Me Vs. the World.

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If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? … No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  Romans 8: 31-37 

From Emma Liddle 

I had an epiphany a couple weeks ago. And it wasn’t necessarily a nice epiphany. It was one of those epiphanies where I realized I wasn’t doing so good, and I needed to make some changes in my life and my attitude.

Someone had made a comment about the way I had reacted to some information (namely, info and words from God, which makes this even more of a problem). My reaction said something like unbridled hatred and anger. When I talked to my husband about it later, he said my reaction had come from disappointment and feelings of hopelessness, but that ultimately it had roots in a kind of hatred. He was quick to say that it seemed I had worked through all this, but that “hate look” had probably been the impression I gave off.

I didn’t like this, but I kind of knew it was true.

I don’t want to be an angry and hateful person (I don’t really think anyone particularly wants to be this way). So I mulled over why this happened, where it came from, what went wrong along the way. After all: it’s not like feeling disappointed is in itself a bad thing, and neither is feeling anger. But hopelessness and bitterness and hatred are bad. What caused that shift, exactly?

That was easier to figure out: it was a defense. I was putting up armor, attempting to protect  myself by reacting and taking an offense stance at the same time. I have probably done this all my life. When I am angry, hurt, or feel like I’m in danger, I make like a porcupine: I attempt to protect myself and take down whatever it was that might have caused this problem in the first place. Somehow, this feels safe and somewhat proactive. I’m not going to take it lying down; I’m going to lash out, get my revenge, inflict some damage. I don’t do this consciously; it’s a reaction, it’s a reflex. But that doesn’t make it okay.

What I realized, though, was that this method of protection is a good way to distance people, become a bitter and angry person all around, and still manage to not actually solve any problems.

It basically communicates: “It’s me against the world.”

And isn’t that the real problem? We can often feel like it’s us against the world, especially when things don’t go our way, and it seems like the solution is to flex claws and scratch the world’s eyes out. We think it’s up to us; we have to fight for our lives.

In Joshua 8, God says to Joshua not to be afraid, and that He will deliver the city into Joshua’s hands. And in Romans 8, Paul reassures us that God is on our side; that through Him, and through HIs love, we are more than conquerors. It’s not us against the world, as it turns out. Certainly, life will continue to happen, things will continue to break and not go as expected or hoped, because this world is broken and damaged. But we aren’t at this alone: God is in this fight with us.

It’s us and God vs. the world.

And the odds in this fight are certain: while there will be punches and low-blows, we don’t have to cower and raise our quills. The fight belongs to God, and we don’t need to resort to desperate attempts to hurt others as much as we’re hurting on our way out. We instead can find healing, comfort, and victory in the knowledge that the end is certain, and it is good.

(I know: this is about last week’s topic/message. I meant to get it up last week, but life happened, and it didn’t get posted. But it still works for this whole Courage Message Series anyhow!)

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