Okay…I’m going to admit it.
I had a very shaky week.
More times than I can count, I had to dig down, pray, and proceed in faith.
Even going for my walk (I try to get in four miles weather permitting) was difficult. Who put lead in my legs??
For lent I’ve been getting up earlier than normal.
During this time I read a few Lenten devotionals and spend extra time in the word.
In that darkness before dawn, I’m reading through the book of Romans. Slowly.
I don’t know how you do your reading, but when certain passages jump out at me from my old red leather-bound NIV, I’ll drop those passages in the search engine at Bible Gateway and start to read the parallel translations on my laptop.
That’s what I did when I read Romans 8:15-17.
Sometimes I really enjoy the way Eugene H. Peterson, the translator of The Message, makes a passage come alive and real for me and my life.
Here it is…
This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him! Romans 8:15-17 The Message
This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life.
If you know me, you know how important it is to me to live life fully. When I was sixteen I had an eye-opening moment upon learning that Jesus came to give us abundant life (John 10:10). That was life-changing to me. A standing stone moment, so to speak. So, of course, immediately I resonated with this portion of the Romans passage when I read it in The Message.
It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?”
Seriously….that’s what I want to do. God loves us so much…we can’t even begin to imagine this great love he has for us. He is totally trustworthy. Yes, I want more than anything to be able to say with abandon, “What’s next, Papa?” But, right now, I’m not so excited about this adventure. It was exciting at the beginning. But, waiting for nearly 15 months?
God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance!
I am so very grateful that I can call this awesome, powerful, mighty God, Father, or Papa. I cannot even wrap my mind around the fact that he has “an unbelievable inheritance” waiting for me. But, most of all, I appreciate the confidence I have of belonging. Of having “a place” in the grand scheme of things.
We go through exactly what Christ goes through.
When I was new in my faith I somehow got the message, that believing and trusting in Jesus would give me a rosy life. Who was the perpetrator of that thinking? Someone heard it and that message spread like wildfire. Look…right here in God’s word it says that we will go through exactly what Christ goes through. So why in the world do we expect to be exempt from tough times? I don’t know, but we do.
If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him!
Here’s the part that made my day. If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him!
Are you walking a difficult road? Does it seem like it’s uphill all the way? Does the road seem endless? This passage reminds me that Jesus walked through hard times. It’s the season of lent and every day I’m reminded of the challenges Jesus faced in his ministry, like the day Lazarus died. I’m reminded of his temptation. I’m reminded of those unimaginable days leading up to the cross, breaking bread with his disciples for the last time, knowing and then experiencing God turning his face away so that Jesus could take on the punishment you and I both deserve. (Because of what Jesus did, I will never have to be without the Father.) Those were hard times for Christ.
Christ has been and continues to be with us through the hard times. We are not alone. Ever.
Here’s the part that made my heart sing…then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him! These challenges will end. Good times are ahead. And he is going to share in those good times with us, too.
I don’t know about you. But, the reminder that we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him really does make my heart sing.
Do you realize that this is a promise? From God. Though most will consider this to be a reminder of what we have to look forward to in eternity, it is also a promise for now. We need to post it before us. Maybe literally with little sticky notes stuck up on the mirror, and the fridge, and the window over the sink, and on the dashboard in the car.
If we’re living this resurrection, adventurously expectant, life as a child of God, we know he will get us through our current challenges and we really can look forward to good times with him. Extraordinary good times. Dancing, shouting, singing kinds of good times.
Are you living the resurrected life?
Are you adventurously expectant?
Are you trusting your Papa to be with you in the hard times?
Are you expectantly looking forward to enjoying the good times with him too?
Today is Joy Day!
Joining with us each week to count gifts can be life-changing. If you haven’t yet taken the dare to look back over the past week and join me in counting the gifts and blessings from the week, I hope you take the challenge. Some gifts aren’t exactly pleasant (but many produce character). Yet, in all things we are to give thanks.
Please join me in counting just ‘seven’ from the past week.
God, I am grateful for…
- the ability to sigh. It really is a stress reliever.
- knowing you have all the resources I need when I am empty-handed.
- Robins. Their delightful chorus stopped us as we walked past the woods.
- this place to live.
- slightly warmer temps to make
winterwalking more bearable.
- friends whom I can count on to pray. Hard.
- the promise of good times ahead.
Now it’s YOUR turn!!
Join me in counting ‘seven.’
Scroll down to the comment section…Share Your Extraordinary Thoughts….and list your ‘seven.’
I dare you!
Want even more joy? Take the Joy Dare here.
Thank you for stopping by today.
I appreciate you and your sweet comments make my day.
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