It may be the ongoing Covid pandemic, your recent insight about the depth of racial injustice, the fact that children still go to bed hungry every night in America or the diagnosis you’ve just received from your doctor that offers little hope. Life happens, and it’s often painful, overwhelming and devastating. And when it happens to you, it’s tempting to think you’re on your own. But you’re not. And you never will be. Jesus loves you – regardless of what’s going on in your life. Jesus is with you – regardless of what’s going on in your life. And Jesus is offering you abundant life – regardless of what’s going on in your life.
You are embraced in grace by Jesus. Even as imperfect as you are, you are embraced in grace by Jesus. Even as you are not aware of it, you are embraced in grace by Jesus. Even as you make terrible choices, you are embraced in grace by Jesus. Even as you sin, you are embraced in grace by Jesus. Even as you turn away from him, you are embraced in grace by Jesus. Indeed, you are embraced – literally overwhelmed – in grace by Jesus. You would think you would let the gift of this amazing grace in Jesus absolutely impact every single interaction you have with every single person you have every single time.
Jesus took the initiative to leave his rightful place with God, became one of us, lived right in the middle of real life, confronted those who talked about God only when it benefited them, reached out to include those whom proper people ostracized and died that we might receive the salvation we need but can never get on our own. And yet, I know I have coated Jesus with so many layers of my own beliefs, comfort zones and sin that sometimes he gets lost in the shuffle of my daily life. But even when he does because of what I’ve done, he never gives up on me. Or on you. Or on anybody. And that’s why the gospel is called Good News!
I know so many people who need new beginnings. Some will be easy and others a great deal of hard work; but all are filled with great potential.
Give all those looking for new beginnings the grace to experience Your presence in every moment. Wisdom to learn from the past. Patience, perseverance and courage to keep going. Hope to move into Your future. And faith to trust that failure itself can be a new beginning.
Thank You for being the God of new beginnings. Thank You for being the God of multiple new beginnings. And thank You that all Your new beginnings have as their goal living in Your eternal love.
I pray this in the strong name of Jesus.
One of the hardest things to admit is that life is hard, especially if you are a person of faith. After all, you believe that God is love, so God shouldn’t let bad things happen in the first place and quickly fix them when they do happen. But as you know so well from personal experience, traveling down this path can make you cynical pretty quickly. That’s why the issue is not whether God is acting the way you think God should act. Rather, it’s seeing how God is actually at work in the midst of pain and suffering. And when you look through the eyes of faith, you see how often God brings healing, wholeness, wisdom, compassion, reconciliation and deeper faith out of the very things that should kill the human spirit.
Do you want to help dismantle racism? Start by dealing with your own racism. Are you interested in slowing down the coronavirus pandemic? Begin by wearing a mask and physical distancing. Would you love to see people embrace Jesus as Lord and Savior? Act with so much grace that people want some of what you’ve got. Most things that matter are way bigger than you. But you can do something, and it doesn’t matter who you are, what you’re going through or how old you are. Just make the choice to make a difference – starting right now.