December 18, 2019Thankful for the Joy

In His Sanctuary there is glory, there is strength.
In the Presence of the Father there is wisdom, there is peace.
I will come and worship. I will listen, I will speak
Most amazing conversation, most amazing transformation,
As the God of all creation talks to me.
          – Al Denson, In His Sanctuary, chorus

There's an odd brand of Christianity out there today. Where God is your best buddy. Where He loves and approves of you, no matter what. You fall down and get a boo-boo and He kisses it and makes it all better. I'm okay, you're okay. You're a winner! Don't worry about a thing ... God loves you!

That hasn't been my experience with Him.

When you enter into a relationship with Him, you don't belong to you anymore. You are totally His. And He's not going to leave you where you're at. Thank goodness.

He is so holy and so far beyond us, that we can't even imagine.

We are so sinful and so corrupt. As far as He is beyond us in goodness, we are even farther removed from Him in our sinfulness. Why He even gives us a glance is the greatest mystery in the universe.

Still, He's willing to enter into an individual relationship with any of us who will accept His mind-blowing invitation.

When you open your heart and life to Him, you will find that you have linked yourself up to a surgeon! Because He loves you so much that He's not going to leave you in the sorry condition He found you. It's called sanctification and it will go on throughout your entire earthly life.

It won't always be pleasant. He's going to touch the places in you that nobody knows about. He's going to ask you to stop some things, and begin doing some other things. He will allow the storms to blow through in order to get your attention and show you how incapable you are without Him. He will break you, strip you down to nothing, then rebuild the ruins.

You will find yourself going places and interacting with people you would never approach on your own. You will be doing and saying things that you would never do or say. You will find strength and boldness inside that you know is not your own. He will challenge you and stretch you until you think you are going to die ... which is the whole point!

And when you think it's finally over, He will peel back that layer, find another mess below that and begin it all again.

Then there are the other times ...

When life has beaten you up so badly and you just can't face another day. When the very people you love have let you down and broken your heart. When you realize that you've made terrible mistakes that can't be undone. When you just can't get it right, no matter what you do and you're the one letting everybody else down. You're the one wounding and breaking hearts. You have no hope left. No strength. You're done.

And He comes to you and tenderly wraps you in in His warmth and love. He'll whisper to you, Child, there is a better way ... let me show you ...

And He picks you up and sets your feet back on solid ground. He sets you back on the path and gives you new strength, new hope, new faith, new life. You will be so amazed that you have let Him down so badly, and yet He's still here. He has not abandoned you. He's still pouring Himself into you ... HE LOVES YOU! And your sick heart is finally catching on ... you CAN trust Him. You CAN lean on Him. You CAN walk with Him through the hard places.

So you get up and start again. And at some point you will fall again. He picks you up again. Then you fall again. He picks you up ... ond on and on it will go. You'll get weary. You'll think you aren't making any progress. But every time your love for Him will deepen a bit more. And you keep plodding forward.

And your heart will be so filled with unexplainable joy and peace. Peace that passes understanding, the Bible calls it. In the middle of your darkest storms, you will have that deep abiding joy that the world can never take away. And when they ask you how that can be, brag on Him and tell them all about how awesome He is and what He did for you ...

And oh, the places you will go!

In this season of joy and hope, my greatest wish for you is that you will know this peace and joy. That you will know Him.

Merry Christmas!

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  • Dixie says:
    2019-12-19, 17:38:19
    Awesome and encouraging writing.
    Thank you and God Bless.

    Thanks, Dixie!- Sherry A Mitcham
  • Kathy says:
    2019-12-19, 14:32:21
    So true! Just when we think everything has been dealt with, off comes another layer of that self protection and delusion and we (l) find ourselves ( myself) starring at more mess He wants to deal with! Painful? Yes Worth it? Absolutely!
  • BILL MITCHAM says:
    2019-12-18, 10:13:49
    Thanks, Bill!- Sherry A Mitcham