When all is said and done..

“When all is said and done, everything that God offers us is wrapped up in Himself – His real living presence. His resources are not available apart from Himself.

Keeping close company with Jesus – that is what makes all the difference.

The love of God brings inner security and a sense of value.

His grace brings acceptance, forgiveness and release from guilt.

The wisdom of His word and the authenticity of his being set us free from the traps of falsehood.

His power gives us the capacity to do right and the confidence to attempt it.

His peace calms our anxieties and develops patience.

Hope in His purposes gives us the heart to persevere, and

His joy is our greatest pleasure.

Jesus really is actually alive – not just in some unreal other-worldly way that is unconnected with daily reality, but really, truly present and available.”

  • Rick Lewis in “Mentoring Matters”
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The Prayer of Helplessness

..”In helplessness alone there would be no value, our situation would be intolerable if Jesus had left us there. But instead He says:

‘With God all things are possible’

All things! This is an audacious statement just as the opposite…

‘Apart from me, you can do nothing.’

Jesus must be saying that there is nothing in heaven or on earth over which God does not have control.

Most of us can believe that God can control us, provided we are willing. Thus, if we are in [a dark] hole because of our own foolishness, misjudgement, or sin, we can concede God’s ability to help.

But there is another type of life situation at which faith often staggers. This is when heartbreak has come to us because of other people’s sins and failures – what might be called ‘second causes’.

The tragedies most difficult to take are those that come through the failures, ignorance, carelessness, or hatred of other human beings. These are the times when men seem to be working havoc with God’s plans.

It is important that we believe that God is adequate even for those situations. Otherwise, the Prayer of Helplessness will fall to the ground.

In order to fly, the bird must have two wings. One wing is the realisation of our human helplessness, the other is the realisation of God’s power. Our faith in God’s ability to handle our particular situation is the connecting link.

..the cross stands as the final symbol that no evil exists that God cannot turn into a blessing. He is the living Alchemist who can take the dregs from the slag-heaps of life – disappointment, frustration, sorrow, disease, death, economic loss, heartache – and transforms the dregs into gold.

This is the hope and promise that I claimed for myself… and that I yearn to pass on to everyone whom life has hemmed in; to the would-be suicide, and to the merely discouraged who do not consider suicide but who also will not consider God.

This means that no sinner is hopeless; no situation irretrievable. No case is past redeeming.

That is why Jesus’ insistence on our helplessness is the most hopeful note in Scripture. That is why every one of us – imperfect as we are – can take heart and thank God for the power of helplessness.”

 

Excerpt from “Beyond Our Selves” by Catherine Marshall, first published 1961 (C) pp. 162 – 167.

Image source (C) 2012 Richard Waring @ blogspot.

Prayer of Relinquishment

How can we as mere humans, tell God who is the maker of the Universe, what He should or should not do?

“God, I must have this and this; God this is what I want you to do for me” – is not real prayer and hence receives no answer.

“A missionary became an invalid for 8 years. Constantly praying to God He would make her well, so that she might do His work. Finally, worn out with futile petition she prayed, “All right, I give up. If you want me to be an invalid for the rest of my life that’s Your business. Anyway, I’ve discovered that I want You more than I want health, You decide.”

Within 2 weeks she was completely healed.

“I’m tired of asking was the burden of my prayer. I’m beaten, finished. God, You decide what You want for me for the rest of my life…”

Acceptance says – “I trust the good will of God”

Not resignation, or defeat.

Acceptance says ” I trust the good will, the love of my God. I’ll open my arms and my understanding to what He has allowed to come to me. Since I know that He means to make all things work together for good, I consent to this present situation with hope for what the future will bring.”

Acceptance is the Prayer of Relinquishment, a true prayer of faith that actively trusts God.

Say to God “I accept this”

Only in acceptance lies peace – not in forgetting nor in resignation, nor in busyness. His will is good, acceptable and perfect.

Acceptance leaves the door of Hope wide open to God’s creative plan.

  • Excerpt from “Beyond Ourselves” by Catherine Marshall; first published 1962.

 

(Image: Peter raises Tabitha from death: found in Acts 9: 36-43)