Saturday, August 25, 2007

God is For Us in Christ Jesus (Part 1)

The brother who was supposed to speak last Wednesday night couldn't make it, so yours truly attempted to share some thoughts. Now I share them with you:

Romans 8:31
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

[I began by making some comments similar to ones I expressed in my post Teach Us to Teach.]

Allowing, then, that biblical teaching will train us in not only what to believe, but also in how to live it out, I want to share with you how I have recently dealt with stress, distress, and restlessness in my life. My hope is that some will be able to imitate what has worked for me.

The other night, for the second or third night in a row, I was having difficulty getting to sleep due to poor health. For hours, it seemed, my mind was very confused, dark, and distorted. I may have been half-asleep, but if I was it was a kind of sleep more tiring than resting. Finally I recited slowly and meditatively the first 12 verses of Romans 1. I began praying with real deliberation to God, refusing to be distracted. Finally, God gave my mind peace. In the ensuing peaceful moments the words came into my head, "God is for us in Christ Jesus." I thought of how sometimes a Christian goes through such emotional turmoil that she needs to be led step by step. How helpful it would be for some Christians in some trying times of their lives to be told by one who has been there before, "Say these words out loud. Say 'God is for us in Christ Jesus.'"

I might not be there for you the next time your life is upside down, but I want to train you to say something, next time it is, that has helped me. Next time you feel such a heavy burden on your heart that you can hardly bear to face people, say "God is for us in Christ Jesus" and rest your very soul upon it.

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