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Advent Series – Being Reconciled

advent-wreath-main-340x340Being at war with yourself is wearying and tiresome. No matter the circumstance you may find yourself in, if you are battling something significant in your life, you know the pressure and hopelessness that can come with the battle. This time of year often amplifies the attack as many settle into a low level of depression in what is otherwise supposed to be the Norman Rockwell Christmas season!

As followers of Jesus, we are reminded frequently in the Bible that we are not immune from trials and hardship in fact, if you take a biblical worldview, we live in a world at war…a perpetual spiritual battle between forces of darkness that are diametrically opposed to the Kingdom of Light.

Be reminded dear saint, (and be reminded as well that you are indeed called a saint regardless of the struggle you find yourself in) that when the Holy Spirit took up residence in you, a target was placed squarely on your back. To take you out now is to diminish the part of the larger story that God has designed you to play….you, who are uniquely crafted and knit together to play just this role.

Fortunately, we can take heart in the midst of this season of wrestling that nothing is wasted in God’s Kingdom. In fact, we are reminded in Colossians 1 (MSG version) that all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe, people and things, animals and atoms – get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death and the blood poured down from the cross.

You see, there is no waste in the God’s Kingdom – He reconciles all things to Himself and uses the trials and difficulties we face to sharpen us, to teach us perseverance which is the building block of character, leading to a greater hope and a bolder faith in the One who never ceases to forgive us.

I came across this quote from Pope Frances today that was especially appropriate considering my own personal mindset and I thought I would share…

“How good it feels to come back to him whenever we are lost! Let me say this once more: God never tires of forgiving us; we are the ones who tire of seeking his mercy. Christ, who told us to forgive one another “seventy times seven” (Mt 18:22) has given us his example: he has forgiven us seventy times seven. Time and time again he bears us on his shoulders. No one can strip us of the dignity bestowed upon us by this boundless and unfailing love. With a tenderness which never disappoints, but is always capable of restoring our joy, he makes it possible for us to lift up our heads and to start anew. Let us not flee from the resurrection of Jesus, let us never give up, come what will. May nothing inspire more than his life, which impels us onwards!”

So, be encouraged. If you find yourself in the midst of a trial and are feeling the pressure right now, pour out your feelings to The Father. Lament your circumstances in detail to God and when finished, simply thank Him for the grace extended to you today and ask for the new mercy He promised for tomorrow.

Shalom…

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