My Dearest Reader,
Have you ever felt so broken and sinful that you felt worthless? Have you ever felt that you were so useless that there was no way that God could ever use you? I know that I have. I have had feelings of weakness, vulnerability, fear, brokenness, worthlessness, uselessness, failure, and insignificance. However, those negative emotions aren't God's plan for my life. He has redeemed me so that I can rejoice in His infinite wisdom, grace, mercy, and forgiveness. He wants me to rest in the fact that He saved me. He is mighty to save. I have a purpose and every time I entertain negative ungrateful feelings I am taking away from His glory. When I am focusing on myself and not the things of the Lord then I am in fact robbing God of glory. When I am so focused inward I am missing out on the blessings of focusing outward and striving to bless others with what I have been so dearly blessed with.
John 4:1-45 tells a story of hope and redemption that is so startlingly clear to me. It's the story of the Samaritan woman at the well.
Jesus Goes to Galilee 1Therefore whenthe Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making andbaptizing more disciples than John2(althoughJesus Himself was not baptizing, but Hisdisciples were),3He leftJudea and went awayagain into Galilee.4And He had to pass throughSamaria.5So He came to a city ofSamaria called Sychar, nearthe parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph;6and Jacob’s well was there. So Jesus, being wearied from His journey, was sitting thus by the well. It was aboutthe sixth hour.
The Woman of Samaria
7There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her,“Give Me a drink.”8For Hisdisciples had gone away intothe city to buy food.9Therefore theSamaritan woman said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?” (ForJews have no dealings with Samaritans.)10Jesus answered and said to her,“If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”11She said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get thatliving water?12You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You, whogave us the well, and drank of it himself and his sons and his cattle?”13Jesus answered and said to her,“Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again;14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”
15 The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, so I will not be thirsty nor come all the way here to draw.” 16 He said to her, “Go, call your husband and come here.”17 The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have correctly said, ‘I have no husband’;18 for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly.”19 The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You area prophet. 20Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father.22You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.23But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”25 The woman said to Him, “I know thatMessiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”
27 At this point His disciples came, and they were amazed that He had been speaking with a woman, yet no one said, “What do You seek?” or, “Why do You speak with her?” 28 So the woman left her waterpot, and went into the city and said to the men, 29 “Come, see a manwho told me all the things that I have done; this is not the Christ, is it?” 30 They went out of the city, and were coming to Him.
31 Meanwhile the disciples were urging Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” 32 But He said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.”33 So the disciples were saying to one another, “No one brought Him anything to eat, did he?” 34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.35 Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest.36 Already he who reaps is receiving wages and is gathering fruit for life eternal; so that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.37For in this case the saying is true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’38 I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored and you have entered into their labor.”
39Fromthat city many of the Samaritans believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all the things that Ihavedone.”40So when the Samaritans came to Jesus, they were asking Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days.41Many more believed because of His word;42and they were saying to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeedthe Savior of the world.”
43 After the two days He went forth from there into Galilee. 44 For Jesus Himself testified thata prophet has no honor in his own country. 45 So when He came to Galilee, the Galileans received Him, having seen all the things that He did in Jerusalem at the feast; for they themselves also went to the feast.
The point is, God used a broken, sinful woman. He redeemed her mistakes and used them for His glory. Her brokenness was not wasted. This fleeting, temporary pain is worth it. This brokenness is beautiful because God has made it so. A broken heart is an acceptable offering to the Lord. That woman probably felt so useless and dirty. I feel like that sometimes. I feel so broken; like I'm never going to heal. I feel empty, dirty, ad exhausted. That woman who was so scorned by society was used by the Lord to save her entire town. I know that God has great plans for my life. I pray that you were encouraged today. God can use you. Your brokenness is beautiful.
I am the Lord, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I equip you, though you do not know me, that people may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am the Lord, and there is no other. I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the Lord, who does all these things.
This hit me pretty hard the other day.
Just because he created those things doesn't make Him sinful or not good.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Jesus tells us we can have peace(to rest) in him even though we will encounter tribulation(suffering resulting from oppression or persecution) because he has overcome(won and conquered) the world by perfectly fulfilling everything that was required of him. He conquered death by living a life of perfection, something we could never have done, giving us life. It is through him that we can get courage and strength to win the numerous and difficult battles that we encounter daily. It is through him that we can have (real) peace when loved ones are lost or when things are not going as we wanted them to go.
Our biggest enemy, death and sin, has been conquered by one who loved and chose us from the very beginning.
I love this verse because it encourages me not to be afraid of what will come, reminding me to trust in what Jesus has done. Jesus said it would not be easy to follow him, but because of what he did following him is worth everything.
So be encouraged, take comfort, and be courageous, because Jesus has overcome the world!!
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.
I love Ecclesiates.
I've never read this book before and was startled by the beauty and
the deep thought provoking idea's.
It's the kind of book that makes you think.
It's a book I get excited to read.
It's a book that show's us God's hand in everything.
It's a book I want to reread over and over and over.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.