In all this you greatly rejoice,
though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.
The Struggles are Real. Having had a rough start in life and little support, I quickly learned you have to fend for myself and trust in no one, including God. These were the early roots of bitterness which would grow deeper over the course of my life. The slightest offense was enough to erupt spewing fits of rage; and a string of broken relationships are the charges against me. How can there be a good God, because He surely would have stopped all this pain and suffering. Life, even human life, lost its intrinsic value of being made in God's image, because it was pointless and expendable and glory wasn't due His holy name for allowing it, or so I thought.
Accountability Free Zone. I was perfectly justified as the victim since these problems began in my infancy, certainly everyone else's behavior and actions were to blame, and I was innocent since they did this to me. I was only responding to their crimes against me. I'm the victim; not the guilty one. Right? What's the standard of measure anyways? It would take years for me to answer these questions. That in fact, yes, I was just as guilty. I was a contributor in the broken system, of falling short of the glory of God. I had the same guilty blood dripping from the end of my pointing finger. How could this be? There has to be a loophole, I mean the one who started it, has to bear the burden of guilt and blame, wouldn't you think?
The Moments of Realization. Realizing the standard of measure is defined by the Judge and the verdict is rendered by the offense against His law, was frighteningly condemning but also liberating. Instead of assigning guilt to the original offender or the one who created the most amount of harm, the guilt was to be rendered to all who transgressed the law of a holy and living God. Terrifying. Any violation against His Righteousness, was found guilty and required condemnation and judgment. Oh my, we are surely all going to be in trouble. I couldn't hold blame, bitterness, pride and all the hatred I stored up from my youth any longer. Realizing all this is what set me free. I'm guilty and there is nothing I can do to save myself; I needed a savior, just like everyone else.
A Holy and Righteous God. Having my eyes opened to the depravity of mankind, including my own, revealed the awesome wonder and majesty of the Risen One. He was wholly and completely different. He never transgressed anyone. We have always done Him wrong; yet He always did us right. This God was to be revered and honored above everything else in this life for He was holy and sacred. The more I learned of my own sinfulness and how easily I transgress Him by failing to love another, the more I love Him. It's unfathomable how He could forgive me, yet again, and always be so loving and patient and tender towards me. He is holy and set apart. He does deserve to be honored above everything else. He is high and lifted up.
Expressing My Deep Reverence for His Holiness. How can I possibly show this amazing God, my deep reverence and honor due Him? If only there was a way to express what words alone can't do. Perhaps, if I could just bite my lip and grin and bear the suffering until I am taken home to glory, would that do anything? If I speak of His glory during the best parts of my life, I mean this life is hard, is that sufficient praise of His holiness? I should say not. To properly express my gratitude of His love and kindness for me is to speak of His honor in the midst of the storms of my life; counting all my suffering as nothing, for nothing good is due me anyway. I should say there is no greater way to express the honor and majesty due Him than to continue to proclaim His glory, during even the most difficult trials of my life. Yes, this is how I can properly express my deepest honor of Him; that when I walk through the darkest parts of my life, that I will continue to praise Him. This and only this, can show the strength of a man's reverence for God. I must continue to proclaim His excellency through the valleys and on the mountaintops, if my faith is to be proven complete; lacking for nothing to show that God is my portion, my all. We should thank God for allowing such opportunities to shine with His glory for there is no other way to properly express our gratitude.
Dear heavenly Father, help us to understand that we ourselves have no luster for we have fallen short of your glory, just as guilty as the brother or sister we hold in contempt. Set us free of such bondage so that we are free to honor You for giving us the acquittal of our condemnation and judgment. Help us to understand that words alone are not sufficient, but that by our actions, does it prove that we have been faithful in knowing and loving You. Help us to accept and trust that the difficulties of our lives are nothing greater than perfect opportunities to express our deep love and reverence for You. Help us to see the way You see. Help us to love the way You love. AMEN
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