Hope. But hope well, fixed in this conviction,
Fixed within the grasp that cannot falter.
Grasp the truth, this holy benediction:
Holy hope will meet you at the altar.
My life doesn’t look like I thought it would at this point. I’m learning to be thankful for that.
I feel the pain but cannot find the benefit.
The path I would have chosen seemed a better fit.
Yet tests portend the sacrifice. I see my wraith
Point to my cross and call me to walk forth by faith.
Faith does not promise answers, bids me follow still;
Points past my understanding to the Father’s will;
Grounds hope not in the knowing but in being known;
Endures uncertainty certain of heaven’s throne.
Faith fixes focus not on the ephemeral
But finds eternal joy within the temporal.
It lays aside success and loss for higher gain
And trusts the one who gives and takes to justly reign.
Obedience bids me to die to self in this,
To trust the process in this brief parenthesis.
The work you do is good, as it shall always be.
Steadfast unto perfection is the course for me.
What draws people to fear? Continue reading
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in [pursuit] of a [seminary education] must be in want of a wife.”
Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (slightly adjusted)
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Success is measured not in thought alone,
Nor victory in mind’s imagining.
Accomplishment is not emotion shown.
Fulfillment ne’er forsakes the offering.
But faith is evidenced by faithful deeds,
By empty pockets and by calloused hands.
It proves itself in prayer, in meeting needs,
In bringing light and love to darkened lands.
It stands against this present apathy
And challenges the heart of selfishness.
If Christ was crushed for sin instead of me,
Then let me never speak but to confess.
True faith compels me to apply the Word
And testify to Christ till all have heard.
Cleanse me lest I perish, Lord.
Purify my lep’rous skin.
Break these hands that hurt and horde.
Save me from the curse of sin.
Tame this tongue that tears apart.
Wreck this will that seeks its own.
Now ignite my lifeless heart.
[Present death, be overthrown.]
Turn your sword upon my soul.
Sever the deceiver’s hold.
Have in me the full control.
Shatter visions of fool’s gold
Till I learn to follow Thee,
Walking in your righteous way.
Grant me, Lord, the eyes to see.
I surrender all today.
Let me learn to love your voice.
Help me look to things above.
Save me from the selfish choice.
Show me how to walk in love.
Lead me in the way of truth.
Break me from the idol’s hold.
Keep me from the lusts of youth.
Make me, for your kingdom, bold.
Help me keep my vision clear.
Make me humble, meek, and pure.
Help me know that you are near.
Let me, for your name, endure.
Make me always quick to give.
Let me ever testify.
Teach me how to truly live.
Teach me how to truly die.
Have you ever read something that made you second guess your level of devotion to the Lord? I recently started reading through The Journals of Jim Elliot, and I’ve started wondering if I even know the Lord at all. Ok, that’s probably an exaggeration. But Elliot’s heart for God, his concern for holiness, and his bold prayers challenge my weak faith. He follows a simple model in journaling: he simply reads a chapter in Scripture, finds a point of application, and then prays for growth in godliness. His method isn’t complicated. Even the youngest Christian can follow his format. And yet, by his simple faith and obedience, Elliot models a vibrant walk with the Lord. I’m currently reading through his thoughts on Exodus (which have been incredibly sobering), and I’ve found myself speechless before his testimony. As I was reading through his journal entries, one entry in particular struck me.