Are you stressed? overwhelmed? fearful? The incredible promises of peace in God’s word are for YOU. Unfortunately, even though we know this, there is often a disconnect between what we know and what we do; a disconnect between what we want and what we’re actually experiencing. God has promised us peace; we want peace, we need peace — but we’re not getting it. Why? What can we do to get it? Listen to this sermon by my late father, Pastor Mike Ellis, to find out how to be blessed with peace.
We like control. We crave control. Our first reaction when life starts to spin is find a way to fix it. Control. Manage it. Control. And when we can’t fix it, and can’t manage it, we block it out and begin to focus on what we can control in the moment (or at least, what we think we’re controlling).
I have discovered that God doesn’t just “allow” pain – he uses it, on purpose, in each and every one of us. There are some lessons that cannot be learned through ease and comfort. And there are some things we’ll never change, some sin we’ll never forsake, until God uses pain to get our attention. Therefore, pain is not just inevitable; it is necessary.
Our response to pain reveals what we truly believe about God.
They all ran. For all the same reason. Sin.
They ran from the consequences of their sin.
They ran into the arms of sin.
And they left a trail of destruction behind them.
[Excerpt] Divorce begins before a couple is even married. Before a man and woman even exchange vows and rings, most marriages are already in decline. By the time a couple reaches the alter, they’ve already begun to take each other for granted, they’ve already begun to think marriage is going to make them (and keep them) happy. They already believe that it will be easy and effortless, that it will finally complete them. But these are all lies.
Marriage is hard, and a good marriage is even harder.
[Excerpt] Ruth Bell Graham said, “A good marriage is made up of two good forgivers.” What is forgiveness? It’s choosing to release someone from the obligation that resulted when they hurt you. It’s about humility. It’s about laying down your rights. It’s the opposite of taking, manipulating, and controlling. It doesn’t feel good. But it is good.
It’s time to stop placing your happiness in people. Stop manipulating to get what you want. Be determined to give, bless, and encourage. Don’t look out for yourself – look out for your husband. Sound impossible? That’s what grace is for. But in order to receive God’s grace, you have to be surrendered to God’s grace.
[EXCERPT] I’ve heard people comment that they feel like they’re already experiencing Hell here on earth. And to a point, I believe they are. But it’s only a taste… a foreshadowing. Covered up, but never warm. Never quite making out shapes or figures. Always waiting… but afraid of the light — or rather, what the light will expose. So we hide in fear, afraid to let anyone near, afraid to be real, afraid to be honest. We play the game and as a result become angry, anxious, or depressed.
But then suddenly, the pain of being in the darkness reaches a breaking point. We get tired of being controlled by fear, by the darkness. Suddenly the fear of the light isn’t as strong. Because with the light comes hope. We don’t have play a game any longer. We can just be real. Honest. To be us.
So we come to Jesus – we step out of the darkness and into the light. We let him see us as we are… in all our filth. And we let him wash us clean, and in response we follow Him in the light for the rest of our days. We’re now free.
Chapter 4: Lies Women Believe About Sin Day 3: Sin and Grace Lie #15: “God Can’t Forgive What I’ve Done.” Before we get too far down the road with this … Continue Reading God Can’t Forgive Me (LWB)