The longer I walk with the Lord, I get to know myself and see me apart from grace. Thus, the more I know I must be on my face before God crying out for mercy.
The truth is, on any given day I probably give everyone that knows me at least one reason to be annoyed, perturbed, irritated, and flat out angry with me. In fact, for every person who says they like me there are likely a whole bunch of others who do not.
All by itself that could be distressing to my heart and provoking to my flesh and yet, in the midst of it all, when troubles and trials of various kinds abound, there is hope to be found – relief and release from the frailties of the humanity which constrains us.
In a word, it is Jesus.
Lately, my eyes have been locked with the eyes of the Savior seeking to see myself in light of His saving, redeeming and sustaining Gospel. Therein, I have found much to hope and glory in; I have found much to lift my heavy heart.
The simple and profound way the Holy Spirit accomplishes this in my heart is praise, prayer and thanksgiving! Certainly it’s not magic. God forbid that I would treat his Word so carelessly. What it is though, is powerful above and beyond what I’ll ever be able to explain to you. His Word is deeply penetrating, even into my inmost parts.
My life verse, Philippians 4:4-9 says:
“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy-meditate on these things.”
Sisters, are you troubled with the cares of broken relationships? Do your so-called friends shun you with or without cause? Do you feel alone and in need of encouragement?
Lift your head and say, “Jesus, thank You! Thank You for the Cross. Thank You for being my Kinsman Redeemer, the Restorer of all breaches, the One Who Is, Who Was and Who Is to come. Thank You for grace upon grace upon grace; grace which has saved me from the uttermost darkness and depravity of my own soul.
Go and pray to this Jesus Who sits at the throne and intercedes. Cry out to Him with a heart full of thanksgiving and praise. He is the Rock of our salvation and in Him there is no shadow of turning for He is indeed faithful.
Stephanie D.Paul serves as part of the Addiction Recovery Team at America’s Keswick as Director of Women of Character. She has been married for over 30 years to Sesky Paul who is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy. They have two grown children. Her single focus in ministry at Keswick is to image Christ in grace and truth to wounded and hurting women, encouraging them to make Jesus the truest Lover of their soul and the One in whom all hope lies.