Go boldly to the throne of God!

In Hebrews Chapter 4, verses 15-16, it says:  For we do not have a high priest (Jesus) who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. [NIV Bible]

God doesn’t want you to be afraid to approach Him. He doesn’t want shame or guilt to stop you from coming to Him. Even as I type this post, I know I am guilty, again, of not making the time to write on this blog. But I know that God continues to love me dearly anyway. God doesn’t love me because of what I do or don’t do. He loves me because I believe that He is who He says He is–the one and only true God. I also believe the Scripture in John Chapter 3, verses 16-18: 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. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. [NIV Bible]

God’s love for me doesn’t change because I am weak or lack willpower. God’s love for all believers is unchangeable, because when God looks at us, He sees us as righteous. It is incredible, and it is TRUE–Jesus took all of our sins on Himself and was willingly sacrificed so that God the Father would forgive our sins. We are forgiven and righteous because Jesus was sacrificed for us and instead of us.

God wants you to feel secure in His love for you. He knows about the laundry lists we have of our faults and failures. The worst wreckage comes from avoiding God, wrongly believing that He will reject us if we try to connect to Him. In the midst of our still-unconquered weaknesses, He is our Redeemer.

You are precious to God, and that doesn’t change because you make mistakes.If it did, how could any of us stay close to God? We have to talk back to that voice that tells us we’re not good enough for God, that we have disappointed Him one time too many and He won’t take us back this time. You can trust God to love you unconditionally and to welcome you back to Him, time and time again. In Isaiah Chapter 26, verse 4, it says:  Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal. [NIV Bible] Thank You, Father for always being my Rock!

Make a fresh start today with God

In Psalm 103, verses 10-14, it says:  He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him; for He knows how we are formed, He remembers that we are dust. [NIV Bible]

God is willing to have a relationship with you NOW, in your current state, whatever that is. If you wait until you aren’t doing, thinking or saying anything wrong to come to Him, you never will. All of us do wrong things on a regular basis. Sin isn’t a reason to avoid God, it’s a reason to seek Him.

We may not be able to forgive ourselves or be forgiven by other people. But God can offer us a fresh start by forgiving us every time we ask Him. In the above Scripture, it is made clear:  God removes our sins from us. He forgives us completely. He absolves us of our wrongdoing. We can’t do that for ourselves, other people can’t do it for us. Only God has that authority and power.

What keeps you from coming to God?  Did you lose your temper and hurt someone’s feelings? Did you lie to your husband or wife? Did you gossip about someone, saying bad things about them behind their back? Did you pass on doing some good for someone because you didn’t want to spend the time or money? Do you refuse to forgive someone in your life, even when you know they regret hurting you? Did you renege on quitting an addiction? Go to God and wipe the slate clean! He already knows all of it! What you do and think is no mystery to God, and His message to you is, “I’m here! Come to me, ask for forgiveness, and let Me give you a fresh start!”

 

When you pray, believe your prayers will be answered

In James Chapter 1, verses 5-7 it says: If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. [NIV Bible]

I’ve been blown and tossed many times during my lifetime. I’ve feared the future (and the present), and carried my past around like a ball and chain. I know what it feels like to try to go this life on my own, and it’s been anything but comfortable. I’m one of those types of people who can seem very cheerful/confident/happy even when I’m not. I’ve felt like a fraud at the same time that I was projecting an image that wasn’t how I truly felt inside.

Getting closer to God and letting Him love me is the only remedy I know for my emotional storms. Nothing else really works. I am a work in progress, and I am still learning this lesson about staying strong and believing for the best. Being a pessimist is my default position, and this Scripture challenges me to believe that good things can and will happen in my life.

I do know that this much is true–God doesn’t want us to expect the worst so that we won’t be disappointed. He wants us to be optimistic! Knowing this is still revolutionary for me. I’m still soaking it in, little by little as I see Him working in my life. God understands that I can’t change my negative thinking overnight. He doesn’t punish me for being who I have been all my life. But He is showing me the better way–His way, not my way! My way hasn’t made me happier or healthier. My way has been a burden and an albatross. Being hopeful is healing me from the inside out. Trusting God to direct my life instead of myself is such a relief and a blessing! When I get off course, which I do, I know that I can come back to my Father who loves me unconditionally and wants a better life for me than chronic worry that things won’t work out.

In Matthew Chapter 11, verses 28-30, Jesus says, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” [NASB Bible] Let God lead you to a better, hopeful life!

 

Even if all your ducks are in a row, you still need God

Accomplishments and successes in this life can lead some to believe that they have no need of God. In Proverbs Chapter 18, verses 10-11 it says:  The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe. A rich man’s wealth is his strong city, and like a high wall in his own imagination. [NASB BIBLE]

Money and self-sufficiency can create the illusion that you can handle everything without God. Perhaps you’ve never come up against a problem that you couldn’t solve yourself. Maybe you take pride in how strong you are, how well you cope, how much you’re able to do on your own. Depending on yourself–and being good at it–can be an obstacle to knowing God.

God wants to be our strength. He wants us to go to Him with our whole lives, good and bad. In Proverbs Chapter 3, verses 5 and 6 it says: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. [NASB Bible] We may feel pretty on top of our lives, but only God knows what we don’t. He knows all about our relationships, our future challenges, the situations we’re in. He knows our strengths and our weaknesses. There is no substitute for the wisdom and knowledge of God. The counsel of God is superior to any human help we seek because He sees the entire picture from every angle. And, He loves us unconditionally, so He’s willing to forgive our mistakes and give us second and third and fourth and fifth chances….Just look at this blog, for example. It’s been over 2 weeks since I last posted, and ironically, my last post was about how I hadn’t posted in 2 weeks! I wrote about feeling guilty for neglecting this blog, and here I am again in the same situation! 🙂 So I’m getting back up on the horse, hoping that I haven’t let anyone down with my lack of self-discipline. But this much I know is true–God wants me to talk about Him to other people through this blog, so I have to keep coming back, doing my best to do better. 🙂