The Bible tells us that all have sinned and gone their own way. No matter how far you’ve gone in the wrong direction, however, when you turn around God always welcomes you back. Are you living beyond your means? Have you given in to the world of internet pornography? Maybe you’re failing your wife and kids, crushing them with your anger or solitude. Is your free time filled with television or video games?
God is ready to welcome you back. His arms are open, and his promises are sure–he will transform your worst failures into a blessed future, if you’ll ask him to.
There is hope for you. God is gracious and will forgive you, no matter what you’ve done or failed to do. He will even turn your past around and create a new life’a life of hope, peace, and ongoing relationship with him. But you have to take the first step. It’s a paradox of our faith: seek God and He will find you! Whether it’s the first time you’ve sought Him or you have strayed over and over, He’s there with His arms wide open!
As you travel the long, difficult road that God’s calling you to walk, you must bear a cross. That cross represents the burdens you bear as a follower of Christ. But the way of the cross always leads to resurrection and a new life.
As God leads you to do his will you may wish there were some other way. You may feel fear, a lack of confidence, deep anguish, and a host of other emotions that threaten to stop you in your tracks. Regardless of your feelings, you mustn’t let them cause you to turn away from the path God sets before you.
Jesus understands your fears and your struggle to persevere. He had similar emotions. The night he was arrested, he cried out, ‘My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death’ (Matthew 26:38). He wondered if there was some other way and prayed three times for the suffering to be taken away, if possible. But he always ended his prayer, ‘Yet I want your will, not mine’ (Matthew 26:39). Jesus found the grace to accept God’s plan.
You may be overwhelmed as you consider the cross you’ll have to bear on the way to a new life. But during such times of struggle, you can go to Jesus for encouragement and express your deepest emotions. As you cry out for help, you can be confident that you will be given the strength you need to do God’s will rather than your own.
Life often seems unfair, doesn’t it? Because of this many men conclude God is unreasonable in his demands. This is what a man named Job thought. As you probably remember Job was a man who lost his all of his children, his wealth, his health, and his reputation.
In the midst of his suffering, Job cried, ‘How frail is humanity! How short is life, and how full of trouble! Like a flower, we blossom for a moment and then wither. Like the shadow of passing cloud, we quickly disappear. Must you keep an eye on such a frail creature and demand an accounting from me? Who can create purity in one born impure?’ (Job 14:1-4).
That’s a good question’one that most of us have asked in one form or another. Job persisted in his questioning because deep inside he believed God to be good, even though he was suffering terribly. He was honest with his emotions and questions, but he never stopped seeking God.
Are you suffering? Have you lost someone you love? Have you received bad news from the doctor? Lost your home or job? While working through the pain and unfairness of life, you may have to be satisfied with trusting God, even though you simply don’t understand. But be assured’if you trust God and seek him in the hard times, your good Father will respond with blessing and faith.