Every day we are faced with situations that seem impossible.
Whether it is an illness, the ruin of a relationship, a sudden traumatic event or even goals and dreams that seem out of our reach, impossibilities surround us.
But God says that nothing is impossible with him.
I’ve had a number of impossibilities in my life this past year. Relational, financial, career, family issues have at times left me discouraged at best and downright despairing on a couple of occasions.
But God reminds me that NOTHING is impossible for him.
I’m learning to stand more firmly on the word of God. His word says:
He is faithful.
He does not change.
He gives good gifts.
He redeems us and restores all that has been lost.
He sees us, hears us and answers us with a great plan far beyond what we can hope for or imagine.
What he says, he means.
He never forsakes us or leaves us or condemns us when we fail.
He waits with open arms when we’ve run off and pursues us with relentless passion.
He loves us and wants our good which also brings him glory.
As I continue to remind myself of truth, I see impossibilities turn to promise, hope and outcomes that blow my mind. But then, isn’t God that big? When I keep my eyes on the greatness of God, he eclipses the situations I think can never work out. And just because I can’t see what he is doing about them in his supernatural world, doesn’t mean he isn’t.
Persevere without gazing at the impossibilities…only at Jesus – the overcomer of impossible.
My husband, Brendan, loves math. The complicated, algorithm kind with variables that stumps me like a foreign language of the Greek variety.
But the math in today’s post is something I can get a handle on!
In 2 Peter 1:5-8, we learn that our life can move forward by adding (or allowing God to add) the following qualities to our life one by one. Each one leads to the next and ends up with LOVE – the ultimate goal for all of us!
The best part is that these qualities are actually some of the fruit of the Holy Spirit. In other words, when we accept Jesus in our lives, his spirit lives in us and gives us these qualities as we allow him to grow our lives for the better.
Phew! That’s like someone doing your math homework for you.
We start with FAITH.
Simply believing that God is who he says he is and will do what he says.
To FAITH we add GOODNESS.
Definition: moral excellence, virtue, kindness, generosity. God is good. He makes me good. I can bring good to others. That’s good!
To GOODNESS we add KNOWLEDGE.
It’s interesting that goodness comes before knowledge. Sometimes I think we think that our knowledge is what matters most, but here God puts goodness first. It’s more important to be good than smart. The Bible says “knowledge puffs up” – meaning it make us think better of ourselves than we should.
But we aren’t to ignore knowledge, we’re to add it!
Especially when it comes to knowing God. And the more we know about the world, his creation, his words (the Bible), the more we know him.
To KNOWLEDGE we add SELF-CONTROL.
What good is virtue (goodness) and knowledge if we can’t use self-control in exhibiting them? In part, that means that I am disciplined in my thoughts and actions and willing to do things for others when it isn’t convenient or easy.
To SELF-CONTROL add PERSEVERANCE.
Okay, so now things are getting a little tougher. Can I continue to move ahead in these things even when it’s hard? When I struggle to have faith, want to have my own way or don’t want to be “good”? That takes perseverance.
To PERSEVERANCE we’re going to add GODLINESS.
Well, I’m certainly not going to be able to be like God if I’m not willing or able to have the other qualities first. But I love that God has us building up to this. He doesn’t expect us to be like him in character before we have faith or goodness or understanding or self-control.
After GODLINESS, we add BROTHERLY KINDNESS.
As God adds to our life, we are able to get outside ourselves and look to others. He loves us, we grow in that love, learning to love him and ourselves which makes us able to share that love with other people.
Finally, we add LOVE.
This is God’s love, agape love – the unconditional kind that doesn’t ever expect anything in return, that’s willing to set aside my desires or rights for the good of someone else. Now what would our current world look like if we were all able to love like that?
As we allow each of these qualities to be added to our lives, we become better people, we bless others and we become more productive and effective.
This is math that adds up! Even I can figure it out. 😉
How about you? Do you see some qualities you’d like to add to your life?
“If you’re passionate about something, it overflows into how you make people feel….”
This quote by Sunny Good in the spring 2012 issue of Do It Yourself magazine caught my attention and begged the question, “What am I passionate about that overflows to others?”
I’m passionate about so many things… I’m a passionate person, period. But obviously, one of my greatest passions is writing.
I’ve worked hard on the opening pages of my current book, The Miracle of Us: Confessions of Two Online Daters, to create a piece that would compel people to want more. I long for them to feel hope, encouragement and the promise of something great for themselves as my story unfolds. When I re-read the beginning, I wanted to read more! If I was uplifted by my own story, maybe others would be as well.
So why, with all this passion, is it so difficult to sit down and write??
Emails beg to be read, tasks scream for attention, the children need help, friends and family want to chat or hang out, the phone rings with another urgent situation or request and soon it’s time to make dinner. I wonder what happened to the day and my night as I sit down to finish a barely begun blog post at 11 p.m. Where’s the passion then? It wants to go to bed!
Next, it’s the question of whether I actually have something worthwhile to say. Do I like what I wrote because it’s mine, or because it truly offers a benefit for someone else? What exactly is overflowing to others in a way that inspires, encourages or incites to action? Perhaps it’s the idea that the amazing things that happen to one person can happen for someone else too; or maybe it’s simply relating to other authors regarding the difficulty of getting to writing and staying on task. I find it encouraging when I read the story of another person’s struggles and how they overcame obstacles; like when a passionate writer describing the challenges of writing.
Finally, like any endeavor, getting the job done takes perseverance that goes beyond passion. I love writing, but it’s hard work and takes commitment and concentration. However, when I’ve managed to commit to paper something that I enjoy reading, I savor the satisfaction and pride I feel. A well placed word or phrase that paints a picture captures a place in my heart that fulfills a longing. Do you feel the same?
What are you passionate about that overflows to others? Have you felt challenged to live out that passion? Share your worthwhile comments below!