“If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake you will save it.”
If I insist on my expectations and entitlements or things going a certain way for me to have a rich full life, I won’t have a rich full life. But I know where I can get a rich full life...
In John 10:10 Jesus said, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” I have noticed that trying to get a rich and satisfying life from circumstances or people steals my joy and kills my will. So it sounds like insisting on and getting caught up in all of those things serves the Enemy’s purpose, and, ironically, I won’t have what I think those things will give me.
But Jesus gives me a rich and satisfying life!
Doing more crunches to impress people with rock hard abs only leads to shame and self-loathing on the days I don’t do them. But NOTHING about Jesus leads to shame. And Jesus never provides guilt and shame. In fact, he takes them away! The following two verses say so:
1 John 1:9
But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.
And 1 John 3:20
Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings...
There’s nothing wrong with doing crunches, but if my joy is solely dependent upon my body type, my diet, my marriage, or my job... If I try and make a rich full life for myself out of these things, out of anything but Jesus, I will absolutely (and ironically) NOT have a rich full life. I will only know cycles of joy mixed with lots of disappointment.
But NO ONE has ever been disappointed for putting all of their hope, all of their trust, all of their lives in Jesus’ hands.
No one who trusts in you will ever be disgraced.
Dear Lord Jesus,
I want the rich and satisfying life that only comes from you and your love for me - not from what I do or what I have or what I think I want. You truly do not disappoint. I love all of the joy and peace in my heart that is the direct result of having a relationship with you. I am not looking to anything else today to give me joy. People and circumstances disappoint me, but YOU NEVER do. Help me not get caught in the trap of entitlements and expectations that do indeed steal, kill and destroy real joy. I love you and I thank you and I pray in your name. Amen.