Jesus is Better

This week, I have been pondering the topic of faith. I come across so many people struggling with their faith, disconnected from their faith, or with little faith. I am no stranger to these very same things. When life gets hard, circumstances are difficult, relationships are strained or my heart feels broken I too struggle, disconnect, and have little faith. So, there will be no judgment from me.

There are so many things we humans will put our faith and trust in but none of them are reliable. We put our trust in people, organizations, government, our own mind, and feelings. Time after time these things prove that they are not sturdy enough to be able to hold our lives together. They are not fail proof. They let us down over and over and still we try to trust them again and again. Only One is able to hold us up and together and His name is Jesus.

He (Jesus) is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature, and He (Jesus) upholds the universe by the word of His power.

Hebrews 1:3

Of all the things we put our trust, faith, and hope in Jesus is better!

Here are my reflections:

Faith is like a seed: Simple faith is powerful. Faith in Jesus, the One who upholds the universe with the power of His word, died to plant a seed of faith in me. (Galatians 3:16) Christ in me. It is hard to trust God when you distrust His method of salvation which is by faith, not by human performance. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”

Matthew 17:20

All my life I have tried to live up to some standard of perfection. Like the Israelite’s trying to live up to the law. It isn’t doable. I have ended up just trying to please people and do things right so that I can feel good and right. This is what I fall back on when I disconnect from that faith seed in me. God put power in me called Faith in the form of a seed. Christ in me! Nothing is impossible with God. (Luke 1:37) Everyday the things that I do with my life like reading the word of God, prayer, and practicing my faith will nurture that seed into a little plant that grows into a great tree.

Salvation is for freedom: (Galatians 5:1) Jesus paid the high cost for my freedom. He was persecuted, so that, I could receive the promises of God. I am healed. (1 Peter 2:24) I have been given life, so that, I can grow and mature in God. I am free. (1 Corinthians 7:23)

I can’t save myself even though I certainly try. I have tried to control my environment. I have tried by fighting back when others hurt me. I have tried by fleeing hard situations in fear. Faith reminds me that He laid down His life, so that, I could live. In Him I am able to stand free, alive, face every day unafraid, and full of faith.

A position of favor: When we believe in Christ, we become God’s children. Being a child of God is not just a statement it is a position of favor and delight that we have with the Father. When I abide in the word of God and spend time with the Lord I express my delight in Him out loud in my life. In turn, He desires to give me the desires of my heart. (Psalm 37:4)

I have this new grand baby. Her name is Elly. Her arrival into our family has reminded me of the kind of delight God the Father has for us. Our family so delights in her. She has a position of favor with us, so much so that, we desire to give her the desires of her heart. If she cries out we come running.

God’s work in us is much the same. He desires to see that seed of Christ in us develop and grow. Just as we desire to see this new grand baby learn and grow. His work in us develops godly desires in our lives. (Philippians 2:13) Just like any child, we need love, care, discipline, and correction. Without these things and left to my own self I will desire things that are not good for me. I will desire to lash back when I’ve been hurt instead of forgiving. I will desire to prove that I am right and good when I perceive that others have made me feel small or less than. I will desire to chew on my feelings until I harm my own soul with the thoughts of worthlessness and shame they produce.

The Father desires to give us favor. Favor is the supernatural delight of God given to those who delight in Him. That favor works like miracle grow on the seed of Christ in us. It’s the promise that He is working all things for good to those who love Him. (Romans 8:28) Someone may plant truth in us and another may water the garden of our heart but it is God who gives the increase.(1 Corinthians 3:7)

Grace is Enough: Grace is about receiving, not doing. It is about belief, not effort. Everyday I have to choose if I will live by faith or live by figuring it out on my own.

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Galatians 2:20

I can tell you that trying to figure it out on my own leaves me full of anxiety, running around trying to figure out how to make my life work, making promises I can’t keep, sacrificing myself to be something to someone, to anyone. I just want to feel right in my own skin. By God’s grace He declares us “RIGHTEOUS” if we have faith in Jesus Christ. In this righteous place called “IN CHRIST” there is no more condemnation. (Romans 8:1) My mind settles and is set on the things of God. (Colossians 3:2-11) Grace is where anyone who believes in Him has a seat at the table and all are welcome there. His grace is enough for me and it’s for you.

We are blessed: If we really see what we’ve been given, we will see that we are blessed. I get my eyes off God and the truth of His word all the time and when I do, I find myself looking at what I think I am missing in life. Then suddenly with that subtle shift in focus I become wrapped up in untrue stories playing in my mind and once again I find that I’ve put my hope in things that can’t save or satisfy me. Its an awful cycle and every time God calls me back to Himself.

It is easy to forget that it is by faith that we have been saved. (Ephesians 2:8) Its easy to forget that we are a highly favored child of God with a Father who delights in us. It’s easy to forget that His grace is enough for us, and we are blessed!

So, listen, the next time that all hell breaks loose in your life and the enemy comes in to fill that space of faith with fear. Stop and remember Jesus and all that He came to bring us is better!

All is grace,

Starla

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me.

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