God did not become flesh to tolerate us or because he felt sorry for us. He came to sacrifice Himself unconditionally in place of us.
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13)
We can look to God as a friend — and he is. But Jesus Christ came to sacrifice himself for those who rejected, despised, and turned their backs. Even for those who called him friend.
God had every right to look down upon us to instill fear. Instead, he looked up to us lying in a manger.
God had every right to look down upon us to instill obedience. Instead, he looked straight into our eyes while hanging on a cross.
God’s Word looks directly into the eyes of our hearts. He exposes our sins. He displays our need. He extends his hand. During this time of grace, God does not turn his back even when we turn our back to him.
Guilt perceives an angry God. Forgiveness points to what Christ has done. God’s forgiveness is not dependent at all on our worthiness, but takes us as we are.
“Lord, I come before you today to grasp a hold of who you are even though you have already taken a hold of me. I remain in your grasp and desire to call you friend. By the power of your forgiveness, I desire to forgive others. I also realize that the ability to forgive and forget can be dependent upon my ability to forgive myself. Wash away the stains of guilt that plague my trust in your promises. Renew me in your grace and love. Amen.”
Plans will always succeed when they are committed to God’s will. Our plans always bring God great pleasure when they involve him. Most of the time, what we think is best does not correspond with what God thinks is best. We just can’t fathom how our plans effect others. But, we trust that God does. For this reason, we commit our plans into his hands because he always brings about the best results.
After waiting patiently, Abraham received what God promised to him. (Heb 6:15) And it was worth the wait. He was blessed and he became a blessing to countless others. Perhaps that ought be our prayer. Not expect God to bless what we desire, but that we can be a blessing to others. And since God has the grand design in mind, he knows how we can best do that.
“Lord, Jesus. I thank you for listening to my prayers, my desires, my plans, and my heart. But I want you to know that I want your will and not my own. I trust that you always have the big picture and always know what is best. And if your will and desire causes me pain or disappointment, I will accept that. Because that is what’s best for me and I can be a blessing to others. Thank you, Lord. Amen.”