Whatever Gets You Through The Night!
Pastor Pat Badstibner
How do we find relief when life is crazy; when the pains of life seem to make even putting one foot in front of the other seemingly impossible; when the winds are raging; when it seems we get more wrong than right and when getting up in the morning seems like torture in and of itself.
I cannot answer for you, I can only tell you the things that I find I must keep reminding myself. For it is in these truths that my hope of freedom, my desires; to live as though I were dying (because we all are), to live life with no regrets, to be able to love expecting nothing, and serve others without needing to be served, can only be reached.
The Truths That Remind!
1) God does what God does because it glorifies HIM and brings HIM pleasure. – l Samuel 12:20, 22, 1 Chronicles 29:11, Isaiah 43:21-25, Isaiah 48:9-11, Isaiah 49:3, Ezekiel 36:22-32, Romans 9:17-23 , Romans 11:36, l Corinthians 10:31, Ephesians 1:4-6, Philippians 1:9, 11
2) God created us to glorify Himself and have fellowship and worship HIM. – Psalm 100:3, Proverbs 16:4, Colossians 1:16, 1 Pet. 4:11, Revelation 4:11
3) God finds great glory in choosing to love us. – Isaiah 43:6–7, Ephesians 1:5–6, Ephesians 2:4-7, Ephesians 3:10-11, Titus 3:4-5
4) We are wicked, broken, serving only ourselves and Satan. -Job 15:14, Psalm 51:5, Psalm 58:3, Ecclesiastes 7:20, Isaiah 53:6, Romans 3:9-12, Romans 5:12, Ephesians 2:1-3
5) We broke God’s heart! – Genesis 6:6
6) God has not only chased us, brought us near, but also redeemed us. – John 6: 37, 44, 65, 1 Corinthians 2:14, Ephesians 1:18, Ephesians 2:5, Colossians 2:13, 1 Peter 1:3, Titus 3:5
7) Because we could not, Christ who was God, lived the perfect life and finished it, so that now all we have to do is accept. – I Timothy 3:16, Zechariah 12:10, (crf) Revelation 1:7, Micah 5:2, (crf) Isaiah 63:16, John 8:58,(crf) Exodus 3:14, John 15:10, Romans 3:10, Romans 5:10,17,19, Gal 2:16], Galatians 3:1-3, Philippians. 2:8, Hebrews 4:15, Hebrews 9:14, Hebrews 10:4-10, John 1:12, Acts 16:31, Romans 5:8, Ephesians 1:13
8) We have no bearing or dealing in any of this, as it is and always will be a complete work of God. – Ezekiel 36:26, Ephesians 2:5, Titus 3:5, 1 Peter 1:3, 1 John 2:29
9) There really is no more condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. – Romans 8:1, 34
10) Nothing can separate us from the love of God. – Romans 8:38,39
12) The law is not something we can live. It can only show us how to live but it does not enable us to live. In fact, the law kills. – Romans 3:20, Romans 7:7, 2 Corinthians 3:6
11) Grace is not only the seed but the miracle-grow upon which all maturity in Christ occurs. – Acts 13:43, Act 18:27, Romans 3:24, Romans 5:1-2, 1 Corinthians 15:10 Ephesians 2:4,5, 2 Titus 2:11, Peter 3:18
13) Because God has given me all things, including the Holy Spirit, I am sealed. I am wrapped up and will be delivered. It is the Holy Spirit’s job to present us mature to the bridegroom. He is the evidence of my faith, salvation and righteous standing – Romans 6:22 , Romans 8:5, 32, Romans 15:16 , 1 Corinthians 6:11, 2 Corinthians 1:22 , Ephesians 1:3, 14, Ephesians 4:30, 1 Thessalonians 5:23, 29 Thessalonians 2:13, 1 Peter 1:2, 2 Peter 1:3, Jude 24
14) Any good works we do occurs when we get out of the way and allow God to work through us. – 1 Corinthians 15:10, Philippians 2:13
15) We really are eternally secure. – John 6:37, John 10:28, Romans 6:23, Romans 8:15, Romans 11:29, 2 Corinthians 1:22, Philippians 1:6, 1 John 5:13
BONUS: Spiritual maturity, learning to love the thing God does, does not come from a focus on what we are doing or not doing but through focusing on the perfect obedience of Christ, His substitution and His words, “IT IS FINISHED”. -John 15:5, John 19:30, Romans 12:2, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Colossians 3:3, Titus 2:11-14, Titus 3:5, Hebrews 12:2, 2 Peter 3:17-18
It’s A’right! It’s A’right!
Through my day to day and moment by moment recalling of these truths, I find within myself a growing awareness of my deep need for the gospel of grace. I am reminded of my need for the ugliness of the cross and the new life of hope where there once was none.
Though I stumble all over myself, I am constantly reminded of how much I need that grace to be new each day. I am glad it is indeed given new, free in overabundance, no questions, no requirements, and of no cost to me.
For indeed, if it cost me my obedience, my failures would ever rage against my mind reminding me just how short of patience with others, ill mannered, ill tempered, short tempered, foolish, critical and condemning I am of others and to others. Not to mention the hoofen mouth-disease that seems my natural bent.
It is almost impossible at times for me to relate to God in grace if I am honest, because I am a zealot on focusing and basing my relationship with others on what they have done, not done, should do or the wrongs they are doing to me or someone else. Yet, I know that I will only relate to God by grace as much as I allow others to relate to me and I to them through grace. Surely the biggest abuser of grace and the one most irresponsible for it is the person who looks at me while I brush the teeth that are housed in the mouth that spits out such venom, calloused words.
That is why I am thankful that my adoption, my sonship, my standing in Christ is not relevant to how well I’m doing in pursuing holiness because, in truth, most days I’m not. When I think I see growth and changes that can be measured, I am soon reminded of another area that I overlooked and need to work on.
In a way it seems to balance each other out. I seem forever, perpetually stuck in neutral, which in effect means I’m dying and maybe that is the point.
If it is in my weakness that God is most glorified then I unashamedly cry out in desperation for that newly given grace each day. As I am reminded and am so thankful God does not deal with me according to my sin. I shout out with the best understanding I can muster how thankful I am that as far as the east is from the west He has removed my sin from me.
I am thankful for these truths because they blow the roof off my smugness, my intolerance of others, my need to be right and my self-righteousness. May God surround me with friends and people in my life who constantly remind me of these truths.
For only then will I grow in wisdom and understanding. Only then I will understand enough that it is not about forgetting myself but remembering to focus on the ONE, so that I can walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. Remembering that He indeed does find the same delight in me that He finds in Christ I will find joy in the midst of a mad, mad, mad world.
This is how I must do it. Most days I still fail miserably but thankfully He is faithful, because I am not. Christ is the righteous Man who makes my prayers efficient and for that I grow more grateful each day.