I haven't spent a lot of time writing this week. I have spent most of my week trying to listen.
"My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires." James 1:19-20
I have been a little under the weather physically, but emotionally I am not exactly 100%, either. When I sat down to write today, I felt like I had so much to say, yet so few words to express. I know that some that read this blog gain comfort from it. I know some that read this blog are uncomfortable with what I have to say. I know some that read this blog think I have lost my mind. All that I know is that this blog is my way of pouring my heart out on paper in ways that I feel inadequate to express sometimes in person.
First of all, I have a statement to make. "It is not easy being a Christian". There I have said it. I wish with all of my heart that it was, but it is not. And what is even more sad is sometimes other Christians are our worst enemies. (gasp) Every morning when I wake up God reveals to me another area of my life that I need to work on. Are their days that I fail? (Yes, some days quite miserably). But as hard as it is, I also know that someday when I stand face to face with Jesus, I want him to say, "Well done good and faithful servant".
However, even in the midst of the days that are hard, I always have the hope and the peace of knowing that their is a Great and Mighty God that is protecting me. Because as real as God is to me, Satan is just as real. And he loves it when I fail. Too bad for him, I am not willing to let him win and neither is God.
I find comfort in knowing that I have a God that listens to the desires of my heart. He is a God that heals and saves. Is everyone healed and saved in a physical sense, no, but God's ultimate healing is glorious. I look at His Creation that surrounds me and I know that only He could have created something so beautiful.
There is a lot of evil and hate in the world today. It would be easy for me as a Christian to stand on my soap box and judge the people around me that are blinded by lies. But you see, that isn't my job. There is only one judge and thankfully, it is not me and it is not you. And when Jesus came to live on earth he gave us this commandment in Matthew 22, "Jesus replied: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' "
There are many differing views on issues in Christianity that many spend their lives debating. That is not the point I am trying to make. I read a statement in the book by Philip Yancey, What's so Amazing about Grace? he states that there is no other religion in the world that offers grace. "God's love coming to us free of charge, no strings attached, seems to go against every instinct of humanity. Only Christianity dares to make God's love unconditional."
God isn't in heaven picking teams. He wants us all for His team. He loves us regardless of who we are. Yes, we will all be judged and yes we do have standards that are set for us as followers of Christ. Some of which cause people to choose against Him instead of for Him. But He is a merciful God that continues to forgive us. All we are required to do is come before Him and ask Him to be a part of our lives.
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance." James 1:2-3
So because I choose Him, some days might not be easy. But someday I know, without a doubt, that I will spend eternity with Him in heaven.
Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise." Luke 23:43