For thus says the high and lofty One–He who inhabits eternity,
Whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place,
but with him also who is of a thoroughly penitent and humble spirit,
to revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart
of the thoroughly penitent [bruised with sorrow for sin].
Ever have those moments or days when you’re just hanging on, trying to keep it all together? Your mind is swirling with confusion and frustration, maybe pain or sorrow. Your body wants to react with anger. You’re desperately looking for just a small hole in the ice so you can come up for air.
I have definitely had a few of those days. And I know I will have a few more. I used to try to run from them, to try and avoid them, thinking they were my greatest enemy.
Over time I learned to embrace these times, seeing them as a doorway to a much deeper place and purpose. In Matthew 5:3-6, Jesus sat down on a mountain and began to teach the mysteries of God.
Blessed (happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous—with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the poor in spirit (the humble who rate themselves insignificant), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven!
Blessed and enviably happy (with a happiness produced by the experience of God’s favor and especially conditioned by the revelation of His matchless grace) are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted!
Blessed (happy, blithesome, joyous, spiritually prosperous—with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the meek (the mild, patient, long-suffering), for they shall inherit the earth!
Blessed and fortunate and happy and spiritually prosperous (in that state in which the born-again child of God enjoys His favor and salvation) are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God), for they shall be completely satisfied!
Jesus continued on, saying the merciful, pure in heart, peacemakers, and those persecuted for righteousness’s sake are also among the blessed and enviable. Does this sound like a top-ten list of things we long for in life? When we think of those whom we envy and want to be like, do Jesus’s words come to mind?
First, let me say, I don’t go out looking for problems; I don’t search pain or sorrow out. But I have come to see the beauty and joy which can and does exist in its midst when we bow before our Creator in love and trust. James 4:8 exhorts us to come close to God and He will come close to us. James 4:6 also says,
God opposes the proud but favors the humble.
Although James was specifically addressing when we sin and separate ourselves from God’s presence, the principles given apply in all situations. Humility is a very valuable commodity to our God. It demonstrates that we know we can’t live this life and be his children without him–that his empowerment and love are essential ingredients to our minute-by-minute existence.
On one particular occasion, Forgiven Worship had traveled to lead worship at a conference, but I was walking through a difficult personal situation. My heart was heavy as I asked God how I was going to get up and sing when I was hurting over a misunderstanding with a close friend. I felt empty and drained and clinging to his grace.
But as I surrendered to all he wanted to do through this situation, a flood of peace and joy began to rise up in me. It was not only a time of great brokenness in me but also a time of Him filling an empty, broken vessel with Himself.
Interesting, isn’t it? Logic would say to fill vessels with no cracks or holes so they can hold the liquid. But God chooses to fill broken–very broken–pots with himself so that he will spill out on everything around them. Our brokenness is the perfect backdrop for his exquisite beauty and love. It shows Him in the perfect light.
The next morning the thought came, You are exclusively good, God–exclusively good. There is no other person or thing in heaven or on earth that is perfectly good but you. You alone are light and life, and only as we are broken and humble before you can that goodness flow forth and shine in the reality of what it is.
Are you feeling encouraged here? Click here for more of Amy’s inspiration for the soul ~ Human Life Verses Spiritual Life
Amy Layne Litzelman is passionate about knowing God more intimately in each moment and helping others do the same. Amy released her first book, This Beloved Road: A Journey of Revelation and Worship, in 2011. She has also composed over seventy songs, recorded four CDs, and traveled to teach and lead worship across the United States and in the Philippines and China. She and her husband, Matt, live in Jackson Hole, WY and have two adult sons.
Click here to learn more about gifted faith writer Amy Layne Litzelman
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