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I’m in the middle of writing an article on loneliness as a means to drive us deeper into God’s heart and was just struck by the passage this nugget came from. The context is distress and anguish, feeling the grip of death’s crushing pull. Maybe you can relate. But the author of this psalm lifts his eyes above his circumstances and prays for deliverance. He meditates on the character of God; how He is gracious, righteous, and merciful. He remembers what God has done; how He preserves the simple and rescued him when he was flat on his back, hopeless and alone. Then comes verse seven. Circumstances haven’t changed for the author but, then again, God’s worthiness to be worshipped has never been contingent on ideal circumstances. No matter what our lives might look like right now, no matter how uncomfortable or excruciating our circumstances might be, if we have been redeemed by Jesus, we have every reason to “return to our rest;” for the the Lord INDEED has dealt bountifully with us. And He is worthy of our praise and confidence right here. •••• [Also, 1) this is not a staged photo and 2) you should go read all of Psalm 116 for yourself.]
Happy birthday to the best big sister! 🥳 You are as genuine and intentional as they get; you love deep and feel big, and I’m so thankful for your heart and life. 💜 Additionally, I’d like to know how much you were paid to hug me in this photo.
“Do not despair, dear heart, but come to the Lord with all your jagged wounds, black bruises, and running sores. He alone can heal, and He delights to do it. It is our Lord’s office to bind up the brokenhearted, and He is gloriously at home at it.” -Charles Spurgeon
“Theologians who limit the means of grace to overtly redemptive religious practices miss something about the God who speaks without words in the theater of His creation.” -David Powlison

Follow me as I follow Jesus

Under Orders

disciplined

Jesus’ conditions for discipleship aren’t such as attract multitudes. Jesus stated them:

  1. He must leave self behind
  2. He must take up his cross (daily)
  3. And come with Me

The result of the decision is guaranteed:

  1. Whoever cares for his own safety is lost
  2. But if a man will let himself be lost for My sake, he will find his true self

“The disciple is not on his own, left to see self-actualization, which is a new word for old-fashioned selfishness. He is not “doing his thing” to find his own life or liberty or happiness. He gives himself to a Master and in so doing leaves self behind. Any ordinary life in any ordinary town provides amble opportunity to do this.

Riding on a New York bus recently, I saw a woman reach over and slide open a small section of a window. The bus was very crowded, and I was glad for a little fresh air. The window was angrily slammed shut by another woman.
“It’s not really cold out,” said the first. “Can’t we have a little air?”
“Not on my back you can’t,” came the reply, a perfectly natural one.
The disciple, however, lives by a different rule, a rule not natural to anyone who is a sinner. He will let himself be “lost.” It is the great principle of the cross that he takes up–out of his own loss comes another’s gain, out of his discomfort another’s comfort. How easily we profess a willingness to follow, imagining some notable work for God, some great martyrdom–but forget the first condition the minute there is a little cold air on the back of the neck.”

-Elisabeth Elliot, Discipline–The Glad Surrender

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