Dear Family and Friends: One of my favorite quotes by EGW is, "Keep your wants, your joys, your sorrows, your cares, and your fears before God. You cannot burden Him; you cannot weary Him. He who numbers the hairs of your head is not indifferent to the wants of His children. “The Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.” James 5:11. His heart of love is touched by our sorrows and even by our utterances of them. Take to Him everything that perplexes the mind. Nothing is too great for Him to bear, for He holds up worlds, He rules over all the affairs of the universe. Nothing that in any way concerns our peace is too small for Him to notice...." CSA 27.8
Do you find yourself disappointed, hurt, and discouraged about life? Do you feel pulled in so many directions? Is your best not good enough. Is bitterness, holding grudges becoming the norm. Do you feel at odds with family and friends? Do you feel misunderstood, judged?
If you do, remember that God so loved the world that He sent His Son who sees all and carried your pain and disappointments to the cross. Jesus conquered death and the grave; on your behalf, therefore, Satan is a defeated foe who has no power over you or your circumstances. But do you believe this?
Christ is calling us to a greater surrender.
Christ is asking us to be the vehicle in which He can demonstrate His self-sacrificing love to that person who troubles our spirit the most. This will require us to surrender to Christ all that pain, hurt, bitterness, anger, feelings of being misunderstood, rejection, etc., to God until we are no longer carrying it.
The question is, are you willing to allow the power of Christ's death and resurrection to reign in your life? Christ, through the Apostle Paul, said the following:
"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. ... But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: ... Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye." Colossians 3:1–3, 8–10, 12–13
Dead to self people do not quarrel, hold on to anger, hold on to their need to be right and in control. Dead to self people do not focus on the faults of others, hold and maintain their right not to forgive.
When we carry our needs, thoughts, and feelings to Christ, He comforts us, but the Holy Spirit also shows us where we have been feeding our flesh. This can be most painful to our bruised pride because we were hoping Christ shared our attitude about the person that has hurt us.
He will show us that we need the transforming power of His grace to change us, not the other person, so that bitterness, anger, quarreling can be put to death.
Until we acknowledge our need for God's amazing grace, we won't see the damage feeding our flesh has done? Our hurtful words harsh treatment of others will never build up or edify. It will never produce the peace we seek, the joy we long for, nor the love and rest we so desperately need.
It will cost us to let go of our right to be angry or bitter.
Yet, if we don't, we are lost. Our flesh hates to lose and will fight to stay alive. But it must not. Fight the good fight. Determine that Christ is worth letting all those hurt feelings go. He alone can validate our pain. He alone can give us the strength and courage to let go. It's a daily decision we will need to make. So no matter what, grace will help us choose to love over being right. Love over our need to be in control. Love over bitterness and anger. Christ is that powerful. And we can experience His transforming power today.