Rejoicing in Deep NeedWhat happens when you choose to rejoice in God even when you’re in deep need?
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Me Without You
And where would I be, without You?
I’d be packin’ my bags when I need to stay / I’d be chasin’ every breeze that blows my way / I’d be buildin’ my kingdom to just watch it fade away
It’s a word we use to describe something pointless. It’s also the word scripture uses to describe our lives apart from Christ. We once walked, as Paul wrote to the Ephesians, in the futility of [our] thinking. Without the Spirit of God quickening our hearts and minds to truth, none of our achievements and ambitions would ever produce any eternal benefit.
If you’ve been a follower of Jesus for several years, you’ve probably looked back from time to time at what your life was like before you surrendered your heart. The difference between who you were then and who you are now might be dramatic. But what about the difference between who you’ve become, and who you might have become if you had kept walking down the same path you were once on? Now that can be a truly scary thought! Left to ourselves, without the gracious and convicting work of the Holy Spirit, who would each of us be today?
For some of us it would mean our lives would be a mess right now. Our pride, selfishness, lust, addictions and greed would have overtaken us, leaving our lives in ruins. For others, it might mean that in worldly terms we had achieved success, but left a trail of broken relationships behind us. Still others might be leading quiet lives as hardworking, model citizens, comparing ourselves to the “sinners” around us and believing the lie that we’re good enough without God. All of those paths, though, can ultimately be summed up in the same little word: futility.
In the end all of those paths are pointless. Why? Because we were made for relationship with our Creator. Nothing we pursue or achieve outside of that relationship will matter in the big picture of eternity. And yet, even the smallest things we do in love and obedience to God will echo to His eternal glory.
When we reflect on the life-giving difference God has made in our lives, we can joyfully say with the Apostle Paul Thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness…When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. Romans 6:17