The longer I live the more I suspect, this life is simply a journey packed with trials meant to point us to fullness in Christ and ultimately to God. James 1:2-4, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (ESV). This was my favorite verse during my cancer trail because I finally got it.
Trial = Blessing = Joy
Love = Jesus = God
This Trial to Love Life works in a literal way as well. When I’m walking in the Spirit, loving this life is difficult (a trial) because I’m acutely aware this world is not my home. However, that’s not always where I live. There are still times when I find myself struggling because I love this life too much. When I feel that pull of the world weighing heavy on me, it’s likely because I’m seeking the approval of men and not God. It’s hard not to get sucked into worldly values, even though I know they lead to death. The lie feels right at the time. The fruit appeared pleasing to Eve, too. Everything about it looked good and healthy to her flesh eyes—until she disobeyed God and ate—then she realized all she had lost (Genesis 3). Her disobedience separated her from God, from Love, and delivered her to death.
When I surrender everything to the Lord, I feel peace, my vision clears, and I know I don’t belong here. Dead to self and new in Christ is where I want to LIVE. And I suspect that’s what you want too. This concept is central in all my fiction stories. My characters are imperfect people, just like you and me, struggling against what the world values. Like us, they often hold deep wounds from past trials. But thank God that’s not where their story (or ours) ends. My novels are all about the healing and joy that comes from a life submitted to something beyond what this world values. Because a life lived in Christ brings joy and healing that isn’t possible outside of Jesus.
My featured music this week is a new song from Sidewalk Prophets—Come to the Table. I love this song so much. It’s a beautiful reminder we’re all sinners who have to lay ourself down before we can be free. Some may say it’s a call to church while I agree that could fit, I believe the journey starts in your heart before you reach the church doors. This song’s a call to take that step of surrender that leads to walking in the Sprit. A step that can be taken by those already in church (over and over) or those new to church. It’s an invitation to start down the path that leads to our Father’s arms. The ultimate goal of this Trial to Love Life. Hope you enjoy!
I appreciate all of you who have asked about my blog and mentioned that you missed reading my posts this summer while I took some time off to chase kids, polish my manuscript, and pray about the direction of this blog. Your encouragement and prayers mean more than you know.
I also want to offer a special thank you to Inspirational romance author, Sharon K. Connell, who has shared several of my devotional posts with her readers. Here’s a link to her website if you’d like to sign up for her monthly newsletter. My devotion, Bloom in Season, will be featured this month.
Have a blessed week!