Perpetuating the illusion

Life isn’t about what your circumstances are, but who you become despite your circumstances. That’s something I’ve been sharing with you this week.

As a part of that we’ve spent time with Romans 5:3-4 (ESV) where Paul says that “suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope…”

But then in verse 5 he writes this: “God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

One of the implications of this is that if you’re a follower of Jesus, your strength doesn’t come from you. It comes from God himself!—from the Holy Spirit who has been given to you! 

Here’s the thing. When things are going well, you live under the illusion that you’re managing fine by yourself, thank you very much. But it’s often not until things start to fall apart that the illusion of self-sufficiency shatters and you call out to God for the help that only he can give.

This past weekend I was privileged to hear a talk from (and have a chat with) Shaila Visser, the national director of Alpha Canada. One of the things she said was that “suffering and struggles make you rely on God.” Why? Because difficult circumstances break the illusion that you can control, manage and solve every problem by yourself.

Overwhelming difficulty reveals the overwhelming reality that only God can help. 

So what are you struggling with? If you’re perpetuating the illusion that you can control, manage and solve every problem by yourself, you’re not doing yourself any favours. Remember this truth from Romans 5: “God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

Overwhelming difficulty reveals the overwhelming reality that only God can help. 

By Matthew Ruttan

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