“If You, Lord, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?” (Psalm 130:3)
These days, I am confessing my lack of trust in this moment and then in the next, as I try to make all the pieces of the puzzle fit together, only to find out later on that the Lord had them in His hands all along. These days, the Holy Spirit convicts me of my lack of faith, as I struggle to keep on believing that there will be an answer to all the questions my heart holds, that every step of the way will bring about growth in me and I am becoming more like Jesus.
I look at myself and all I see, is that I am a broken person with a messy heart, living in a broken and fallen world.
This, my friends — it hurts on most days. I wish that I would be like Paul, full of wise words that convict, encourage and teach. I wish that I would be like Peter, ready to jump off the boat and into whatever the Lord is calling me to do without having to think about it even for a second. I wish I would be like David, with a heart after God’s own heart and willing to fully surrender everything to God. But I am not. I am a weary sinner, very aware of my sinful heart that lacks trust, patience, and so much more.
Oswald Chambers writes, “The one marvelous secret of a holy life lies not in imitating Jesus, but in letting the perfections of Jesus manifest through themselves in my mortal flesh. Sanctification is “Christ in you.”
So there is always hope for us in these words, beloved — “Christ in you.”
All of us with messy and hurting hearts — we whisper His name: Emmanuel, God with us. He is with us always, even to the end of the age.
All of us who have lost hope — we take comfort in that in God, we have a hope and His faithful love remains. He knows where we are going, and He is creating something new in us.
All of us who fell short once again, who tried but got nowhere — we rest in the knowledge that His grace is all we need today. His mercies never cease.
These steps of sanctification — we feel every one of them as we walk on this journey of faith, carrying our sinful hearts and facing the hurt of being bare, vulnerable before our great God. Yet the words of Timothy Keller echo through the plains of my heart: “The gospel is this: We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.” On our own, beloved, we can never stand. But we are accepted in the Beloved, and this is the greatest hope for us to hold on.