Steadied by Grace
Every follower of Jesus Christ needs to work hard to find their joy in Christ and not in some delight in life, not some shadow of human hope, not some slippery dream, not some shaky plan we hang our happiness on. I fight this daily. My hopes get pinned on momentary things that cause me to look better or to be recognized or to be the center of someone’s attention.
Yet, when it is just me and God alone, it is easy to see how warped my thinking has become. It’s interesting, even in those alone-with-God moments, it is easy to dream about the idolatrous longings that get lodged in my idle idol-factory heart.
It is one thing to say that I love Jesus the most, it is quite another thing to actually live that reality. The one saving grace: God knows this exponentially better than I do and I am held in His wonder-working hand. God is working all things together for good for me because I love Him (because He first loved me) and I have been called according to His eternal purpose in Christ. Therefore, let my heart rejoice and to Him be glory forever, amen.
Everything in Scripture is pointing towards this one truth: We must repent of our righteousness. Our supremacy is supposed, sinister, sinful, and false. We must repent and rely solely on the Lord Jesus Christ and His alien righteousness alone; the righteousness that becomes ours simply because God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world; and Jesus became sin for us, that we would become his righteousness. Mysterious. Praiseworthy. Magnificent.
This daily repentance and rejoicing in Christ takes concentrated intent, and a declared resolve, not just once, not just twice, but continuingly, every time my wandering heart wanders. It is the steadying sheer-wall of the grace of God that brings my heart back to this central focus, it’s why I find myself preaching the Gospel to myself over and over again. It is why, out of the depths of my doldrums, and my despondency, over unmet expectations or my proneness to sinful wandering, that God reignites His love in my heart for the simple Gospel truth that Jesus loves me, despite my sin. This is all because Christ died for my sins and rose again and ever lives to make intercession for me, not to give me everything I want, but that my heart would want Christ most of all.
This ignites my heart in praise, unbounded praise, to God for His absolute goodness. My heart rejoices when it remembers these truths. When I go back into the pain of my longing, I lift it to Him who knows all things, and once again He lightens the load, He bears my burden. He is so good. Constant, steady, full of absolute integrity, faithful to every one of His promises. The to-and-fro up-and-down seesaw of human emotion steadied by Christ’s good hand of grace.
I find that this providential process prepares me for the good works that God saved me to live in, engage in, be ready for, the pressing needs that present themselves, the abundant Gospel opportunities due to superabundant grace, all for His glory.
Anyways, this is what was on my heart today. I hope it encourages you to cling to Christ, knowing that a far stronger Hand holds onto you.
Ps. 68:19-20 “Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation. Selah
Our God is a God of salvation, and to GOD, the Lord, belong deliverances from death.”
Soli Deo Gloria