The pain and horror of death is not fully realized until you understand the life you have forfeited. Jesus in the last hours of His life knew the glory of heaven that He had given up, for our sake, and the darkness He had chosen.
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)
“Give thanks to the Lord for He is good and His love endures forever.” Psalm 136:1
This is my go to verse whenever I get anxious about life. I paint it on every memory. I repeat it over all my tomorrows. I breathe it for every breath. Then with thanksgiving I praise God for coming and dying for me that I might say it with confidence.
Psalm 103:2 Praise the Lord, O my soul and forget not all His benefits— The Lord turns my darkness into light. (2 Sam. 22:29) He forgives all my sins. He heals all my diseases. (Psalm 103:3) He redeems my life from the pit and crowns me with love and compassion. (Psalm 103:4) He fills my life with good things (Psalm 103:5) It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect (2 Sam. 22:33) You give me Your shield of victory; You stoop down to make me great. (2 Sam.22:36) Yes, praise the Lord, O my soul for He treats me with loving kindness. Not as I deserve. (Psalm 103:10)
At the time of Last Supper Jesus announced: The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born. Matthew 26:24
Judas walked with Jesus. He talked with Jesus. He witnessed the miracles of Jesus. He was chosen by Jesus. Yet he betrayed Jesus and ran off in shame. In trying to undo what he had done, he turned away from God’s grace in Jesus and punished himself.
Peter walked with Jesus. He talked with Jesus, He witnessed miracles by Jesus He was chosen by Jesus. Yet he betrayed Jesus 3 times and ran off in shame. In time, Peter humbly turned from his failure to receive God’s grace in Jesus.
The difference between them is Peter chose to humble himself, and Judas chose to punish himself.
Woe to those who refuse to admit their need. Ignoring the cross, where Christ did bleed. Bemoaning their failure, counting their dross. Too proud to bow before the cross. This eulogy of the forlorn… Better off to had never been born.
There is something more terrible than all your shame, and that is trying to live with it.
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23:6
Forever? A word for never ending. Forever is about what’s ahead not what’s behind. Oh, the marvelous thought of dwelling in the God’s goodness and love forever— forever changes today. The secret for a good today is reminding yourself of the Lord’s goodness and love inhabiting all your tomorrows… forever.
“When we’ve been there ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun.” Forever in Jesus changes our vision of the past. The panorama of forever will be of God’s goodness and love. “Amazing Grace,” I hope you will sing along. “We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise then when we first begun.”
God opposes the proud , but gives grace to the humble. 1 Peter 5:5
Humility is an overlooked essential ingredient in grace.
Without humility, you do not know your desperate need for God’s forgiveness. You remain in denial. – “I’ve done pretty well with my life.”
Without humility, the shame of your life keeps you from grace because you don’t deserve it. – “How could God forgive the unforgivable?”
Without humility, you will not accept God’s grace because you won’t submit to the authority of Jesus in your life. – “I want to be in control.”
Without humility, you’ll want to somehow earn God’s grace. – “I’ve never taken anything I didn’t earn.”
God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:8-19 NLT
You can’t generate humility. Even here you have to ask for God’s help.
If you have been distraught over recent events, it is time for a hope checkup. It starts with a sober, honest evaluation of where your heart is.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21
Where is your treasure? Your hope? Is it in some political outcome, social situation, or economic recovery? Only when we admit our hope is misplaced can humbly come before God and ask for forgiveness and put your hope in the Lord Jesus.
The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light.But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! Matthew 6:22-23
Having your hope in anything other than the Lord will cloud your vision and fill you with darkness.
Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken. Psalm 62:5-6
You can ask God for assistance on this. He would love to help.
Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. Psalm 42:11
All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:16
Truth and assurance for the past year and for this coming New Year. Coupled with “Give thanks to the LORD for He is good and His love endures forever.” My heart rejoices in God my savior and the days He has given me.