What can you praise God about today?
In the past few days we’ve thought about what it means to trust God, and what we need to do to be saved – nothing, except to believe in Jesus. Sometimes people struggle with the idea that they need to be good enough. In our minds we have a sort of scale, with Hitler down at the bottom in the really, really bad pile, and Mother Teresa at the top, and Jesus just above. We might place ourselves somewhere in the middle. Some people try and try and try to be good enough, like Mother Teresa, and think that that is the way they can get to heaven. Paul says this is rubbish.
The thing is, while we were still sinners, Jesus died for us. No one in their right minds would die to save someone like Hitler (although Dietrich Bonhoeffer gave it a good shot – have a read about him here) And yet, Jesus died for us. We don’t have to be good enough – we can’t be good enough by ourselves. This is the thing about the Gospel – no matter who we are, no matter what we might have done, Jesus died so that we can be free.
Sometimes though, we might know that, and we might be going through a really tough time. It might feel like everything is falling down on top of us and that nothing we do is right for anyone here. Other bad things might be happening. Paul says that’s to be expected, and points out that suffering produces perseverance (the ability to keep going), perseverance, character and character produces hope. Even in the most terrible situations, God can bring good out. Suffering isn’t good or fun, but it can be good for us somehow, even if it might not feel like it at the time.
Lord God, thank you that you are capable of bringing hope even out of suffering and despair. Show us hope as we face x today. Thank you that you saved us just as we are. Amen.
If you’re struggling at the moment, find someone to chat to about it. If you’re not, who can you be a listening ear to?