Taking Jesus at His Word

Tonight my oldest son and I were reading through the Book of John for devotion time. During tonight’s devotion as we read through chapter 4, a statement caught my attention: …The man took Jesus at his word and departed (John 4:50). Scripture has so much to say about faith.

In my mind, faith in the simplest terms is trusting God to do what He says He is going to do even when it seems impossible. There are several times throughout both the Old and New Testament where this type of trust has changed the course of lives (even nations). From moments like when Abraham believed that God would give him decedents as numerous as the stars and it was credited to him as righteousness (Genesis 15:6) to this moment where a desperate dad believed that Jesus would heal his son, and Jesus did.

I won’t spend time quoting Scripture after Scripture that talks about the importance of trusting that God will do what He says He will do. Tonight I want to focus on one key, life changing reminder: nothing is impossible with God (Matthew 19:26).

No life is too far gone. No marriage is too broken to restore. No situation is too hopeless. No heart is too broken. No one is beyond God’s power to save, restore, and redeem: only take Jesus at His Word.

The Great Divide

This isn’t going to sound super spiritual, but I don’t always understand why God does or allows things to happen in my life or in the world. I’m sure some of you out there will feel exactly the same and even more of you will say “duh Daniel”. In the midst of my greatest trials and suffering, I can clearly look back and I know that it was the grace of God alone that allowed me to walk, or crawl, through them. But in my human nature, my natural response is to demand an answer from God. He doesn’t promise me one.

 

Scripture reminds us that God’s ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:9). He knows the end from the beginning and it is God alone who knows all and uses all for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). Even knowing that in my mind doesn’t not always translate in to being able to accept that in my heart. What I mean is this: even though I know the Scripture, in my human weakness I struggle to hold on to those promises.

 

I know there are some super spiritual warriors out there that will say “just believe”, but that’s exactly what I am struggling with today. I am thankful that the God I serve knows my doubts, fears, and failures and He chooses to love me anyway. My mind constantly turns back to 2 Corinthians 12:9 as I am reminded: the grace of Jesus is enough. His strength is made perfect in my weakness. Jesus is using me in my brokenness, and let there be no doubt… I am a broken man.

 

This morning my heart aches as I scream out in my mind… “you took my daughter…” and as He often does, God gently reminds me: “but I gave you my Son” (John 3:16). As my heart breaks missing my daughter, I know that God knows my pain. This morning I don’t know what struggle you’re going through, but I do know this: God knows. Not only does He know, but He cares. 

 

My greatest desire is to tell you that God loves you. In the midst of your deepest doubts and greatest suffering, He has not left your side. Through faith in Jesus, nothing can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:38-39). Take all your questions, doubts, anger, hurt and suffering directly to the only One who can give you the peace and love you need to get through this storm. When we place our faith in Jesus, we become sons and daughters of God. Because of that, we can come directly to the throne of God in our deepest need and we will receive mercy and grace to help us endure. (Hebrews 4:16)

 

I’ll leave you with this thought, my heart may never fully heal in this world. The love and longing I have for my sweet Brynleigh is overpowering. But I promise you this: there will be a day where she and I will be reunited. In that place she and I will rest in the peace and love of the Father. In that place, free from death, sorrow, pain or hunger, she and I will worship the One who gave us our love to begin with (Revelation 21:14). Don’t give up if you are weary, wounded and broken… Jesus is calling to you: “come”. (Matthew 11:28)

In the Absence of Light

Today I want to share a simple but profound truth with you: satan operates in the darkness of our lives, in the secrets and lies, to condemn us and destroy us. It is the midst of the dark, hidden places in our lives where satan operates calling us deeper in to the darkness and farther away from the light of God. Darkness is simply the absence of light, and it is the places we hide our deepest, darkest shame and sin that satan has his greatest power. There is only One who can destroy this darkness by filling the emptiness with His own presence.

 

It is the places in our lives where we refuse to yield control to God that darkness creeps in. Darkness closes in slowly at first, but the longer it goes unchecked, the deeper it settles in and tries to hold us captive. Maybe it’s a drug addiction that you’re hiding… maybe it’s an addiction to pornography… maybe it’s an addiction to alcohol… perhaps it’s an eating disorder… maybe it’s something else. You hide it, lie about it, pretend that everything is fine… but slowly you are drowning in the darkness. Did you know that there is a God who knows you? The Creator of the universe who knows your name, knows every dark secret and shameful thing, and yet He is calling through the darkness: “come”.

 

Today I want to tell you the truth, Jesus alone can save you and deliver you from the darkness in life. Whatever darkness is holding you as a slave, Jesus died to buy your freedom. On the cross at Calvary, Jesus, God’s only Son, died so you could be forgiven and free. Please don’t give up, there is hope. No matter how dark your life has become, you can be free! Today I leave you with these reminders:

 

  • Jesus calls for all those who are weary and burdened to come to Him: Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28 NIV)
  • Jesus alone can truly set you free: So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:36)
  • Jesus loves you: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NIV)
  • Lastly, through Jesus, we can come before the throne of God to find mercy and grace to help in our time need: Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:16 NIV)