Strength to Endure and Thrive
Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.
Jesus wants me to know something. The reason my self-control runs out and my will power isn’t sufficient is because those are based on my strengths; it’s a measure of the best I can do, and it is never ever enough. The reason spouses leave each other, parents abandon children, and elderly end up in homes is because our human capacity for love and compassion isn’t enough.
But Jesus also wants me to know something else. The strength and power he makes available to me isn’t so I can just endure. Lots of people can just endure because of our varying capacities. But, Jesus wants me to rely on him so I can not only endure but THRIVE! Lots of people endured Hitler’s concentration camps, but Cory Ten Boom and her sister endured AND THRIVED during their stay because of their hope in Jesus.
...will produce much fruit... That’s thriving not just merely existing.
For the Believer in a loveless marriage, raising ungrateful kids, or taking care of ageing parents - don’t just exist, don’t just endure, don’t rely on your own will power and strength because we don’t have enough. We must simply tell Jesus how much we love him and fill our hearts up with his Word. Pray and believe. Filling my heart with Jesus makes him seep out of me; it changes who I am and what I can do. He gives us not only the desire but also the ability to do the good we want to do (Philippians 2:13). Filling our hearts with the JOY of belonging to Jesus gives us strengths and abilities we’ve never had before. The joy of the Lord IS our strength! (Nehemiah 8:10)
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank you so much for your Holy Spirit actively working inside my heart to make me more like you inside and out! Thank you for giving me joy. Thank you for your strength. I am so happy to be able to thrive and have joy and strength regardless of the bank account, relationship struggles, political messes, and any and all other circumstances beyond my control. I love giving you access to my heart so that you can change my life every single day. I love you and thank you and pray in your name. Amen.