In my devotional time recently, God stressed this message to me: “I (God) meant for you to go rejoicing as We walk along life’s way together. I didn’t say it would be all smooth paths and roses; in fact, I said in my word that you would have tribulation (challenging things in varying degrees) in this world. But I also encouraged you with the truth that ‘I have overcome the world’. “ (John 16:33) I was encouraged to make an extra effort each day to find the joy that traveling with Him brings.
Sometimes, by no plan of God, we drag a heavy weight of stuff (shame, lies, low self esteem, pride, wealth, to name just a few things) behind us. It’s tiring, bothersome, distracting, and a hindrance. In many instances, it keeps us from being able to truly partake of the glad surprises God provides for us along life’s road to our heavenly destination. That load dragging behind makes bystanders and spectators out of us instead of setting us free to actively participate in the fullness of our lives. Jesus came to earth, suffered and died, then rose up from His grave so that we could enjoy abundant life. He intended for us to enjoy being here on this earth and living life in His company. (Philippians 4:4) We are doing ourselves and Jesus a GREAT INJUSTICE by choosing to make life miserable and burdensome for ourselves.
“Do people really do that on purpose?” you ask. Yes, sometimes it is done subconsciously, but often times on purpose as a personal punishment because of wrong thought patterns that scream, ” I’M NOT WORTHY of anything better”.
But that is not God’s take on our worth. He uses words like “whosoever”, “anyone”, and “all” when He talks about Jesus’ work of atonement on the cross. Jesus made the way to overcome the guilt, shame, and sin that shadows the life of every person ever born. He acknowledged that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) but offers to whosoever, anyone, and all, the gift of eternal life–a rich, full, satisfying, joyous life of favor with God. (Romans 10:13) Our part is to simply receive it by confessing our sin and shame and humbly asking for God’s forgiveness. Ultimately, the rest of our life is lived in the realization that we are children of God. What a privilege!
God is faithful to keep the promises made in His word. Every word of His is a promise. As we journey through this life with Him, we can abide under the shadow of His wings. It’s a safe, peaceful, and joyous place to spend every day of the life we have been given.
What “stuff” have you been dragging around that Jesus wants you to unload? Can you trust Him to be big enough to take care of your burdens and set you free? Have you asked Him to set you free? Why not ask today and rejoice that He has His eye on you–always?