Dear Jesus

I comprehend you in all your complexity; no detail of your life is hidden from Me. I view you through eyes of grace, so don’t be afraid of My intimate awareness.

Dear Jesus,

It is totally amazing that You understand me—all of me—with absolute accuracy. That could also be terrifying, if You saw me through eyes of law rather than grace. Unfortunately, I often view myself legalistically: evaluating how well I’m performing. I realize how silly that is, because my performance will always be insufficient to meet Your holy standard. That’s why I desperately need Your grace! Please help me see myself, as well as others, through eyes of grace.

Beloved, come to Me and receive My unfailing Love. You are troubled by fear of failure, but My Love for you will never fail. Let Me describe what I see, as I view you through eyes of grace. You look regal, for I have clothed you in My royal righteousness. You also look radiant, especially when you are gazing at Me. You are lovely as you reflect My Glory back to Me. In fact, you delight Me so much that I rejoice over you with shouts of Joy! This is how you appear through My vision of grace.

Because I am infinite, I can see you simultaneously as you are now and as you will be in heaven. The present view helps Me work with you on things you need to change. The heavenly vision enables Me to love you with perfect, everlasting Love.

The best way to see through eyes of grace is to look through the lens of My unfailing Love. As you persevere in this practice, you will gradually find it easier to extend grace both to yourself and to others.

How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings.
[Psalm 36:7]

I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.
[Psalm 34:4–5]

The Lord your God is in your midst. . . . He will exult over you with joy, . . . He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.
[Zephaniah 3:17]

Truth For Today

THE JOY THAT AWAITS

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials.
[JAMES 1:2]

The joy we experience from our trials can be some of the greatest joy we know. Since one of the major reasons God sends trials into our lives is to test the genuineness of our faith, what more fitting occasion to have joy than in and after an experience of suffering that has proved the reality of our salvation? A strengthened assurance of our salvation and confidence that God cares for us, as manifest in the reality that our suffering could neither break our faith nor sever us from His love, is cause for the highest happiness.

True joy does not come cheaply or as a fleeting, superficial emotion. Real joy is produced by much deeper factors than the circumstances that produce superficial happiness. If you are struggling through the negative circumstances of life, floundering in doubt and disMay, you have forgotten that genuine joy resides in the confidence that your life is hidden with Christ in God. In God’s providence, that joy and assurance can be most strong during a trial.

Wisdom

Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice, set things right, be encouraged, agree with one another, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you.

[2 Cor 13:11 NET]

To fare well, spiritually understood, is to have everything that God can make us happy in. All God’s people will eventually fare well. They all stand complete in Christ—nothing can touch their eternal safety; for they are all complete in him, “without spot, or blemish, or any such thing.” In this point of view, they must all in the end and for ever fare well.

But when we come to the matter of experience, we often find that those very times when God’s people think they are faring ill, may be the seasons when they are really faring well; and again, at other times, when they think they are faring well, then they are really faring ill. For instance, when their souls are bowed down with trouble, it often seems to them that they are faring ill. God’s hand appears to be gone out against them—he has hidden his face from them; they can find no access to a throne of grace; they have no sweet testimonies from the Lord that the path in which he is leading them is one of his choosing, and that all things will end well with them. This they think is indeed faring ill, and yet perhaps they never fare better than when under these circumstances of trouble, sorrow, and affliction.

These things wean them from the world. If their heart and affections were going out after idols, they instrumentally bring them back. If they were hewing out broken cisterns, they dash them all to pieces. If they were setting up, and bowing down to idols in the chambers of imagery, affliction and trouble smite them to pieces before their eyes, take away their gods, and leave them no refuge but the Lord God of hosts.

If you can only look back, you will see that your greatest sweets have often sprung out of your greatest bitters, and the greatest blessings have flowed from the greatest miseries, and what at the time you thought your greatest sorrows—you will find that the brightest light has sprung up in the blackest darkness, and that the Lord never made himself so precious as at the time when you were sunk lowest, so as to be without human help, wisdom, or strength.

So that when a child of God thinks he is faring very ill, because burdened with sorrows, temptations, and afflictions, he is never faring so well. The darkest clouds in due time will break, the most puzzling enigmas will sooner or later be unriddled by the blessed Spirit interpreting them, and the darkest providences cleared up; and we shall see that God is in them all, leading and guiding us “by the right way, that we may go to a city of habitation” (Psalm 107:7).

Evening Devotional

Clothes That Make the Person: Joseph

 

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 
[Romans 8:28]

Today, parents are hesitant to declare one of their children their favorite. But in the ancient world, this was not the case. Jacob (Israel), for example, loved Joseph more than his eleven other sons since Joseph had been born in Jacob’s old age to Rachel, Jacob’s favorite wife (Genesis 37:3). As a sign of his favoritism, Jacob gave Joseph a beautiful robe “of many colors.” All this favoritism provoked jealousy among Joseph’s brothers and they sold him into slavery in Egypt. When the brothers were united many years later, Joseph blessed God for how He had worked in all their lives.

Our lives are multicolored, a tapestry held together on the backside by knots and stitches. Yet out of that which appears random and tenuous on one side, God creates a life of beauty on the other side through redemption in Christ.

No one’s life is perfect, but God causes all the hard parts to be woven together for His glory. Give God thanks today for the “life of many colors” He is making for you as His beloved child.

When God closes a door, He always opens a window.
~ Woodrow Kroll ~