I've exercised two days in a row now, and oh my, my muscles are screaming at me! But it's such a good pain. Exercising really does something for your mental health as well as your physical health. Somehow, I've even been inclined to try and eat healthier as well and bought some fruit to make smoothies!
|1 frozen banana|
2 large strawberries
Handful of spinach
2 heaping spoonfuls plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup milk (or enough to thin)
Combine in blender and enjoy!
I hope this month will jumpstart a new lifestyle for me of exercising regularly and taking care of my body.
I've listened to three sermons by John Piper over the last 3 days - all related to suffering. I really enjoyed today's message. I've shared with you before the Shane and Shane song "Though You Slay Me" in which they inserted an excerpt from a Piper sermon called "Do Not Lose Heart". I chose to listen to that particular one today, and I feel so blessed by it.
He preached on the passage of Scripture from 2 Corinthians 4:16-18.
"So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away,
our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight
momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory
beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen
but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are
transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal."
A few things really jumped out at me.
1. "our inner nature is being renewed day by day."
God created us in such a way that we need to be renewed every single day.
The fact that we need renewing means that our bucket leaks everyday.
Everyday we fade. Everyday we get depleted.
I can't run today's life on yesterday's newness!
In Matthew 6:34 Jesus tells us that each day has enough trouble of its own. And Lamentations 3:21 tells us that His mercies are new every morning. Today has its troubles, and today has its mercies. Tomorrow will have its troubles, and tomorrow will have its mercies!
Why did God set it up in such a way that I have to be renewed every single day?
To show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to myself! (2 Cor. 4:7)
2. PAY ATTENTION to the "because's" and "therefore's" in Scripture!
SO (therefore) we do not lose heart (v. 16). Anytime you see the word "so" or "therefore" check out what came before it! There is a reason we do not lose heart!
FOR (because) this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory (v. 17). Anytime you see the word "for" or "because" check out the text around it! THIS IS THE REASON we do not lose heart!
I did a little more research around the text of these verses and found many reasons why we do not lose heart in the face of trials and suffering. Here they are...
- I am a jar of clay - I was created to crack and leak in order for God's glory and power to be displayed (2 Cor. 4:7)
- I'm not supposed to be able to handle this on my own (2 Cor. 1:9)
- I will not be crushed - by God's power (2 Cor. 4:8)
- I will not be driven to despair - by God's power (2 Cor. 4:8)
- I will not be forsaken - by God's power (2 Cor. 4:9)
- I will not be destroyed - by God's power (v. 9)
- The life of Jesus will be shown in my life through this (vv. 10-11)
- I will be raised with Jesus and brought into His presence (v. 14)
- God is glorified (v. 15)
- I am being prepared for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison (v. 17)
- I look to the unseen, to the eternal (v. 18)
God is my strength.
He has the surpassing power.
He is glorified.
He has greater things planned that I can't see right now.
If I do not look to what is seen, which is really hard, I will not lose heart. But the very second I allow my focus to settle on the fact that I lost my mom. My mom is gone. My mom won't be with me in the delivery room someday. I can't call my mom. I can't text my mom. I won't see my mom in her office at work anymore. I can't hear my mom's voice. The very second I focus on these things - I lose heart. But the very second I focus on the unseen, that God has a greater purpose and that His surpassing power is at work within me and that He is preparing for me an eternal weight of glory that is beyond all comparison... I will not lose heart.
This doesn't mean that I will never miss her.
This doesn't mean that I will never be sad.
This doesn't mean that the hole in my heart is gone.
This doesn't mean that I'm perfectly okay.
But what it does mean, is that my joy can never be stolen because my hope is not placed in anything here on this earth. My hope and my joy are found in Christ. This earth is temporary. These trials are light and momentary in comparison to eternity and the joy we will experience there.
Last thing! Here are a couple resources Piper mentioned in the sermon I listened to yesterday (That We Might Gain Christ). I haven't read these books yet, but I plan to and wanted to share them with anyone who might be walking through a difficult season. And if you have read either of them, I would love to hear from you what you think about it!
|Click here to purchase|
|Click here to purchase|
Okay, I think that's all for today! Thank you for your prayers!
"This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it."