This is a continuation on a previous topic; you can read that article here.

I am not holier than you.

I may write about holiness, seeking after God, running the race with endurance, and living for the glory of Jesus Christ, but that does not mean that I am perfect.

I do not intend to list my flaws, though what I personally struggle with is more than likely going to leak onto (or already has leaked onto) a publicly viewable page. And just knowing how my brain works, I can guess where this post is going to lead. So, though I tell you my flaws, I want to focus on who I strive to be; who I have not yet become, but who God is making me to be.

I, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, am being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. And this comes from the Lord… (2 Corinthians 3:18a)

I think I need to revisit something; a struggle I have faced off and on since high school. Though I can sit, being completely content, and find no reason to complain when I look in the mirror, yet my daydreams betray a wish for something different, for something “better.” Instead of praising God for present blessings, I tell Him that I have better ideas, which is absolutely false.

In March of 2014, I wrote about basically this same struggle, so I want to share that with you here.

Empty pages, broken dreams, charred remains, tearing seams... These are the days left forgotten, or hoped to be forgotten, but they break into our present expanse and mar our tranquil days. Just a whisper, a look, or a familiar smell brings up buried wounds, causing them to swell and burst as we cry again for the umpteenth time. Why do we drive ourselves insane at the thought of past love, past pain, apparent present loneliness, or a sense of hopelessness?

Surely, discontentment with present blessings is an open grave, where all those who walk by can smell the decaying flesh within… only the flesh is not actually decaying. You see, a heart that is discontent is heaping upon itself sorrow that can be seen and felt, while underneath lies a heart that is beautiful and blessed. I am not saying that an individual should always be joyful and have a smile on their face, but there is a way to be content in whatever circumstance you find yourself. As God said through Paul; Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, to be content therein. I know both how to be humble and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things, I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:11-13) In Matthew 6, God talks about the issue of contentment from another angle, pointing out how so many people worry about such little things as what they will eat or drink, but their heavenly Father knows that they have need of such things, and He surely provides.

Discontentment shows a lack of faith, so I say this to myself as well as to all who are discontent at times; trust Jesus! Of course it is difficult in the moment; faith is not always easy and neither is patience. But the fruit of faith is patience, the fruit of patience is an eternal reward, and the eternal reward is the glory of Christ.

God is creating a beautiful work of art through each one of us. Though the world throws us into a fiery furnace, by God’s grace, that furnace will only work to refine us into a more beautiful and glorious creation. And we will come out not even smelling like smoke. One thing remains, we must keep the faith, even while we are being tried.

With tears in my eyes and a burden on my heart I write this; you cannot fix your eyes and your hopes on the things of this world... Not that it is impossible to fix your eyes on lies, but if you desire God’s glory and ultimate purpose for your life, then you must fix your eyes on Jesus; though you be called to forsake all else. You and I know that all things will eventually fade out of existence, but what you may not know is that your soul is precious in the eyes of your Creator, and though your body will fade, your soul will live on. No matter where you are or what you walk through, He walks with you: behind, beside, in front of you. He knows the steps you will take, the steps you have taken, and the struggles you face every day… Do not grow discouraged in these trials; they are only a hair’s breadth in the expanse of eternity.

This world toils and spins for a treasure it cannot own and it dies while still grasping at shadows. Though the shadows appear to shine like diamonds, they are just mirror images in the smoke, where you grasp and bring nothing back… For some, when they finally find the treasure they have been searching for all their lives, they leave that treasure to search for another, thinking that diamonds in the smoke are worth sacrificing the life they have gained. And while they continue their search, the treasure left behind withers and dies. Though their search comes from a form of love, it is a twisted and corrupted form. This love rises quickly and recedes, because there was neither root nor power of will behind it. This “love” is defined by the world and it means caring for yourself, being patient with yourself, being kind to yourself, etc., etc.

If the world was left without Christ as the example of love, then we would all be lost in selfish pursuits of worthless treasure.

Our sin nature points us in the direction of self-love, which equals self-destruction. When people are selfless, seeking the good of those around them and seeking the glory of their Creator, then the world around them prospers. Do not misunderstand me, being selfless like Christ does not mean that you hate yourself, it means that you love your Heavenly Father and show that love through your actions. At times, those actions will be self-sacrificing, but it is for the glory of God. For which cause we faint not; though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

A diamond, or any earthly treasure, has never saved a life or shown love, yet so many have lost their lives just to bring those rocks to the light. But as they stare at beauty in the light of day, it turns ugly, because the darkness hid the true nature of the treasure they sought. They have sold their soul, but what have they bought? They shake their head and wish they had listened… that they had not forsaken love… that they had only known True Love… but it’s too late as they lay decaying in the grave. They focused on temporal riches, and their eternity now reflects the true nature of their earthly treasures.

As long as you live, as long as you breathe, there is time to seek and time to be who God has called you to be. You were tricked into following sirens, but you opened a window and Light has come in. You are NOT trapped… the door is locked from the inside. Jesus said, Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man hear My voice, and opens the door, I will come in and commune with him, and he with Me. (Revelation 3:20) What you strive for, and even some of your dreams, are killing you; having an eternal impact. Mercifully, Jesus stands at the door, waiting for you to answer; choose Life and lay your sins at His feet. You are broken, but so was the One Who created you. You feel alone; Jesus was forsaken by all those who professed to love Him and even His Father turned His face away. (Matthew 27:46) But Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, suffered all these things for you…

Though the One who knit you together in your mother’s womb can relate to you in every way – in that He was tempted and lived a normal life filled with joys and sorrows – He did not deserve the pain and death He suffered. You see, He was perfect, being completely without sin. No sin could be accounted to Him, against God or man. He was sinless in spirit and truth, in word and deed, and even in His thoughts. It is because of His perfection that He could stand between you and your judgment… He stands as a mediator between you and God. Those who have called upon the name of Jesus are represented by Him before the thrown, because His blood has washed away their sins and He has clothed them in His righteousness. No, this righteousness was not earned, it is a gift to all those who repent in faith, believing that Christ has saved them from their sins and purchased to them life anew.

So, don’t waste a moment.

Don’t trample True Love in the dust. You are not alone and the prison that you abide in will disintegrate at the name of Jesus, because He conquered sin and death when He rose victoriously from the grave. Our sin could not keep Him down and He has told you that your sins no longer have to keep you down.

Be content in knowing this: Jesus Christ came to seek and save the lost, and He does not lose a single soul that has opened the door to Him. Trust Him today. Let Him be your sustenance; His Word as honey to your lips and strength within your bones.

Published by Sarah JoAnna