I’ve been taking an eight month advanced discipleship course at a local grace based ministry. The topic for last week’s class was “Law and Grace”. This is a topic I’ve really spent the last year pondering, studying, and exploring. So honestly when I saw the topic for the night I wasn’t expecting anything really new. I think the Father got a little chuckle out of that…
At one point in the discussion the instructor asked this very question, “Is Jesus enough?” OBVIOUS answer, right? Of course He his! My mind immediately leapt to all the reasons that yes, Jesus is enough. About how His sacrifice covered all sin for all time for all who receive Him. About how He is the only one qualified to be Savior. About how He is God as well as man. Therefore, He is YHWH; He is El Shaddai (the All Sufficient One); He is El Elyon; He is Jehovah Rapha; etc. – He is God, so of course He is enough.
Less than 48 hours later I bumped into what is a consistently difficult situation for me to handle. In prayer I cried out to God and said, “But Lord, I want to be chosen, I want to be accepted, I want to be loved.” What I meant was, “I want this person to choose me, I want to be accepted, I want to be loved by them and if they don’t it undoes me.” Hhhhmmmm…
And still I am thinking, “Jesus is enough.” Really??? If Jesus is enough (to me), how does one situation have the power to make me believe I am not chosen, I am not accepted, I am not loved when God’s Word, Truth, tells me that in Christ ALL of those things are true?
What is it that I really believe? My actions and reactions are revealing what I truly believe. It’s in the challenging moments when the rubber meets the road that what’s really in our hearts comes out. How do you know what is inside a tube of toothpaste until pressure is applied on the outside? That’s when what is on the inside comes out. I didn’t like what I saw come out of this tube – UNBELIEF!
One of my favorite characters in Scripture is Paul, for many reasons, but what hit me today is that Paul had opportunity every day to see what was truly in his heart. When he was beaten, what came out of his mouth? Praise and gratitude. When he was imprisoned, how did he respond? He sang hymns to God. He wrote letters to the church of Jesus Christ. When the thorn in his flesh plagued him and God would not take it away? He accepted that God’s grace is sufficient.
I am sure Paul felt alone, rejected and unloved by those God sent him to, but he always believed he was chosen, accepted and loved by God (even after the thorn in the flesh incident). The evidence is in the fact that he actively chose to love those who treated him the worst by sharing the gospel, the saving grace of Jesus Christ with them. Jesus was enough for Paul. Paul was so convinced of his relationship with Christ that he is still bearing fruit today through his letters to the churches.
Is Jesus enough for me? Will I let go of temporal feelings to allow Him to bear eternal fruit in my life? Will I actively love in the painful moments?