Thursday, August 29, 2013

All the single ladies...put your hands up!

Yep. I just said that. 

I want to talk to the single women I know. I want to share hope with you and remind you of truth. These truths and these promises of God are not just for single women or single men- or for married women or married me- or for children or elderly. These truths and promises are for every adopted son and daughter of God. And they're powerful.

But right now- I'm talking specifically to single women.

We live in a Christian culture that sometimes fears that elephant in the room. The elephant being the fact that there are so many dang single people, and the age of those singles is getting higher. Somewhere along the way, desiring marriage automatically became an idolatry issues. Somehow we've missed the fact that marriage is instituted by God for His glory and our good. It's a beautiful gospel representation. It is GOOD. It is to be desired. Don't place that desire above your desire to know Him and don't allow it to breed discontentment. But if that desire is birthed out of godliness, please feel no shame in that. It is a good desire.

Singleness is hard- I know. And that's okay that it's hard. Hear me when I say that- it's ok. It's okay that there are nights that are so hard you don't know what else to do but cry out to God. Continue to do that. Cry to Him. Plead with Him. Confess your fears to Him. Ask Him for the things you desire. He longs to hear you. It's okay that you're lonely. The Lord oftentimes uses loneliness to create a deeper intimacy, and that is a beautiful thing. Confess your loneliness to Him and watch as He moves in powerful ways. It's okay that you feel weak when you see a godly man serving the Lord. Praise God there are godly men to be an example of His work. Thank the Lord for that. Thank Him that your heart hasn't been hardened or jaded by the world. Lay those feelings as His feet and allow Him to care for your heart. It's okay that your heart stings with each new wedding you're a part of. There is a really hard- but beautiful - sanctification that plays out in those moments. Don't miss the opportunities to rejoice with your sisters as they rejoice. In that, you will get the chance to share the selfless love of Christ. And it's worth it. 

Open your Bible. Read these following truths found in Scripture and allow the Lord to speak to you. Listen to His voice and be warmed by His love and care. 
  • You are known. [Psalm 139. Isaiah 49:15-16. Psalm 31:14-15. Psalm 56:8. Psalm 73:23-26. Lamentations 3:31-33. ]
  • You are loved. [Isaiah 53-54. Psalm 32:7. Psalm 59:16-17. Psalm 100. Romans 5:8. Zephaniah 3:17. Romans 8:31-39]
  • You are desired. [Isaiah 55:1. Psalm 27:10. Matthew 11:27-30. Galatians 4:1-7. 1 Peter 2:9-10.]
  • You have purpose. [Acts 17:24-28. 2 Corinthians 5:11-21. Psalm 16:11. Psalm 30:11-12.]
  • You are heard. [Psalm 5:3. Psalm 9:9-10. Psalm 34:18. Psalm 63:5-8. Psalm 116:1-2. Romans 8:26.]
In your struggle and in your wrestle, don't lose sight of the beauty of knowing Him and making Him known. There is no greater joy. In your pain and in your loneliness, don't become selfish. Take your eyes off of yourself and seek to serve the body of Christ. Find younger women who are also struggling and comfort them with the same comfort you've been given. (2 Corinthians 1) Don't ever forget the grand story you've been invited into. It's much bigger than you and your singleness. Praise God He hears and knows- these are beautiful truths. Take those truths and pour the gospel into others. I pray you would confidently say:

I have tasted and seen, God, that You are good...
[Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Psalm 34:8]

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

He is sweeter.

How sweet all at once it was for me to be rid of those fruitless joys which I had once feared to lose!...You drove them from me, You who are the True, the Sovereign Joy. You drove them from me and took their place,You who are sweeter than all pleasure.

I have to daily remind myself of these things. He is better. He is better. He is better. So often I chase the things of this world, believing that somehow they will satisfy a deep longing in me. They won't. They can't. They were never meant to. I was hardwired and designed to give my life for something and Someone much greater than myself and my small world. Romans 1 says men serve and worship the creation, rather than the Creator. When I lean upon the temporary pleasures of this world to satisfy me, or fill some void in me, that's exactly what I'm doing. I'm committing an act of treason before the King of Kings.

How much happier you would be, how much more of you there would be, if the hammer of a higher God could small your small cosmos. 
GK Chesterson

He's not a means to an end. He's the end.

We get God. If that's not enough, then that journey isn't for you. I get God. I get to commune with, converse with, and walk in love with the Creator of the Universe. How incredible is that? How unreal...we say it so easily, but think about it. The very One who created (and sustains) all your cells to perfectly work in your body...the One who created gravity, so this world just doesn't collapse...that same One who created everything out of nothing - that awesome, incredible God. He wants me. He sought me out. He bought me. He paid His life for me. He chose me. He made us to bring Himself glory and give us the greatest joy imagineable. It's in a life of worship unto Him that we find the deepest and greatest intimacy and joy. 

God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him. 
John Piper

He drives away those fruitless joys of this world and replaces them with Himself. He is far better, my friend. He is so much better. C.S. Lewis says, "If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world." As adopoted sons and daughters, we were not made for this world. We were made for eternity with our Father, our King of Kings, our Lord of Lords, our Maker and Redeemer, our Savior and Friend. While we sojourn in this world, let us praise Him. Let us speak of Him and share Him with the nations. Let us NOT keep this hope within us! Let us walk in joy and walk in life so that the world knows Him.

He is sweeter than all pleasure.

You were created to live for something vastly bigger than you and only grace can make you willing and able. You were hardwired to live for God, so even though you may not be aware of it, every good or bad thing you do today has verticality to it. Remember that every physical, situational, relational glory you'll experience today is meant to point you to the glory of God.
Paul David Tripp