“Since Jesus went through everything you’re going through and
more, learn to think like Him. Think of your sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get your own way. Then you’ll be able to
live out your days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by
what you want” (The Message). 1 Peter 4:1-3
I want to live free! I want to conquer my sinful habits of selfishness and pride. I want to put aside foolish, childish thinking and develop mature, steadfast faith that can never be shaken. How about you? Freedom sounds pretty amazing, right?
It’s available, it’s right there, almost in grasp. How do we get it?
We can wish for it…
“I wish I may, I wish I might, have this wish I wish tonight…” Do you remember this children’s rhyme? As kids, we would gaze up at the darkening sky, waiting for a glimpse of the first twinkling star. As soon as it appeared, we would say this rhyme, make a wish, and then wait. We never waited long though because even in our youth, we knew the star couldn’t give us what we asked. We were wishing, hoping, waiting for something that we had no real hope of ever attaining–so we laughed and resumed chasing lightning bugs until we had to go inside.
We can pray for it!
Wishing is NOT the same as praying. Seeking God’s wisdom and guidance, asking Him for help…He already knows what we want and He knows what we need. He wants us to realize our dependence on Him and ask.
God does not want us tyrannized, especially by our own thoughts and selfish desires.
Imagine the biggest, shiniest, most perfect “thing” you’ve ever wanted. For each person the “thing” will be different, but the desire, the longing for it is the same. We want…clothes, shoes, jewelry, happiness, comfort…the list is endless.
But, God knows what we need.
And He knows the best way to give it to us.
Some things are a free gift–mercy, grace, salvation, peace!
Some things we must earn. Earning anything of value requires determination, diligence, a willingness to work toward the goal even in the face of great sacrifice, pain or loss. It means never giving up until the race is over, the goal reached, the prize won.
Have you ever prayed for patience? What happened? If you’re like me and the many, many others I know who have done so, God answered your prayer by giving a situation in which you needed patience. He made us earn it by learning it!
Maturity, strength, integrity or wisdom…we must earn them. We don’t develop character by enjoying a problem free life of ease and comfort. We learn to grow in the struggle.
When we trust Jesus and follow Him, we grow.
Comfort leads to complacency, battles lead to strength, and complete trust in Jesus always leads to victory! Trust Jesus!
Father, thank You for Your free gifts of grace, love, and salvation. Thank You for Jesus! Lord, where I need to grow and mature in my faith to be like Jesus, would You open my eyes to the opportunities You give me? Would You develop mature faith in me that I would never run from a challenge but rise up and stand on the truths of Your Word. Lord, I ask You to deepen, grow, and sustain my faith in You. I acknowledge that may mean a difficult path, but Lord, nothing means more to me than You. I want to know You more. I want to please You in my choices and my life. Change my heart and my attitude to reflect the love and mercy You have given me. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Would you like to read more about finding freedom in Christ? My book, 31 Days of Letting Go is a 31-day prayer journey finding freedom in Christ as we let go of idols, strongholds and everything else that holds us back from living a life of victory and freedom in Jesus.
Love and blessings!