of Him.”
Therefore, for me reverence is having humility and fear toward God but also recognizing, as well as expressing, His awe and greatness!
May you be blessed today and seek God in all you do.
Building Your Faith ...
God morning! In my Lent study this week, one of the readings led me to an article about when you feel far from God. Let’s face it, we all have such moments when for whatever reason our relationship with God isn’t as close as we want it to be.
It could be a recent unexplained death of a loved, the loss of your job, a divorce you didn’t anticipate, or an unconfessed sin. Any of these things (and others) can cause us to feel far from God. Instead of glossing over your feelings and pretending you are okay this Easter, I encourage you to take steps to draw Him near.
The article written by Alicia Michelle “When You Feel Far from God at Easter” gives some incredible insight to what you can do to help you move closer to Him. She provides some Bible verses and thoughts on assisting you to do this.
I will summarize the five steps she mentioned in her article here ... but please, if you are needing some encouragement or know of someone that does, read her full article (link for article here).
5 Steps to Take When You Feel Far From God at Easter by Alicia ...
❇️ Authentically share with God all that you’re feeling, including your doubts and fears.
❇️ Believe the truth that He is not far off, regardless of what your emotions tell you.
❇️ Ask Him to reveal anything in your life, including sinful habits, thoughts, or patterns, that may be separating you from Him.
❇️ Ask a trusted Christian friend or two to pray for you through this time.
❇️ Keep seeking, keep believing, and watch His promises still come true (despite your waxing and waning emotions).
May you find peace and God’s presence in your life today and every day to come.