Lent 2017: You Are Mine: Day 38

Covenant of Peace

by

Today's Text: Isaiah 53:1-12, Isaiah 54:1-17, Matthew 8:14-17, Romans 3:21-26

Text: Isaiah 53:1-12, Isaiah 54:1-17, Matthew 8:14-17, Romans 3:21-26

“The Son of God became a man to enable men to become the sons of God.”
– C.S. Lewis

Sometimes, life can be exhausting. We run around trying to accomplish all the things, maintain all the relationships, and solve all the problems. We rarely look up to consider anything but our own present circumstances.

It’s a struggle to connect the physical life with the spiritual. Why would I bother thinking of others, or looking to Christ?

God knows this about us. He knows we are a bunch of selfish, hungry stinkers with tunnel vision. He connected the physical and spiritual for us in the person of Christ. Christ became low to make His dwelling among us.

What does it mean to become low? C.S. Lewis once said, “If you want to get the hang of it, think how you would like to become a slug or a crab.” And that’s the flavor of it. Imagine becoming a slug and trying to convince the other slugs that redemption is at hand. Prepare ye the way of the Lord, you slugs! They’d probably just sigh and slime away.

That is what Christ did for us. He became low for our sakes. He gave up His glory and endured all manner of earthly suffering. Because of this, we gain everything.

Why do I let the details of the physical world obscure this most important spiritual fact? Because I’m like a slug trying to understand geometry. It’s hard. This is why I need reminders. I need to read these dear words:

“But He was pierced because of our rebellion, crushed because of our iniquities; punishment for our peace was on him, and we are healed by his wounds.”
- Isaiah 53:5

Jesus knew we needed redemption. From the beginning of our existence He had our redemption planned out.

He endured sickness for our healing. He suffered loneliness for our redemption. He withstood wounds for our comfort. He braved pain for our peace. And if that wasn’t enough, He experienced separation from His Holy Father in order to bring us, wretched slugs, back into His presence.

Thanks be to the One who left everything so we could become one with Him.

SRT-LENT2017-Instagram38s

  • This devotion also touched me like no other. I just attended a conference for entrepreneurs and what I saw were desperate souls (including me) trying to find significance , purpose and unconditional love. Those of us who have Christ can have that hole filled and unexplainable peace. Sometimes , in the midst of this crazy hectic life, believers like me, still needed to be reminded of why we are really here.

  • Jill Colf

    Maybe it’s because she spoke to my inner slug, but this devotion reached me beyond all others.

  • I have been reading Isaiah thru the message paraphrase in this study and Isaiah 53 is put so simply and boldly thru that version. I would recommend reading it– cool way to prepare your heart for Easter this week

  • Jody Heavenrich Hensley

    One of my fav devotions thus far in this study. Strange to say how beautiful it is when being called a slug, but His love is so BEAUTIFUL!!! Thanks SRT & Rebecca for this day and all the others!!!

  • Rebecca Bates

    I am so moved by Isaiah 53. Praise the Lord for his many blessings! So very thankful for this sacrifice.

  • Raegan McAdams

    And He made us wretched slugs brand new creations– the righteousness of God. Phew! Thank You, Lord!

  • Keri McCue

    “The Son of God became a man to enable men to become the sons of God.” – Good ole C.S. Lewis bringin’ the wisdom haha I love this quote. It’s such a humbling thing to reflect on today!

    http://www.littlelightonahill.com

  • Kimberly Martinson

    These are some of my favorite verses in Isaiah. Such a pleasure to read this morning.

  • I’ve always had a lot of trouble with all this. Exspecially when I try to push away my troubles instead of taking them to God. I’m trying to learn how to take it to God, but I’m always afraid. I have such a great fear and struggle of being abandoned of left alone. It’s been like that since I was put in foster care. I’m 14 now and I’m still afraid, but it’s not as bad now though because I’ve been talking about this to my awesome best friend Sarah Olver and she’s helped me so much. So I just need a lot of prayer right now.

    • Catie

      If you’re 14 and struggling AND being open and honest about it AND reading the Word, you’re on an amazing track. I’m so encouraged by that. Keep sharing in brutal honesty and being vulnerable to safe people who will point you to the Lord. It’s okay to not be okay as long as you’re seeking the Lord through prayer, his word, and others who will fight for you. You are so not alone.

    • Leslie

      I’m praying for you this morning, sweet Beverly. All you have to do to take your troubles to God is just pray them out to him. That’s it! “God I am so scared” or “God I am struggling with x”. He hears your prayers and knows your heart, and he is waiting for you to cry out to him and he’ll meet you right there in your troubles. “The name of the lord is a strong tower, the righteous run to it and are safe” – God is a safe place for you to talk about your troubles. Praying God has an awesome, loving family for you ❤️

      • Sandy W.

        You are headed down the right path Beverly by reading His word. He loves you and will never leave you or forsake you. So grateful you have a supportive friend. I will be keeping both of you in my prayers that our Precious Lord will guide you and bring you strength and comfort. Blessings!

    • She Reads Truth

      Praying for you sweet girl. Thank you for being brave enough to share and ask for prayer. Grateful for you.

      – Stormye

  • Chuck Bean

    When did Jesus endure sickness?

    • Lydia

      He was despised and rejected by mankind,
      a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
      Like one from whom people hide their faces
      he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. (ESV)

      This was the first time I read a translation that used the word “sickness”…I’ve typically been accustomed to reading “familiar with pain” and I took it to mean the pain He suffered on the Cross and also that people wouldn’t naturally think to turn to one who is suffering in pain for help unless they know why He is suffering.

      Just my two cents.

    • Kelsey

      Isaiah 53:5 prophesies that the Messiah “was despised and rejected by men, a man of suffering who knew what sickness was.” Verse 4 says, “He Himself bore our sicknesses, and He carried our pains…”
      When the Word became a man, He took on what it means to be human – hunger, thirst, sickness, pain, even temptation. “We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weakness…” (Heb. 4:15). For this we rejoice!
      I hope this is helpful!

  • Alexis Maycock

    Test

  • Through this study I have been trying so hard to understand, know, and comprehend God. The Bible leaves me feeling confused and lost. I feel as though I read devotions out of habit and get them out of the way. I wish I could just have faith and better understand God. Suggestions or advice would be appreciated in how begin and strengthen a relationship with God!

    • Anita

      The first step would to find a really healthy church and attend regularly. Hopefully that church would have Bible study of some form you can be a part of, or Sunday School, or Women’s Ministry, or Community Groups or all of the above. You need to be in community and under good solid teaching. We were not meant to go it alone.

    • Emily B.

      Ask him! I can’t tell you how many times I have to ask Him to give me faith because I’m relying too much on my own understanding. I would also see about finding a good Bible commentary or study Bible to help you understand what you’re reading. The Spirit will help with the understanding, promise!

  • I memorized Isaiah 53 about a year ago. I can’t say I still have it memorized, but reading it again did bring a lot of it back (though I was reading in a different version from what I memorized.) That chapter is so rich though, and is one of my favorite chapters.

  • PronetoWander

    I needed encouragement and a message of love today. I was feeling my burden and guilt of sin and I feel like God just hugged me.

  • Ladies, to be completely honest I have been slipping further and further away from his words. And more sadly, away from his love. I have struggled as a young child with pornography. I had such a desire to watch it everyday, and it’s been such a struggle to stop. I know better, but it’s become such a habit. This reading today, makes me realize all that he has done for us. Who am I to keep living like this? I know, this journey will be hard. But, with God-fearing ladies like you by my side I take comfort in the fact that I am with like-minded women. Have a wonderful day Ladies, thank you for reading my short comment/confession.

    • Churchmouse

      Shana, praying for you – that the connection you feel here would strengthen and embolden you to reach out to someone close to you in your local church. A confidante, a prayer partner, a mature Christian who can walk alongside you in your battle. We are not to be Lone Rangers. God loves you so much. Nothing can separate you from His love. We have all fallen short but acceptance of Who He is and what He did on the Cross, gives us redemption and hope – and His power to overcome. Your transparency is humbling in this day and age when so many post the fake and the phony. Surely God is moving in you – and He is always moving towards you. Lean in. His loving embrace is there for the taking.

    • Kendra

      Shana, you’re already choosing to start the healing journey by your honesty here! I’ll pray for you on this hard but worth it road and that you’ll let Gods power be greater than the one that wants you to fail.

    • Andrea

      Shana, I am praying for you along side our sisters in Christ. Your honesty is huge, and its courageous, and its the best first step. Praying as well that you find a trusted, wise, humble, and mature sister in Christ to walk this journey with you. Darkness looses its power in the light. Your Heavenly Father wants your freedom more than you do, and he is faithful to give you all that you need to overcome. Once of my favorite sermons is related to this, you have to hear it, you can find it on YouTube. It’s called “a mind set free” by Jimmy Evans. I think I’ll listen to it today too. <3 love to you!

    • Suzi

      Shana, thank you so much for being vulnerable and confessing this here today. I know it may seem like a mountain you can’t overcome, but I promise you that you can. Being honest with yourself, the Lord, and others is the first step. Praying for you this afternoon.

    • PronetoWander

      Thank you for your honesty and being open with us you may have just helped someone else not feel so alone in their struggle! The devil uses our sins to bring us down and keep us down with guilt and feel like we can’t ever get it right. That’s a lie. God lifts us up and loves us unconditionally. He sees you, everything, and loves and knows you.

    • Sarah D.

      Hi Shana, I have struggled with pornography as well. To be honest, I’m ashamed. I feel like I’ve worn a mask and have be so fake to the world. I can’t believe I’m someone who has done this. I told my parents a year ago, and it was so hard. But God has used it to help me grow over the past 4 years now. I’ve recently fell into temptation again, but God is reminding that HE is enough. He still forgives me, and He has still chased after me, after all these years. And He will never stop running after me, trying to guide me back into His arms. I don’t need to find satisfaction in anything else. Sexual temptations (in the form of pornography) are not meant to be aroused. God knows what’s best for me, and He is trying to protect me. He wants to keep me pure in His sight, and for my future husband. I’ll be praying for you, and for me too, that we both can fight off Satan’s temptations and always be reminded of God’s promises that last forever. <3 it's so hard, but I know God will help us get through it.

      • Jessica

        Sarah, thank you so much for your honesty and vulnerability. My heart breaks when you said you feel ashamed. I so agree with almost everything you’ve said here, with one little caveat (and maybe this can help with the ‘shame’ part of things): it is not a SIN to be tempted. Jesus himself, who knew no sin, was tempted in the desert by Satan. You may never be (and to be honest- from what I’ve seen and experienced myself- probably won’t ever be) completely free of the temptation to return to porn- but that’s not the sin! It’s how you respond to that temptation that can devolve into sin- or, if you rebuke the temptation, it’s what brings you closer to glory! I’m not sure what you meant by the comment “sexual temptations… are not meant to be aroused”, but if you are meaning that we, as Christians, should never feel tempted sexually (otherwise, we are sinning)- I would strongly challenge that statement. As Christians, on this side of Heaven, temptation is going to be a part of our lives (whether it’s sexual, food-related, money-related, the list goes on and on) as it was a part of Jesus’ life while he was here on Earth. His being tempted makes Him even more relatable to us, and we can follow His example in how to overcome temptation (which will make us more relatable to Him).
        But you are right- God still forgives. He still calls you to himself. He is enough. And he loves you with a “never ending, never stopping, always and forever love”.

        • Sarah D.

          Yes thank you for clearing that up! Sorry for the confusion! I was reading that part of what I wrote over that again and was like…wait a minute…
          I understand…temptation is not a sin, but if you respond in an ungodly way/action, it is a sin. God has also been teaching me that sex and sexual desires in and of themselves are not bad…it’s just that the world has twisted it into something that God did not intend (kind of what I meant by the not arousing sexual temptations part…sorry, I didn’t word it very well) . Gotta keep on reminding myself that God’s love lasts forever, and nothing can replace it. Thanks again for clarifying and helping me understand :)

    • phil

      Hey, some tools to conquer- The Conquer series DVD. And better – Celebrate Recovery. Find a group near you. works. healing.

    • Jessica

      You’re not alone, sweet sister in Christ. You are not alone! I have had a similar struggle in my past (the effects and consequences of which I am still working through to this day), and I know several ladies in my church (ladies who love Jesus to their core) who are also addicted/have been addicted to porn. It’s not just a “guy” thing. It’s not just a “lost souls” thing. It is so present in the church (understatement of the year). I want to shout it from the roof tops, “YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!!” You’re slipping away from His Word and His Love because the Accuser is telling you that “good Christian people” don’t have problems like this. That this is too big to overcome. That it will be a hard, life-long struggle, so what’s the point in trying? But God loves YOU (as in you, Shana- as in He personally knows the number of hairs on your head, as in He knows exactly how many tears you have cried in your lifetime). Is God surprised by your addiction to porn? Do you think if He had known you’d turn out this way, He would have rethought sending Jesus to ransom you? No stinkin’ way. God knew. Even before you were born, He knew. He knew this would be part of your story. Who are you to despair when the God of Heaven’s Armies is on your side?! Who are you to call yourself unworthy when the Creator of Heaven and Earth has placed His robe of righteousness on you and declared you a saint?!
      Take heart, sweet sister! He who is living in you is more powerful than the Accuser! You belong to Jesus!

    • Kristi

      Shana, I had a similar struggle. I struggled with masturbation from the age of 13. I became addicted to it before I even knew what it really was and before long, I began watching things too (not porn, but racy movie/tv scenes). I’ve also been an avid reader so eventually the devil found a way to tempt me there too, through steamy romance novels.

      A couple years ago, I started becoming more and more convicted and wanted to stop. I cut out the scenes, stopped watching certain television shows, and refused to buy or read anymore romance novels. I thought all of that would solve the problem, but it wasn’t that simple. I continued to be tempted by my own fantasies and looking back now, I really didn’t want to stop badly enough.

      But one year ago, it became so clear to me – I would never stop if I depended solely on myself. This was something I was going to have to give to God. I decided to have a true quiet time with God each day (a habit I unfortunately never got into, despite calling myself a Christian for many years). During that time, I read my SRT devotion, studied the Bible, journaled, and prayed. And something amazing began to happen. Each day I could feel myself being transformed by the renewing of my mind (Romans 12:2). The old desires were still there but were shrinking as my desire to please God grew.

      That was one year ago and sometimes I still can’t believe I am free of this addiction that took over my life for so long. I am not perfect, but I serve a God who is and He has a perfect plan for me. He took something sinful and selfish and used it to reveal His power to me, to show me that through Him, I can do all things (Philippians 4:13). Take heart, Shana! He has already overcome the world (John 16:33)! With God, you have victory over this addiction. I will be praying for you!

    • Emily B.

      You are a VICTOR. You have victory NOW over whatever sin or temptation is plaguing you. Not someday, maybe. NOW. Claim that, and keep claiming it. God will help you, and He’s fighting with and for you. Cling to Him, girl. He’s got you.

    • She Reads Truth

      Shana, this was brave and beautiful. I am so grateful to have you in this community. I hope the Lord uses these magnificent women to strengthen and encourage you, and that you would have women that you can meet with face-to-face in this time, as well. So thankful for a God who reveals our sin to us – not to shame us, but to grow us closer to Him.

      – Stormye

  • amyloukuo

    There are so many things I could say with joy and gratitude about today’s reading and the beautiful devotional writing; but I want to thank you, SRT, for including the story of Peter’s mother-in-law and they connection to Isaiah 53:4. To read that Scripture itself connects that verse to physical illness was a joy to my soul!
    My mother is fighting stage 4 breast cancer, and I am witnessing firsthand her journey. Bedridden, hospice one week; walking the next week; saying she wants to die the following week. Illness is a very prominent part of my life during this season. (I am also newly married, making this a very challenging and confusing time of life.) To be reminded by your inclusion of the Matthew 8 verses, how Christ not only bears our sins but even the sorrows of our physical illnesses (and exerts His power over them!), was a much-needed reminder today, especially as I prepare to visit my mom this afternoon when I’d rather hide from the pain of witnessing her illness. Christ strengthens me, strengthens her, and has carried our weaknesses.

    • Shana

      Sister,
      I know the exact same struggle you are going through. I’ll be praying for you and your mom. Congratulations on your marriage!

    • Emily B.

      You are a brave lady. I’m so sorry your mom is sick and that it’s connected with your newlywed season. I know it’s hard to have a good attitude in times like this, but it sounds like God is helping you with that. He’s your Sustainer! Keep leaning on him.

    • She Reads Truth

      Praying for you and your family in this tender and difficult time. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. We are so grateful to have you in our community.

      – Stormye

  • Melody Suarez

    Sometimes I don’t understand the weight of what Jesus did for me. It’s a hard thing to grasp every single day. I’m praying that I sink deeper into what that means and that it would really pierce my heart with conviction. ❤️

  • Good questions and God loves an honest heart! And an honest heart is what He desires even from creation. He’s not a dictator who makes us love Him. He created freewill for Adam and Eve bc He wanted them to choose an authentic love for Him. Just as He does us today. God didn’t create us with the propensity to sin but we most def are born into a broken world and yet still have the ability to choose. Choice to sin, choice to repent and make our mess ups right and the choice to choose the immense gift of grace that God our Father gives freely, all day, every day, every minute. The other ladies great things too!

  • Samantha Samuelsen

    So the verse that stood out to me the most was 54:11 – “O afflicted one, storm-tossed and not comforted, behold, I will set your stones in antimony, and lay your foundations with sapphires.”

    Now, I’m not a science buff by any means… I figured that sapphires signified Him laying our foundation with value; He gave us the foundation of knowing our great worth. However, I didn’t know what antimony was used for, so I looked it up. Turns out, the primary purpose for antimony is for creating flame-retardants! Not only does the Lord establish our worth, but He sets our stones (establishes us) to be able to withstand every fire and trial that this world throws at us.

    Take heart, dear sisters! We are valued and protected!

    http://www.samanthasamuelsen.com

  • Tim Chambers

    You are so right. We are a bunch of stinkers, mortal teenagers who claim to know everything and need nothing. I have always liked reading the Old Testament because I find a people that I can relate to. Stubborn people, wise in their own eyes, imperfect, who repeat the same cycle of “we don’t need You” and then “where are You?” and finally “Okay, we give up. We need You and will never turn away from you again.” Rinse and repeat!

    I especially relate to the tunnel vision, because I have it both spiritually and physically. I have RP (retinitis pigmentosa), and eye disease that robs one of peripheral vision, eventually leaving tunnel vision or blindness. The funny thing is is that I am also a gifted artist (timothychambers.com). God has a sense of humor. He also works with us in an ever wise, ever perfect, and ever loving manner. I have to trust Him even when I see through foolish, imperfect, unwise eyes. As my vision has decreased, rendering me more and more dependent upon Him, I have found Him to be an ever faithful, ever present Best Friend.

    By the way, I read a sample of your book “She Reads Truth”. I can’t believe how beautifully authentic it is. I can’t wait to read more.

  • Mary Ellen Brown

    AMEN AND AMEN. Thank you Lord Jesus for saving me a mere slug. Oh how HE Loves us.

  • Diane Huntsman

    Business has robbed us of the meditation necessary to be able to wrap our brains and more importantly our hearts around WHO Jesus is and WHAT Jesus has done for us.. we all are pretty familiar with John 3:16 the broad big world that He suffered and died for.. but something happens to us when we take it to the level of a personal sacrifice.. He died for me.. He died for you.. I can replay sins of old and current sins and grasp the fact that my sins personally required His atoning death.. He died for me.. my sin alone required His blood to be forgiven.. to be given access to heaven.. Jesus loves the world yes, but He loves us personally and intimately.. I don’t want another Easter Sunday to pass me by without truly mediating on all that it encompasses.. I pray for all of us today, that we would jump off the busy bus long enough to truly contemplate all You did for us because of a personal love and desire to have intimacy with us in relationship..You long to be all we could ever want or need.. please help us to give You the rightful place in our hearts, Lord.. Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe, sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.

  • I have heard that verse a million times (Is 53:5) in several different translations. Today in this translation something struck me. Punishment for our peace. Wow. To have the peace that we are able to have in Jesus, he had to suffer for it. Im not sure why today of all days that strikes me so much. Jesus did pay it all. All to him I owe. That peace that I have, the one that passes all understanding, was paid for in a huge way. He was punished for it. Im going to just sit in this thought all day.

    • Terri

      He whispered in your ear today and you heard Him. How amazing is that? His word is alive and He uses it to speak to us! If we will listen. It makes me think of Elijah. God wasn’t in the tornado, the earthquake, or fire. He came in a gentle breeze or a soft whisper (1 Kings 19:10-13).

  • I absolutely love today’s devotional. I am most certainly a slug forgetful of what my Maker does day in and out in my life. He is in control and yet I continue to act as if I am. I’m very thankful to be going through Isaiah during this time of Lent and be reminded that he was crushed for OUR sins so that he could heal our wounds and make us righteous eternally.

  • —-> “He endured sickness for our healing. He suffered loneliness for our redemption. He withstood wounds for our comfort. He braved pain for our peace. And if that wasn’t enough, He experienced separation from His Holy Father in order to bring us, wretched slugs, back into His presence.” <—-

    Amen Amen Amen

    http://www.in-due-time.com

  • “He knows we are a bunch of selfish, hungry stinkers with tunnel vision.” Um, I’ve never met the woman who wrote this devotional, but it seems she’s familiar with me. :-)

  • I am somewhat familiar with what it means to pour out my heart to someone. When I want to speak tender words to my fiancé, or my parents in the hopes that the words convey the feelings of my heart. But even then, I don’t think I have ever truly grasped what it means to do so. Reading this morning that Jesus “poured out his soul to death,” (Is 53:12) stopped me in my tracks. Jesus is my lover. He is pursuing my heart with an intense and fierce love. Not only does he pour out his heart to me every day, He pours His very soul out. Even to death. For the first time this Lent and maybe in a long time, I feel heavy grief and shame that in my selfishness and blindness, I often choose to turn away from Him and sin. Thank you Lord for these feelings this morning. May they stay with me today as I prepare to enter into Holy Week.

  • This weekend I went to see The Veil. It’s a choreographed dance depicting creation, the fall of man and God’s rescue plan. It was a beautiful and emotional night! I was in awe as the dance played through the creation scenes But then they began to depict the fall of man and my spirit became so heavy and burdened. I watched as Adam and Eve created the separation between God and man and my heart broke. I was burdened by the depth of my own sin. Then we watched as Christ went to the cross with our sin upon him and died so that we may be forgiven. The Veil was torn so that we may be in relationship with Him again. Thank you Jesus!!!!

    It was incredible to watch this danced out before me. That’s all I can think about as I read the scripture passages today. There were so many reminders in today’s readings of God’s perfect rescue plan. Christ, our hero, coming to earth so that we may be forgiven and in relationship with the Father again. Thank you Lord for your redemption and for the beautiful reminders through scripture and other creative forms!

    “But He was pierced because of our transgressions,
    crushed because of our iniquities;
    punishment for our peace was on Him,
    and we are healed by His wounds.” Isaiah 53:5

  • I love your studies, my husband and I use this and He Reads Truth every morning as our devotional. My only problem, and perhaps you are all young and haven’t thought of it, is that the font is way too small for easy reading. The white space is lovely, but even though I can read most print without glasses, I had to buy glasses to use your books. I like to have a book in hand, they are lovely, but only indulge during Lent and Advent because of the small print. Thanks for what you are doing. It has blessed us so much!

    • April Heather

      Me too!!! Love the books! Old eyes though!

    • She Reads Truth

      Lynn, thank you for sharing this. I’ll look into this with the team and see if there is anything to be done about that – definitely want you able to read it!

      – Stormye

  • I love the gospel and marvel at the whole wonder of it all. That the God of the universe would lay down his glory and come to earth to endure shame and sorrow for me is the most beautiful act of love. And yet, in my skeptical doubters heart I struggle some with the whole thing. Am I the only one? Does anyone else struggle to hold both truths- that I am fearfully and wonderfully made AND that I am a desperate sinner, depraved and completely without redemption on my own, a “slug”? That little three letter word “WHY?” trips me up so much more often than I would like. Why did God create us with the propensity to sin? How is it not a divine set-up from the start? I’m supposed to overcome sin, but there’s no way that I can because it’s in my very nature. And then I’m supposed to feel bad about that. It’s not my fault if I was born with a sin nature. So it almost feels as if God would be absolutely unkind if he hadn’t sent a way to bring me in. I’m hesitant to publish these words because I don’t want to cause confusion for anyone else, but I would appreciate your prayers as I work through this. I pray that God will forgive me for my doubt and increase my faith and understanding.

    • April Heather

      You are not alone in your doubts and questions. Thank you for sharing them bravely

    • Kara

      FP, I’ve been there. I hear you. It’s good to be searching for truth like you are and not just taking whatever someone feeds you. Be a student of the word and find your answers. Study and be informed. I’d like to give some resolution I have had with these very same thoughts. God created us as decision making, fearfully and wonderfully made beings that hadn’t sinned but absolutely had the ability to. And we chose that (sin) over Him. We thought we could be like God and forgot our position. And we still are doing that today. We want to understand God and all of the why but we can’t! And that’s the point of Faith. God created us because he wanted to, and we’re a little different than the angels because he specifically chose to allow us to choose him back and then save us from our sin (by providing the sacrifice, the very thing he commands) when we would choose sin over Him. He is both our judge and our redeemer! God doesn’t want us to dwell on the “feeling bad” part of salvation but he does want us to simple be aware of our need for him! And then revel in that! If we are dwelling on the “I feel so bad for being so sinful” we haven’t really grasped the Gospel. Or at least we’ve forgotten it’s power and purpose for a moment. I hope some of that made sense, I feel like my thoughts were a little all over the place but you’re not alone. Keep the faith. He is more than enough. He loves you, and wants you.

    • Heather

      Hi JP, I think it’s ok and normal to have these questions. I also think God welcomes us to inquire and search Him so that we can hear his answers and better understand. There is so much about Him that remains a mystery, but He does want to reveal himself to us and He will if we seek him and ask questions like yours. I think he, being the creator of everything, allows sin so that He can be further glorified. We have free will, yet nothing is out of his hands. I think he wants to guide us to Him, and teach us more about Him. For me, my sin and lowest moments showed me what life is like without God, what’s it’s like when I fully give in to my sin. And once I finally reached for him, I found more love and tenderness than I could ever have imagined. He waits for our hearts so patiently, and knows us so well. When we see sin but then also see His power to overcome and redeem us, it becomes so much more powerful and gives us so much more reason to praise Him. I hope this makes sense, I’m just barely touching on a huge topic but I’ll pray for you to feel peace and just continue to grow closer and closer to Abba and realize how loved you are

    • Donna Symes

      I have been a Christian for 45 years and when doubts and questions come to my mind, I have to go back to a basic – we walk by faith not by sight (or feelings or anything else) I remind myself that I am a human being, a creation not the Creator. We cannot begin to understand the mind of God but we can focus on His unchanging character, which helps me through the times of doubt.

    • Rebecca

      You’re not alone! I struggle, too, when I think about the whole story from The Garden of Eden to The Cross and why we have a sin nature. The only way I have come to think about it is that God loved us so much that He was willing to let us make our own choices. Therefore, He allowed The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, from which Adam and Eve ate, to be in the garden in the first place. Also, my priest gave a wonderful sermon this past Sunday, emphasizing how impossible it us for us to know the extent of God’s plan. That’s where I try to rest when I find myself really struggling. I just try to remember that I am a “slug trying to understand geometry,” but I am a deeply loved slug :).

    • Elle

      I can’t remember what service I heard this at and I’m sure I’m paraphrasing terribly, but I find it helpful to think of God as a loving parent. We will never be perfect children, but we can still rest safely in God’s love. And that love should make us want to try to be better people and sin less. Clearly this is a very Protestant understanding of the Bible, but we are saved by faith and grace alone. The wanting to sin less is a product of salvation, not the driver of salvation.

      Personally, I struggle a lot with the idea of people who have committed horrible crimes but who are on some level believers. I can only have faith that God will sort judgement out in his own way that surely goes beyond my understanding and to focus on myself rather than judging others.

    • Terri

      Beloved, I think it’s safe to say that we all have questions. My prayers of confession include, “Lord forgive me for my doubt. I believe. Help my unbelief.” I have to pray this much more than I would like! I think this is why we all love the psalms so much. These writers poured out their true emotions to God; they didn’t try to hide behind platitudes or pious phrases. It is safe for us to do this too! Go to God with your questions. Go to the Father of light. “In Him there is no darkness.” I’m not saying that you will understand everything, but He will help you. Go to His Word. You will find answers. One thing He has made clear to me over the years, is that He wants obedience out of love. He wants sacrifices of thanksgiving and not sacrifices of duty. If there was no choice in the garden could there ever truly have been love? Just like an earthly parent wants his children to obey (all be it eventually) out of love, how much more does our heavenly Father want this, too. I pray that you will find some answers, but I also pray that you will be able to trust Him. That’s what it all boils down to, anyway.

  • I can definitely relate to being the slug I am. How often I go through my days without praising the one who died for me because so often I’m consumed with me and my life. What a wretch I am. Thank you Jesus for loving me despite my all too often apathy towards you and what you’ve done to make me right with you. You are so good and I am not. May your praise ever be on my lips today.

  • Kovalentine

    Woke up this morning already late, burdened by all the needs on my plate
    Groggy and thick-headed, I opened the Word
    “Will be tough to focus,” my lament to the LORD
    Clicked on the reading for today, He met me with a surprise- in His way
    Isaiah 53, familiar to me, memorized the whole chapter at age 13
    My Sunday School teacher, an artist as well, challenged us kids to learn and retell
    In exchange he would make us a piece of his art,
    So I dove in and captured those words in my heart
    Thirty-six years later Isaiah’s prophetic words, awaken my heart like the songs of the birds
    How sweet that when overslept, muddled, and late,
    My God speaks in ways my dull brain can relate
    Man of Sorrows acquainted with grief, suffered and died to purchase our peace
    Help us, Jesus, this day and always, ever and only to You give our praise.

    • Emma

      Wow, thank you for sharing this, I had goosebumps reading your words. It really spoke to me. Our God is so good, He knows no boundaries. Thank you Jesus for your heart

    • Pam

      What an amazing poem-so well written to express what most of us are experiencing! Thank you for sharing your gift with us and reminding us the power of memorizing scripture. Have a great day!

    • Amber

      Thank you for these beautiful thoughts!

    • She Reads Truth

      How beautiful! Thank you for sharing!

      – Stormye

  • Churchmouse

    “Do not hold back; lengthen your ropes, and drive your pegs deep.”. Yes. Driving my pegs deep in the Word this morning for it alone comforts and sustains. Grateful for the words of Isaiah which reminds me of the length God would got to in order to restore me to Him. Grateful for the reminder of His immovable love and unshakable peace. Yes. Driving my pegs deeper still this morning.

  • Sisters. Forgot, in the excitement of a birthday in the family, to update you on little Willow… Surgery went well and she is recovering well. She is actually up and playing with some toys, came the message yesterday.. .
    Absolutely Praising God for the gift He continues to give us, whether it be through answered prayers or because He wants to give..
    Our God is Awesome with a capital A…totally and absolutely Awesome… Amen.
    Thank you all for your prayers..
    Many. Many. Many Blessings being prayed for and over you all… thank you. Xxx

  • Today is my youngest sons birthday… All of 27 years ago, at around this time, I was rushed into hospital, as my waters broke, to give birth to this beautiful, cute, captor of my heart forever child…
    That day I knew, as I admired and fell totally head over heels in love, I knew with all certainty that I would love, live, and die for this child… i would give all i had for this gift from God.., this joy bringer, this smile producer….this absolute bundle of cuteness…
    27 years have rolled by, Thank you Lord, and though there have been ups and downs, I have loved and lived for him as best as I know how…. and I will continue to do so…, yes I would take stripes for him, yes I would endure pain for him, yes I would for him, he is that precious to me, I would give all I had to see him happy to see him safe, for him to have peace… that is me here on earth…

    But God..

    How much more God, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth… He loves us so so so very much, to save us, to show us how much he loved us, He promised to give and gave his Only begotten Son, to suffer for us, and not just suffer to die for us that we might know peace, that we might be healed in this world of confusion and mess.. He gave his son for our salvation… our redemption. Our redemption..
    I know the sinner that I am, I know the wrongs of my life, and yet… God deems me worthy of His son and his gift of life in Him of salvation, redemption and hope. ..
    Today, we as a family will celebrate my sons birthday, but I think there will be, for sure, praising too, to the One who took all, and gave all that we might have days like these, Hope filled and able to look forward… Amen.
    Happy today y’all. With love and hugs..

    • candacejo

      Happy birthday to your dear son! I wish you a wonderful time with your family and yes, we have much to be thankful for ♥

    • Meg

      Thank you for this, Tina! I’m in hospital having given birth to our first son yesterday and your reply just hit me hard. Happy birthday to your boy!

      • She Reads Truth

        Congratulations, Meg! So excited for you and your new little one.

        – Stormye

      • Terri

        Congratulations to you! Enjoy the ride. And may your “children rise up and call you blessed.”

    • Beth

      Thank you for the update on Willow. I’ve been anxious to hear. And happy birthday to your son!

    • Emily B.

      What a lovely connection. Thank you for sharing!

    • Sarah Joy

      Tina – praise God that He demonstrated perfect love and placed a piece of that adoring parent love in our hearts. Your post struck a cord for me. Thanks for sharing! Praise God for both your celebrations.

    • Sherri

      Tina, thank you for sharing your love for Christ & life with us. Be blessed!

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