Ya know something? Sometimes being vulnerable is okay. It’s okay to be soft, and its okay to not understand what’s going on. It’s okay not to have everything under control, especially when your circumstances contradict God’s promises for your life; when everything else seems at a loss– If you’re in God’s will, it’s going to be okay. It’s going to be turned around for your good (Romans 8:28-29).
I’m learning that vulnerability is a sign of a softened heart towards God in a hardened world. When we turn to God, he gives us a new heart by turning our heart of stone into a heart of flesh so that we may hear his voice and follow his directions (Ezekiel 36:26). He puts us in situations that will test our faith, so that we will see how much we trust him! The bible says that the testing of our faith produces perseverance and when perseverance finishes its work in us, we will be mature and complete lacking in nothing. So if we persevere in our faith, having stood the test, we will receive a crown of life that the Lord promises to those who love him (James 1:2-4, 12).
So because I love God and am his child, called according to his purpose, I know that he will turn everything around for my good. What he began in my life he will finish it!
So then, considering it pure joy I undergo these trials! Joy is something completely different than what is known as happiness. The bible says that the joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10). Joy rises above the circumstances, it gives strength to our bones and gives us a reason to smile because we know that God is in control. Joy is faith in God knowing that even though the roof of my house may be crumbling to pieces, I know, that I know, that I know that God will provide. Happiness on the other hand is fleeting and it is easily influenced by our current situations. It’s so easy to give in to the hopelessness that may surround us at the moment, but the eyes of faith see the Light of Christ farther up ahead. For though “My flesh and my heart may fail, God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Psalm 73:26).
Furthermore, I’ve been meditating on how godliness with contentment is great gain (1 Timothy 6:6). At a time when false teachers were rampant, distorting the sound doctrine of Jesus Christ for the profit of their personal financial gain, Paul wrote to Timothy to hold fast to the faith! Contentment is defined as ‘a state of satisfaction’ and our godliness is found in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. The word of God gives us hope in knowing that whatever we go through now doesn’t compare to the eternal joy that awaits us in heaven. If we hold fast to the truth, and understand that we didn’t bring anything into this world and we can’t take anything it out of it, we will learn to be thankful to God for all of our blessings, even if they are just food and clothing (1 Timothy 6:3-12).
“For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what is is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through him who gives me strength (Philippians 4:11-13).”
So if I persevere in my faith by holding fast to the sound truth in Jesus and if I seek godliness and contentment in the Lord but my heart is still uneasy– I think to myself, “what am I still lacking? What else do I need to do? Why is my heart still troubled?”
I have to tell you that I reread 1 John 3:19-24 a few times to understand the root of my problem. I like the NET translation when it says in verse 20, “Even if we feel guilty, we know that God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything.” This guilt, or condemnation that makes our hearts feel so uneasy does not come from the Lord but it comes from our sin when we fail to trust in him (Romans 8:1-4). When we really trust in Jesus “we don’t feel guilty and we can come to God with bold confidence. And we will receive from him whatever we ask because we obey him and do the things that please him.” The only thing that God asks from us in our vulnerability is to believe in the name of his Son Jesus and to love one another (verse 23). Maybe now you can see why I had to reread it a few times… There is nothing I can do but accept God’s grace! I only need to let go and believe that God knows what he’s doing and that he will do the impossible in his perfect timing (Luke 18:27).
I chuckle to myself when I think of how much of a knucklehead I am when Jesus so patiently reminds me again and again by whispering into my spirit that he’s got it all under control. I can’t tell you how many times he’s told me, “Now you don’t realize what I am doing, but later you will (John 13:7).” And I’m like, “haha okay Jesus, you know!
This is when I take a deep sigh and say to the Lord, “Okay God, I surrender. As long as I’m vulnerable and walking in your will I’m safe in your hands. Lord Jesus, forgive me for my sins of not trusting you; take up my heavy load as I yoke myself to you. Fill me with your joy so that I may be strong as I continue to take up my cross and follow you. You are my guide Lord, and the journey isn’t over yet. It’s all going to be okay even if it doesn’t seem that way right now. I will be still in my soul knowing that you are God, able to do the impossible. I love you so much Jesus, and thank you for your patience with me. Glorify yourself in my life. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.”