For part one of this series, please see this post:
For part two of this series, please see this post:
21. Christians do not grieve without hope; neither do we hope without grief. Grief means we lost something important. Hope looks forward to the resurrection and our promised reunion with loved ones who have died in body but are with the Lord in spirit.
22. The only way out of grief is through it.
23. If we lock grief away in a closet, the stench of it will leak out through the cracks around the door as irritability, depression, numbing behaviors, impulsivity, and/or physical symptoms. Locked away in the dark, it will grow stronger and eventually force its way out. It is much better for all involved when we can begin to grieve our losses when they happen, or soon afterward.
24. "...the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, ...comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God (2 Corinthians 1:3–). He overflows with comfort for all who come, and His comfort mends our brokenness with golden kintsugi grace. What’s more, His comfort overflows from us into the lives of others in affliction, even if their affliction is not the same as ours. What amazing grace. Blessed be the name of the Lord!
25.The journey toward holiness is marked with crosses, altars, and Ebenezers:
- crosses where we know Christ in the fellowship of His sufferings;
- altars of surrendering my will for
- and Ebenezers where we stop and declare, “This far the Lord has helped me.”
26. Surrender to the Lord is the gateway to joy and peace. Fighting His will is exhausting and can only end in frustration.
27. Remember to remember the ways God has been faithful in the past. This is part of the reason I keep a journal and practice daily, intentional, written gratitude. Telling my story also helps me remember it. ( thank you!)
28. The Christian life is not difficult; it’s impossible (in your own strength). “You must do what you cannot do with what you do not have, but He will do through you He can do with what He does have” (Dr. Bill Lawrence, Dallas Theological Seminary).
29. At the same time, it is always possible to do the will of God. The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus, dwells in Christian believers. He changes our desires towards the Scriptures and the Lord and enables us to walk in the footsteps of Christ.
30. You are not as strong as you think you are. (This is part of the reason suffering and things that make us desperate for God are blessings.)
Christ in you is stronger than you dream. His strength really is perfect, and His grace really is sufficient (2 Cor. 12:7-10).