Journal Entry ~ 10/01/17

1 Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! 
2 Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble 
3 and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.  - Psalm 107:1-3

“Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble”. So we’re learning that we're supposed to speak our thanks to God for His steadfast love *out loud*, but we read that we're supposed to do it when *we have been rescued from trouble*.  The kind of thanksgiving referred to in this psalm, the kind of gratitude that makes us cry out to God for His goodness in the way this psalmist did, it only comes after we have been redeemed from trouble. That means in order to know this level of thanksgiving, we need to be in trouble. Since God wants us in this place of worship, He wants us to know this level of gratitude, He’s going to allow certain things in our lives to get us here. We can’t be rescued from trouble if we’re not in trouble, but we also can’t be moved to a place where we understand the depth of God’s love for us and His rescue for us until we are deep within a problem we can’t solve. We are problem solvers by nature, and if we’re in a problem that *we* can solve, we will never recognize our need for a Savior.  God allows problems into our lives that take us beyond our ability to solve them, so that we cry out to Him for rescue because it is in those moments of deliverance that we truly experience and appreciate His great love for us. For our hearts to truly get to a place of receiving His gift of undeserved favor, we need to be at the end of ourselves. We need to be up to our necks in a problem we can’t solve. He had to get us to that place for our salvation, the hard reality is He needs to take us back there each step of our sanctification. There is still so much of ourselves left in our hearts - He wants to root every last bit of it out. 

My life is a story of these moments of rescue. He has walked with me into some deep and difficult trials to show me His faithfulness and His power to rescue me. Every single one of them I walked into fighting with Him, wrestling against His desire for me to grow, looking for a way to rescue myself; and every single time, He holds me there until I stop fighting and recognize my need for Him to rescue me from my circumstances. He shows up in the most amazing ways to allow me to see His love never gives up, to give me Hope that never fails, and to demonstrate His victory over the enemy. You see, it’s in those moments of rescue that He will allow me to see some part of my heart that I still haven’t submitted to Him, some idol I still have, some prideful sin I’m still hiding....none of which I would see if I had not been held down for a little while. I surrender, and His love washes over me, His strength and His comfort overwhelm me, and His peace overtakes me. He rescues me. We’re all so busy in this world running around creating and fixing our problems, we don’t stop long enough to see what He’s trying to show us...so He will hold us in our troubles until we can see.  

I am so deeply thankful for these stories in my life, my heart is filled with gratitude toward my King in this trial because I personally know His faithfulness and His rescue. I can face this cancer diagnosis because I am intimately aware of His grace and His rescue from trouble in my life. We only know that grace when we have been personally rescued. While listening to others tell their stories can be very encouraging, and an important part of growing our faith, we only truly know the rescue when we have experienced it. I know my God well enough to know He has something beautiful on the other side of this diagnosis for me and for the people who are walking this path with me because He has demonstrated that over and over to me. That confidence brings me such peace and such hope as I take another step. It doesn’t mean I’m not afraid as I walk into chemo treatments this week, but it does mean I am confident His plan for me in this is for good. 

Press on ~ you are loved 💗

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