God is always there in the midst of your most challenging storm/trial. Trust me, I have walked in your shoes, I have faced personally some very horrific storms in my life but God reminds us throughout the scriptures that he never gives up and that he is closer than you may think. One analogy that I find fascinating to think about is this. Imagine a one way escalator that goes down. It is almost impossible for you to climb up an escalator that is moving in a downward motion. Now trying to climb this escalator represents us trying to get closer to God out of our own effort. You can't do it..It is next to impossible to do. Eversince the fall of Adam, God was making another step down this one way escalator. When he sent his Son Jesus to die on the cross God was almost all the way down this escalator meeting us. My point is this, you can't do anything out of your own efforts. God says to rest. In fact the word rest is mention over 496 times in the NIV version, 519 in the NASB version, 396 in the Good News Translation. Need I say more. God wants us to rest and he wants to grant you the grace (empowerment) needed to get you through the storm or trial you are facing. The fact is that you are not alone, God is as close to you as you want him to be. He is an omnipresent God and he is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Allow him to get you through the storm your facing. Partake in the true rest that God has intended for your life. God is a relentless God and he will not stop until you partake in the rest (kingdom) he has freely given you. Quit trying to climb the escalator and allow him to show you just how close he is to you. God loves you and I love you guys.
So often times we can fall back to this out of effort mindset and boast about the good things we have done for God. It is like we fall into this trap of God owing us for our good deeds. There are often times where we become complacent and think that God owes us Salvation. However, salvation is not something that is earned, it is a gift that God gives you. Something that clearly we all don't deserve but we get it anyway. Ummm...this sounds like grace doesn't it. In Ephesians 2:8 it says; “For it is by God's grace that you have been saved through faith. It is not the result of your own efforts, but God's gift, so that no one can boast about it.” God extends something that a lot of us including myself don't deserve. It is so easy to boast about your good deeds trust me I have been there and done that. We should do everything out of thanksgiving in our hearts not out of efforts. Salvation is a gift that God gives to everyone and it isn't based on something you have done. However, God is thankful for you r good deeds. He rejoices over the good things you do. In Hebrews 6:10 it says “God is not unfair. He will not forget the work you did or the love you showed for him in the help you gave and are still giving to other Christians.” I want to leave you with 2 finishing points today. Be thankful for the gift of grace God gave you. Without this gift we would literally be at a lost. How wretched we are, God saw us the way we were and gave his only son as a living sacrifice. God pours out the deserving favor on his undeserving people. The second point is this: God is thankful for you. Have you heard that phrase: "no good deed goes unnoticed." Well it is true. God knows all, and sees all. Imagine yourself eating a thanksgiving feast with Abba God. The words that he would say would be I am thankful for everyone of you. God is thankful and so allow him to know today how thankful you are for him. Word of thought: Be thankful in all things because in all things God is thankful.
I recently wrote a new song called; Faithful one. This song is based on Psalm 46 in which it says: For the Lord your God is your strength and your help in times of troubles. I want you guys to know that just recently I was faced with one of the most challenging storms of my life. Throughout this storm, I found out how God is always there no matter what storm you face in life. Let me tell you that It was so easy for me to breed anger and hate towards this person for what she did. You see, I lost everything; car, home, money. I had nothing left to my name. However, even in the midst of this storm I stood strong in my identity and knew that my God had a plan. Throughout this storm that I was facing, God was right there walking with me and slipping little reminders in along the way. I may still have next to nothing to my name but I have everything I need and I am in total peace. There was a lot of stories that God brought to my attention in the past few weeks like David, when he wrote Psalm 23 he was being chased to be murdered. Even though he was being chased he sat in a beautiful green pasture and said: God you are my shepherd and I have everything I need. In the midst of his storm he was reminded his identity and knew he had nothing to fear. The other story I was reminded of was the story of Meshak, Shadrak, and Abendigo. I do apologize about the spelling. However, even in the midst of there storm of being placed in the firey furnace they stood strong in there faith and knew that God would carry them through. Let me tell you that God didn't take them out of the furnace, he was there dancing with them in this. Lastly was the story of Jonah. Jonah didn't want to obey God and go to Nineva because he despised the ninivites. Out of Jonahs disobedience he got swallowed up by a whale. However even in Jonahs storm, God never left him instead he sent a reminder of Jonahs identity. At the end of this story Jonah was spat back out of the whale and he went to Niniva but he still had that bitterness in his heart towards them. God led all these men through some very difficult situations but the end result came to the same conclusion. That is our identity of who we are in Christ. In order for us to build up who we are in Christ we must first know what we are in our faith. Faith is a settled expectancy of the heart, just knowing that a certain situation is already handled. Faith is resting, just knowing God will never leave nor forsake you. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen. The end result comes to this question; do you know who you are? Guys, You are God's ambassadors and cloaked in righteousness by God through Jesus. It is because God sent his son Jesus as a living offering for your sin that you are right with God. This is who you are. Even though I haven't finished going through this current storm, I can rest by standing firm in who I am. I stand strong in my faith and know that I am fully resting in his arms. I'll end with this God will always carry you through no matter what you go through.