Monday, April 8, 2013

Finding True Fulfillment

Life provides an equal opportunity to suffer for each and every one of us. It does not discriminate based on color, creed, or even financial status. Nothing you own and no human in your life can protect you from the hurt life brings. But yet we try to fill that hurt with things and people who weren't intended to fill it.

We so badly want to have our own way and not feel the pain at the same time. We so quickly run to things of this world to fill our voids and even when we come out disappointed repeatedly, we run right back to it. But God's word reminds us that He is the only One who can fill our voids and that filling them with anything else will lead to disappointment.
"He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves abundance with its income. This too is vanityWhen good things increase, those who consume them increase. So what is the advantage to their owners except to look on?  The sleep of the working man is pleasant, whether he eats little or much ; but the full stomach of the rich man does not allow him to sleep."   Ecclesiastes 5:10-12

At the same time, we buy into this lie that we aren't meant to overcome our struggles nor are we to try. I've bought it, I'll be the first to admit. Suffering is part of life and it was hard for me to comprehend how God, the One who hates sin, can also want to deliver us from it and the consequences thereof. But He does. And His word says that too. Even better -  He leaves proof of deliverance in my heart consistently.

I believe it's important and urgent that I remind you that we don't have to live our lives defeated. If you are saved, you have the Holy Spirit in you seeking to obey God and taking joy in all that He is. If you believe that Jesus Christ died a torturous death on the cross for you, do you not also think that He also wants to heal your hurts and carry your burdens? If you are struggling, hand those burdens over to Him and let Him handle it - trusting that He knows what's best. Don't let your feelings talk you into giving up.

And if you aren't yet saved, I need to tell you that God is very real. The proof of His existence is on your heart whether you know it or not. You long for something more, something real to fill those voids that you've tried and tried to fill with other things. That very longing was placed on your heart by Him, for Him.Some of you have been hurt by religion and want no part in anything faith-based anymore. Let me just tell you that God's approval is a lot easier to get than man's because we can never be as merciful as He is. And if He were not, He would not come to Earth to die so that all sin may be offered forgiveness through His sacrifice.Why not end the cycle of filling your voids with things that won't heal you and call out to the One who can, and will?
“Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.” Therefore they said to Him, “What sign will you perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will you do? Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” Then they said to Him, “Lord, give us this bread always.” And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” John 6:27-35

Our God loves to rebuild us when we've come to the end of ourselves because it's then that we can't claim any change in us as our own - believe me, I know. He loves to make us things that we cannot be on our own, because then there is no mistaking His mark. Therefore don't expect that He will build you into to what you want to be or make your life the way you want it. If brokenness doesn't teach us anything else, it should teach us that our way doesn't work (it's a hard pill to swallow). When He heals us, the hurt is gone because the wounds become scars. The scars then merely serve as reminders of our journey.

Our feelings try and get in the way of what we know to be true about Him, so I encourage you to keep them in check. As believers, we cannot afford to be placing emotions with any level of high ranking. We've got to learn to rely on what we know to be true. And when you don't know, seek it. But in seeking, keep your focus on Him because nothing else will fill your voids and heal your brokenness as God will.This I know. Be encouraged!

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