Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
It’s easy to talk a good and righteous game, but we all fall short of the love of God. Today when I got up I wrestled in my mind with so many things. And it can be frustrating. Let’s get real here for a minute. You know I do my best to walk through this world and do my best to be righteous and pure in thought and action. But no matter how hard I try, impure thoughts creep into my mind. Sometimes I get frustrated, or I feel weak. I can get jealous, and angered. Even when I have everything planned out I still sometimes feel lost and confused. I read scripture, study daily, and do my best to keep God’s Word on my lips, but I still fail sometimes in both thought and action. The flesh certainly is weak.
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The difference between me now and when I was younger is that I know who I am, and know WHOSE I am. And I do a much better job of recognizing when I am struggling that my thoughts are falling outside of the Will of God. I do a much better job of turning to God and praying. I do a much better job of not allowing myself to spin out of control trying to take care of everything myself. But even though I may have better habits, I still know what I am capable of outside of the Will of God. Thank God for His grace and mercy.
“Rejoice in the Lord, you who are righteous, and praise his holy name.” – Psalm 97:12
It’s so funny how our emotions try to get in the way and destroy our joy. The last thing I felt like doing this morning was to praise and worship God. I felt all twisted inside. In Psalm 97:11 it says, “Light shines on the righteous and joy on the upright in heart.” I know this to be true, but I did not feel this way this morning.
That is when obedience and faith have to step in. I may not feel like it reading or praising God sometimes, but that doesn’t matter. Being obedient means sometimes doing what you don’t feel like doing. Sometimes it doesn’t matter what you want. The bible says to pray continually and give thanks in all circumstances. Note that doesn’t say, “pray when you feel like it.”
The bible also says not to quench the Spirit, and to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ. In other words, don’t let our feelings and emotions get in the way of what God has in store for us. We are to be obedient and to rejoice and pray at all times. How else do we know this is what we are supposed to do? Let’s look at what Christ did when he knew that he was going to be mocked, beaten, and crucified on the cross in the flesh.
Jesus “took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me. In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.” In the Holy Eucharist, Jesus gave thanks in the face of death.
Jesus’s thanks was not based on his present circumstances. He was about to endure the worst possible torture and death. Yet he felt thankful to the Father for the grace and glory that was coming because of the cross, and this is what gave him joy.” Jesus was focused on the future joy, as an heir to the kingdom of God – the same joy that we have as children of God and heir to the same kingdom, the same power, and the same peace.
That’s all well and good, but we are in the flesh now, we struggle now, and need God’s help now. The good news is that God’s Word promises that He will always be with us. Further, God gives us a helper, the Holy Spirit, which is God in us.
The bible says that God will supply all our needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. He can turn around any circumstance. And what the enemy meant for harm God can turn around for good. If God created the heavens and the earth and everything in it, I’m pretty sure that He can handle our little problem. He may not always give us exactly what we want, but He will always give us exactly what we need.
God has us covered, on earth as it is in heaven!
So how can we rejoice when we face challenges in the flesh, and when we don’t feel like it? We can focus on the future, and on God’s promise. We can turn to Him first and pray continually, and be obedient to His Word, and to His Will. And we can let go and let God fight our battles. He has never lost, and he never will. We can consider it all joy, and rejoice and praise His holy name!
Dear heavenly Father, thank you for your Word today. Help me to be obedient to your Word and your Will, even when I don’t necessarily feel like it. Help me to get past my emotions and the struggles of the flesh and of my mind, that I might be able to rejoice and praise you through the storm, even in the face of death. Fill me with your Holy Spirit and with your peace and joy, wisdom and strength, power and love. Fill us with all of your goodness, and bless us, on earth as it is in heaven. We give you all the honor and glory and praise, in Jesus mighty name. Amen.
Today’s full reading: 1 Kings 6; 2 Chronicles 3; Psalm 97; Romans 1
Scripture References From Today’s Reflection:
- “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.” – Romans 1:7
- “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” – Romans 3:23
- “Light shines on the righteous and joy on the upright in heart.”- Psalm 97:11
- “pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18
- “Do not quench the Spirit.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:19
- “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 10:5
- “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” – Genesis 50:20
- “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” – John 14:26
- “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever – the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” – John 14:16,17
- “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:19
- “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds” – James 1:2
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