I don’t know about you, but Hidden Joy is challenging me far into the depths of my being. I knew I had life circumstances and issues I desperately needed to overcome. Honestly, that’s what drew me to this study. I thought once I got halfway through the book, however, it would begin to get easier. That hasn’t happened. But don’t stop here … read on.
Last week, weren’t you encouraged after discovering there were treasures waiting for us and it was time to pick up our mats and move forward? Those revelations gave me hope I could do this and good things were on the way.
Then, waiting for us this week, we encounter two of the most difficult expectations of us as Christians: forgiveness and surrendering. Forgive me when I insert the word “ugh” here. That’s how I felt when I realized what we were being asked to do.
Who knew when we picked our mats up last week, obedience in these difficult areas would be next on the agenda?
Please tell me I’m not alone when I say forgiveness can be tough! How is it fair to have to forgive someone who has treated us badly? Or someone who doesn’t deserve our forgiveness? But with God’s help, forgiveness is possible. Not easy or fair, but possible. And that’s where we find freedom.
Please tell me I’m not alone when I say surrendering strongholds can be tough too! Our strongholds offer us what we think is security. They become survival tactics, things we hold on to, usually because of fear. With God’s help, we can surrender everything to the Lord. This, too, is where we find freedom.
I want to end our week focusing on the question Wendy challenges us with at the end of Chapter 7. This question forced me to get real and evaluate if I was putting my faith into action and trusting God enough to forgive and surrender. Maybe it did the same for you. Let’s look at it again.
Do you believe God is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do?
I believe the answer to this question is the key to whether we are able and ready to forgive and surrender.
When we get to the place where we really believe that God is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do, next time we struggle to forgive and surrender, it will be possible.
Like this week’s memory verse tells us:
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
With God we’ve got this, and we are ready for what’s ahead. Let’s choose to believe God.
Reflect and Respond:
Do you believe, really believe, that God is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do? Enough to forgive, surrender and move on?
Don’t forget, all comments will be entered into this week’s giveaway!
For Your Weekend:
Here's the next Week at a Glance to help you plan ahead for Week 5!