“With God, All Things Are Possible”
These words have shot right to me throughout my day. When they came across social media, I looked up from my couch into my dining room, and saw them there above the large wall mirror. I questioned if God was trying to tell me something.
If I were standing in the boxing ring of life, I would be covered in welts and bruises. Not only ones you can see on my body, but those deep within my heart and soul. Just beyond the red, blue, and purple evidence of a beating, would be scars that never disappear.
Shamed by the loss, my head drops, and my shoulders slump. I resemble a defeated fighter after the final round.
Life is not that gracious. It does not allow for a quiet, subdued retreat. When you believe the whipping has ended, over in the other corner is a whisper that says, “Get up, it’s coming around again.”
You stand up, raise your gloves in your fatigue, and listen for ‘ding, ding.’ Yet, it never comes.
I dream of peaceful and serene surroundings. That hasn’t been the case. While I struggle to keep the internal peace separate from this world, some days I fail. Unable to still the beating of my heart, my thoughts consume me. I cannot eat and breathing is a chore.
I am not alone. If you know this road, please remember, you’re not alone, either.
Together we navigate a world that leaves us perplexed and jaded. Cold to the point of bitterness, we carry on.
What creates this divide in my faith? Satan? Tiresome repeated circumstances? A false perception of overworked faith?
The temptation to give in to the anger, sadness, even defeat is heavy. The weight of merely thinking almost carries a fatal price. But God never leaves. When we throw off the armor to try and breathe, He comes and throws himself into our lungs.
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.1 Corinthians 10:13, ESV
Satan longs for us to question God. His hope is doubt, contempt, anger, and for each of us to turn our backs on the one who never does. For a brief second, maybe longer, we sit ravaged by the temptation to walk away. It is the temptation that breaks us down.
For all this world throws at us, God knows our ability to fight it. He ingrained it in our inner being long ago. He has to sit lonely and watch as free will plays serpent with our minds. Once our mind is infected with his deceit, the guilt and shame of our heart follows.
Once we begin to bargain for ourselves, we’ve lost the reality that Jesus already paid that price. To fathom his sacrifice is impossible. We cannot stand in His place to pay our debt, it has already been done.
Sin wants us to believe this is where the match ends.
“Turn around, walk away. He left you. You failed him. You are the spear in his side, the thorn in his brow, the puncture to his lung.”
Yet, even those who broke Him, were offered redemption. Did they accept?
Will we stop in our wallowing of self-pity to turn back? Are we victims, or has the death of Christ reigned over our lives as victorious? You cannot buy this victory, you cannot scheme through to repentance.
We can only cry out in confession, “Lord, I have sinned against you, in thought, word, and deed.”
And with a faint breath, shaky and unsure, we continue,
“I confess and repent. I walk away from my sin, from this evil temptation against you, and I lay this burden at YOUR feet. I surrender.”
And we rise.
For every temptation that leads to sin can be forgiven. Even the dirtiest and most unfathomable of sins has already been acknowledged. Our sin has been ransomed and paid. The debt of the world was bravely taken on by a single living soul.
Jesus died for each of us. He descended to the dead and has been where we will never have to go. He rose in triumph to go home with the Father. Where we will one day be. It is the story that saved man, the sacrifice for a lifetime, and the hope of every generation.
Whether you are being beaten in this moment or find yourself soothing the wounds, He has you in his arms. We run away while he still holds us. Turn back. Turn and face the truth.
Jesus Christ is alive!