Nothingness, Pretenses & the Gospel

the-gospelLife has been full to the brim – and I need to remember these words shared here before.

Morning dawns early, breaking the rest of the weary and another day stretches before; a day that will play out much like the day before, which is very much like the day before it. The commonplace days.

A day with more questions than answers. A day of just trying to make it through. A day of heart hurts and weariness. A day of inadequacies and struggles.

A day of hiding it all. Layering it under masks of pettiness and pretenses – all the while growing more distant from the people that love you – from the One that loves you.

I have seen this heartbreaking scenario more times than I wish … feeling like nothing and yet not feeling like that is ok and so hiding it under the lie of “everything is ok.”

But the truth is – we don’t need to hide anything. We have such freedom in Christ, in His glorious gospel, and it is enough to strengthen us to face the trials of each day. We don’t have to be or do anything – He has done it all.

If the gospel of Christ has the power to take us from death into life, how much more power should it then have in holding us secure in the knowledge of our right standing with the holy God? There should be joy, because we are His. There should be confidence in getting through the day, because He is faithful.

1-cor-1 1 Corinithians 1:18 – “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (esv)

The message of the cross is either foolishness or the power of God. It is as simple as that. The gift of salvation we have been given through the Lord Jesus Christ doesn’t end with our sins being paid for – it is the beginning of a beautiful relationship that God desires to have with us.

The gospel of Christ is life changing, and desperately needed – we never outgrow our need for the gospel.

I send her a message, weary and worn out from the days struggles – “I can’t do this”. She writes back “I’m praying” and some simple gospel verses.
We need to be reminded that it is in His strength we can face the day.

Friends have whispered fearful confessions; “I don’t like my children right now” and that makes my heart happy, because we aren’t called to like people and the honest truth is we can’t like everyone and acknowledging the honest truth is so good. We are called to love, and love is a matter of choice. We may not like them, but we know we love them and that we can love them because He first loved us. And eyes fill with tears at the truth of it all. Mama’s need the gospel.

There are real worries about jobs, and money, and bills – but we have the peace and security of knowing our sins have been paid for. The satisfaction of knowing He is our loving heavenly Father. The responsibility to be wise stewards with that which He blesses us with. We are called to be thankful, and in being thankful we can see the little blessings that reassure us of His loving care.

There are confessions of inadequacies. “I am not good enough.” “I can’t be enough.” “I can’t do enough.” “I am nothing.” And the truth is we need Him to purpose our days. “I am not enough … but He is.”

We feel our humanity, our nothingness, but rather than hide them under pretenses we should take them to the One who loves us – ask Him to help us. We can see His strength through our own weakness.

The gospel allows us to be weak and truthful about our own abilities (and inabilities).


“Perhaps we are allowed to feel our nothingness, so that we may in the depths of our heart understand (these) words ‘Without Me ye can do nothing.'” – Amy Carmichael

We are told to “be still and consider the wondrous works of the Lord” and to “run the race with endurance” – be still and run! What confusing imagery. And yet what beautiful symmetry. It is through the very act of being still and considering the wondrous works of the Lord that we are then able to run with endurance – for it is through Him we are able to do all things, and apart from Him we are nothing.

Through a daily consideration of the gospel we grow in our understanding of what is ours in Christ. We see not our own abilities (or inabilities) and performance but what He has done and continues to do. We see what He has perfectly completed – the glorious exchange of God becoming man to dwell among us so that we might dwell with God.

We never arrive at a state of not needing Christ. Martin Luther wrote, “To progress is always to begin again.” We need to come back, over and over, to the finished work of Christ at Calvary. To consider what He has done for us and who we are in Him. 

cs-lewisIn conclusion, as C.S. Lewis so eloquently stated  “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”

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