Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Hope That Counts

Psalm 147:10-11

Sometimes we like to remind God how much we've done for him.  Or how good we are at certain things.  How helpful we could be if we were given the right opportunities.  (It's possible that I am the only one who acts like this, and if so, you may want to move on to another posting.)

Certainly we all have strengths.  And God really does use our strengths.  And it's a good idea to develop our skills with practice and study.

But ultimately, no matter how good we are at anything, God's not impressed.  Romans 11 reminds us that we can never figure out God.  Basically, he doesn't owe us anything.

We need God.
I need God.
I need to be thoroughly dependent on him.
And I am, even if I don't realize it.

I need to fear the Lord.  Recognize his power.  And my weakness.  Rely on his strength and not my own.  Rest in unfailing love.

In the old days, I struggled because I never felt good enough--good enough to write, good enough to lead a small group, good enough to return to school . . .

That's because I depended on my own strength.  Because in some twisted way I thought God would love me just a little bit more if I were more godly, more skilled, more . . .

I don't know.  I lived in fear that someone would figure out that I really wasn't everything I appeared to be on the outside.  And I didn't realize that we're all like that, really.

And here's where I want to be today, as I prepare my lesson plans, as I walk into the classroom this morning, as I go about my day, interacting with people.  People who know Jesus.  And people who don't.

For God doesn't take pleasure in our strengths.  He doesn't delight in how adept we are at doing things.  No, our God isn't like that.  He delights in those who fear him.  Those who bow down before him, who humble themselves and surrender their days to him.  Who put their hope in his unfailing love.

And his love never fails.  Never.
I just included a link to a song that has given me great encouragement since Sarah Northup introduced it a few months back at Newbreak Santee.

Enjoy.  Take a few minutes to worship our Lord.  Take a few minutes to remember to put your hope in him today.

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