Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love. (Micah 7:18 ESV)

The gospel can be explained this way:

  • God created us for His glory.
  • We should live for His glory.
  • We have all sinned and fallen short of His glory.
  • We all deserve eternal punishment.
  • In His great love, mercy, grace, goodness, God provided in His Only Son Jesus-Christ the way of forgiveness and eternal life.

This verse shows us how unchangingly marvelous is our God. He has always been willing to forgive and save. He has always been willing to retain His anger and to give grace instead. He has always delighted in steadfast love. This is who He is. That is what I want to think of tomorrow morning when I won’t be focused enough when praying. That is what I want to think of tomorrow after work when I realize that again I was not perfect at all. That is what I want to hold firm to when I am too tired to even move. I want to let His grace and love carry me, comfort me, give me the courage to keep going and still me. Because who is a God like my God, pardoning my iniquities every day and being patient with me? He delights in showing me steadfast, faithful and loyal love and quiets me with His love.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

And if troubles meant love

Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” Luke 3:21-22

Jesus got baptized and God proclaimed how much He loved Him. Next think we know He was 40 days in the desert, tempted by Satan. Then He went to Galilee and was almost killed by His people. So that’s what being loved by God can  look like.

I tend to think  that  if God is for and with me, everything should be  easy and agreeable. And maybe you are a bit like me. But sometimes it is not the case. Sometimes God’s love looks like hardships and pain. So take a deep breath and enjoy God’s love for you whatever It looks like.

And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry…  And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country. And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all… And they rose up and drove him out of the town and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff. Luke 4: -2; 14-15; 29

Asking, trusting in God’s mercy

And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.” But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying out after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” And he answered, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly. (Matthew 15:21-28)

What in the faith of that woman was great? I asked myself that question many times. I don’t know if I have the answer, but there is something she had that is indeed great: she knew that she was unworthy, and she came to receive mercy, trusting in God’s faithfulness.

She came calling Jesus Lord and Son of David. She acknowledged His power and His compassion, basically telling Him: “You have the power and the good will to help me so I cry for mercy.” When Jesus rejected her at first, she answered by asking for help. Then He called her “dog” and she said: “Yes, I am a dog, but I am your dog so I am expecting your mercy.” She never doubted of God’s goodness.

Generally, we don’t persevere as she did. When God seemed to push us away, we are desperate and it becomes difficult to pray, or at least to pray for that specific thing we want so much. Or we are frustrated as if God owes us something.  Faith believes that God has the power to do anything and rests on His mercy to ask Him again and again, trusting that His mercy will never fail.

Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16)

6 OPTIONS FOR GODLY SINGLE WOMEN WANTING TO MARRY

“Daughters . . . Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.” –Song of Songs 2:7 (NIV)

This is a post from Mark Driscoll. I have made some changes to shorten it. Enjoy.

These are tough times for godly single women who want to marry.There are some single women who remain single for no good reason. Those who are over thirty are sometimes beginning to wonder if their hopes to marry and become a mother will be fulfilled. For some, this leads to near panic. For others, a constant despair with seasons of dark depression lingers like a chronic ache. Whatever the situation there are six options.

  • SIN

You can decide that God has not come through for you, so you take matters into your own hands and do things that will really hurt the one relationship you have with a great man: Jesus Christ. If you take this path, you will eventually come to feel horrible for what you have done and miserable in the world you live.

  • SURRENDER

You can give up on ever meeting someone worth marrying. You can just stop taking any risks, meeting any people, or trying in any way. But when you shut down your heart to life in general, you are not just foregoing marriage but also hope and joy.

  •  SETTLE

You can lower your standards to the point that nearly any guy can meet them. It is possible to keep editing your list to the point where “godly man” eventually becomes “believes in a higher power of some sort,” and “I respect him” becomes “I think I can put up with him.” This may get you a man, but not a long-term, joy-filled, God-honoring marriage.

  •  SUFFER

You can allow your singleness to become the devastating, discouraging, and defining aspect of your life. You can let it make you feel unwanted, unloved, and unworthy. You can allow it to haunt you, pushing you into shame, isolation, and despair. You can let your singleness be a club for Satan to beat you with over, and over, and over, and over . . .

  •  STRIVE

You can start to obsess over doing literally everything you can to land a husband. You never leave the house without looking like you are ready for a pageant. You count every calorie and spend more time at the gym than the treadmill does. You start an account for every Christian dating site that exists. You attend every church with a decent number of single men, and never miss a singles ministry event at any megachurch within a two-hour drive of your home. The center of your life is no longer Jesus, but some guy you are determined to attract to fill his place.

  • SOLACE

You can take comfort in God’s love for you and that Jesus is the Man in your life who sympathizes with your singleness. You can allow your singleness to explain you but not identify you. You can allow your singleness to be an aspect of your life but not the essence of your life. You can remind yourself that the early church was nearly the polar opposite of today’s: singleness was considered a virtuous, preferable life by many in service to God. You can live your life without waiting for someone else to show up and make it worthwhile. You can retain your desire for marriage without drifting into desperation. You can be open to a relationship without putting your entire life on hold until one occurs. You can pour your desires for a family into your extended family and/or church family.

The truth is that it is harder to be a single woman than a single man as a Christian. Polls say that single women are generally more mature and responsible than single men. Men are waiting until around 30 years old to marry for the first time, if they ever do. And, they are going for younger women, according to the statistics. Across Christianity, there are far more single women than single men, which means that the odds are not in the favor of godly single women. In addition, for theological reasons, many Christian women do not want to be the dating initiator, asking guys out and taking the lead in the relationship.

All of this together means that godly single women live in a complex world that is increasingly more difficult for those who want to marry and have children with a godly man. Love, prayer, friendship, support, counsel, and community are needed more than ever. Being single is not easy. But neither is being married. They are just difficult in different ways as God uses everything in our life to make us more like Jesus, who happened to live a perfect life while single.

Singleness!

 Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry.
I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.
I will feast the soul of the priests with abundance, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, declares the LORD.” Jeremiah 31:13-14

My new favorite scripture! The LORD promises to comfort us and to satisfy us with His goodness. And as we know, He never lies. So just to read this promise is comforting. Because there are times (so much) when we need to be comforted, especially as singles. Being single is not always easy. I am far from being miserable, but I need comfort in those moments when it is difficult to be alone, when I feel the need to have someone special in my life.

When I find it hard to share my faith, when I feel the urge to go and knock at my neighbors’ doors, I desperately need a partner.

When I make a discovery about Jesus at 3 a.m. , I want to share it with someone right away, someone special.

When I feel that my world is falling apart, I need someone to take me into his hands.

And believe it or not, I want someone to cook for, to clean for, to be submissive to.

When I need to take a big decision, I really need a husband.

I long to share the difficult moments and my joyful noises with that special someone and to hear about His craziness.

When I grocery shop and cannot carry all, I can really use some help.

Every Friday night, I need a husband, just to waste time with him.

Yes, I need a gospel partner who will also be a life partner.

And when everyone I meet seems to be married, have a baby or be pregnant, I resent being single.

In all those moments as always,  I need God to be my God and to comfort me. I need to hear His voice whispering: “I am sovereign and good and I love you with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3).

When I cried because I don’t understand, He is the same, the God of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3). And His goodness is enough, even when my heart says the opposite.

 “And I will be to her a wall of fire all around, declares the LORD, and I will be the glory in her midst.” Zechariah 2:5