Christian Ecstasy, Ineffable Joy, and Jesus the Lord

I feel the ineffable joy of the Lord running through my veins. It’s so powerful that tears are coming to my eyes. I can’t maintain it and I won’t try to. Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior, Messiah of my life, the Ruler of my decisions, and the reason for every ounce of hope I feel for my life and future. He is the reason oxygen comes in and out of my lungs properly. He enables my legs to walk and run, my body to relax while I sit and type this to you; the comfort of my apartment, and the ease of which these words come flying from my heart to the screen. He is the ultimate Lord of Lords and the Lion of Judah, and He has won my heart.

For many years I disbelieved in this God of the universe. Not anymore–in fact, not for many years now. But today, Jesus defines who I am and who I want to continue growing to become. He is the blood in my body and the words of my mouth. He is the lesson behind every mistake I’ve made and the answer to every question I have. Christ is the successor of my enemies and the clarity to my every doubt. With every tumble and fall, His are the hands that lift me up with strength, compassion, confidence, and reassurance.

I have sinned, rebelled, and thrown myself against the thought of God before, but today I hold my hands out to Him, praising Him for being my God! I glorify His name with my words and I try my best to do so with my actions. I still fall and make mistakes, but I believe God understands that I want to do better. He knows I feel humility once I gather myself and come back to Him, and He’s always there, ready to accept me again when I finally embrace that I am hopeless without Him. And I am completely, and utterly hopeless without God.

He created this Earth so that someone like me and you could take care of it, loving each other and ourselves the way He loves us. So many times I fall short, but I’m learning to do it better today, and I’ll keep trying tomorrow. May He help you do the same, and may you feel it in your heart, body, and soul. May He move your day to new heights and encourage you in ways your heart cannot contain in your body alone– may your body need to dance, jump, run– anything to let out the joy that is God inside of you! God purposely designed our cosmos to the trillionth of a degree so that absolutely everything was made possible for our survival. He makes this life as easy as it can possibly be, and allows us to choose what we will. That is a great, amazing, powerful, alrighty God! God made it possible for us to connect with Him through His son, whom He sent to die and resurrect for the hope of you and me, today!

Time is not an enemy because Jesus took the keys from the Devil himself; there is nothing that can separate us from God ever again. Never again will we be separated from God! Just admitting that feeds my soul the hope it needs: reassuring, reinvigorating hope. My words cannot contain the ecstasy of the reality and truth of that hope; I want to tell the world that Jesus is good, that God is good and that nothing could ever defeat God—not hate, anger, rage, disbelief, or even death. God has triumphed them all and will continue to conquer into eternity. There was hope yesterday, today, tomorrow, 100 years from now, and there was hope two thousand years ago when Jesus astonished the people who watched Him die by walking the Earth once again! The world killed God in the flesh, but they didn’t defeat Him; He is alive and thriving through each one of us through the Holy Spirit. He is exploding through the world, whether we’re listening, watching, or not. The sun shines for God, birds sing to God, the stars themselves have songs dedicated for God and God alone!

There is hope for tomorrow because we have a destination: Heaven. We do not know the day and time for that moment, but the day is coming when Jesus will be on the clouds of glory, shining in white–dazzling like the King we believe Him to be. He will wipe the Earth clean of sin and make it new again. Heaven is coming, and there will no longer be need to sing songs of a distant day because that day will be NOW.

Look to the skies, but keep living your life, because at any time Jesus will be coming back, and this time it won’t be in a manger: This time it will be on a white steed with authority! He will take care of every injustice and every sin, wiping rebellion and wrong-doing from the face of existence and into distance memory. Never again will we deal with death, agony, pain, misery, sadness, or loneliness. Never again the worry of paying rent, of letdowns, of others’ lack of control; of killing and war, disease and famine, or insomnia and disorder. There will only be blessings: life, hope, love, friendship, acceptance, peace, joy, happiness, freedom, beauty, laughter, and fullness. Jesus promises us what is to come and we are to hang onto the hope of His return until that day… and that day is coming.

I feel the hope of Jesus in me now, and I want to scream it into the world with exhilaration and ecstasy! If only those who don’t have Jesus yet could feel what I feel! If only unbelievers understood the blessing that is life in Christ. If others could feel the joy of hope of another day, believing in the hope of Jesus’ promises of returning in glory; of days with eternal bliss. This is only available through Jesus. There is no other hope of that kind of future, no reassurance in an afterlife so real as that of Heaven through Christ—our most humble, powerful, loving, justifying, blessed Lord and Savior. No other man ever fulfilled every prophecy, rising on the third day, and touching lives thousands of years after His ascension, as Jesus does.

My life has hit low notes and I have wished for death, but now I cannot feel anything but hope in the life that is to come. I want others to feel this–I want to share it, explain it, help others receive it–I want others to feel and experience what I am experiencing. I know this is real because I, too, once disbelieved in God with my whole being. I saw the world as empty and life as meaningless. But now I see God’s hands wrapped around our world with mighty strength, power, and authority. He’s coming soon, and He wants us to be ready to go up with Him!

Be prepared, be excited, be filled with joy, hope, and bliss! There is a day coming soon when Christ will embrace us physically and smile at us, face-to-face. Never again will you feel an ache in your body, exhaustion, or any form of letdown or disappointment. Never again will you “come home” and feel “done with life”. You will be filled with so much happiness you won’t understand how it’s even possible! May this hope fill you today as you look forward to what is next.

Jesus is our hope, our Redeemer, our King and Savior, Messiah and Lord. Glory be in His name, forever! Never stop hoping, because every promise will be fulfilled and every tear collected. A perfect life is coming when you will feel loved in ways you never fathomed possible. This is not a fantasy—this is Biblical prophesy! This is Truth, and it is God’s. He will come through, and He comes through in each of us as we allow the influence of the Holy Spirit to work through us.

May God bless you, encourage you, lift you, make His face to shine upon you, and bring you joy you cannot contain. He is for you; nothing can stand against you, you are already victorious! Live like it counts; with the confidence of the Lord in your heart. Witness life through His eyes and move mountains. He didn’t give us lies or false hopes to live under, He gave us Hope to strive for! Let’s live as if today is our last day because tomorrow we could be in Heaven with God Himself!

Be uplifted, readers. Jesus, our King, is returning. Praise the name above all names and glorify His love for you by loving others. May you feel unexplainable ecstasy as you show the world not vengeance, not repercussion, not bitterness or condemnation; but a loving ear, a kind word, a gentle smile, a genuine touch, a moment of your time to show the love of God to another who has yet to understand or experience the deep love of God. Jesus is alive in you and me, if you’ll believe in Him. If you don’t yet have Jesus in your heart, now is the perfect time to accept Him and receive His love for you. He loves you whether or not you believe in Him, but your eternal redemption lays at the hands of your faith. He wants to carry you to the side of life which thrives on Hope in Him; receiving His love and loving others in return. Allow God to reveal Himself to you, receive His Son’s gift of eternal life for you through His sacrifice on the cross, and show Him to the world–to the person on your right and left. He is always with you, even until the end of the age.

In Jesus name, amen!

Dramatic

Living In the Freedom of Trusting God

When are you most carefree? Is it when you’re out jogging? Watching a movie? Talking to a trusted friend? It seems the most important aspect of being carefree is being stressless. Finding the ability to feel stressless seems nearly impossible in today’s world, but I’d like to argue its viability. Let’s talk about this.

As a growing Christian, I understand that the stresses of my life are only stresses if I give them the weight that I could be giving something more productive and healthy. I think being careful is a good thing when it’s productive; making sure you didn’t leave the stove on before leaving home is a smart habit, right? As long as you don’t check 20 times before actually walking out the door. Likewise, it’s not a healthy habit to be so uptight about particular worries that we have to attend to 20 times per minute. There are much better places to put energy, and worry isn’t isn’t one of them.

The way that I would explain it is this. The attitude behind being carefree isn’t being careless, it’s just being aware without compulsion. Trusting ourselves is hard enough—so, how then, do we trust in God?

If you’re a Christian, you may understand that trusting in God is mostly difficult because we have a hard time surrendering our fears of losing control. Trust represents the hands holding the reins of control, and the hands holding those reins hold the power of our outcome. For the Christian who already believes in God and the sacrifice of His Son– Jesus–the problem is remembering, constantly, that it’s because of Jesus’ sacrifice that we have found Him trustworthy of holding the reins of our souls and futures. Imagine how much harder it is for the unbeliever to see this large-scale difference of perspective between us holding the reins of control out of fear of surrender, and the unbeliever holding onto the reins out of sheer blindness of disbelief in a God loving enough to guide their hearts and futures towards the Truth of that very love.

I sympathize for the unbeliever who chooses to see life as a sum of randomness and speculation. Jesus is either just some guy from an old book, or the Savior of humankind. For those who seem Him as the former, life is full of reasons not to place definitive trust in others, especially the concept of Supreme Being.

When I was an atheist years ago, I had placed a lot of trust in my parents, because there was nothing supernatural that I believed in trusting. Trusting in people without first trusting in God is like holding reins made of string; they just don’t hold the weight of that trust as auspiciously. There are people in this world worth putting trust into; there are some worth trusting our lives with. But not everyone. When we come from this angle, God is the very reason we are able to trust others by searching for the light of Christ in their hearts. We know that if the Savior of the world has inspired them to emulate His perfect example, that their hearts and actions are going to reflect the character of Jesus; unconditionally loving, forgiving, and “shrewd as a snake and innocent as a dove.”

Taken right from the mouth of Jesus, a Christian who believes in the will of God sees the purpose in both being evangelical in their spiritual disposition (that is, spreading the word of God to those receptive of the Good News of Jesus), while also being intuitive, careful, and wise in communicating with people aren’t ready to receive Him yet. For those of us looking for someone to trust, it’s much easier to trust someone who is already being careful of our receptivity than someone who is careless about their words, and thoughts–and whether or not their intentions are ossified with Jesus’ to express the love of God through their actions. Following this point, when you meet someone like this, you will know there is Someone worth trusting who transformed this person’s spirit into someone unconditional, forgiving–while shrewd and innocent–all at once. Isn’t that an amazing mix of qualities? How might you imagine someone like this would act if they encompassed all of these? I think they would exemplify Jesus, and show the way back to to the existence of the God who sent Him to save us from ourselves.

If you are having a hard time trusting in God, then consider how your life is without Him. Who or what do you put your trust in, if not God? How does this form of trust inspire you to live your life in a better way, or does this lack of trust make your life more stressful and less carefree?

Truly, I believe that placing our trust in God is going to help shape a future where we not only feel more carefree, but we also see the presence of Jesus living in others, which might hopefully inspire the unbelievers to see that in us. We can all be a light shining towards Christ, and we can all be reasons to trust in a God who inspires us to reflect His perfect love for us. Through Jesus, everything is made new, and that includes the trust we aren’t sure where to place. Giving the reins to God is the best decision you could make because giving Him the reins means you know that Jesus died for you so that you could have this relationship with the Heavenly Father.

Still having a hard time believing this is what Jesus really did? That’s okay, I was there, too! I suggest reading a book called, “More Than A Carpenter”, but Josh and Sean McDowell. It’s a phenomenal read, and it looks inside of Jesus’ story from a skeptical point of view while addressing some heavy subject matter regarding Jesus’ deity. I also recommend that you read John Eldredge’s “The Beautiful Outlaw”, because this opened my eyes to seeing Jesus as both a human relatable to me through the blood of a man, and simultaneously the deification of Jesus as God Incarnate through the godliness of the way He lived His life while still holding the power of God in such humility—with such reverence for His own Father. I highly suggest this book to you. And I’d love to hear what you think of either of these books!

Here are links:

“The Beautiful Outlaw”: Here

“More Than A Carpenter”: Here

If you have any questions, thoughts, or anything you’d like to share after reading this, please feel free to post those in the comments below. I’d really like to hear what you’re thinking, what you’re feeling, and where you are in your faith journey. My prayer is the these words find you where they matter most, and that you will feel the presence of Jesus in the place you are in, giving you the strength you need to surrender your fears to Him. Trusting in God means believing the world doesn’t have your best interests at heart, but that God certainly does. I truly believe this, and I hope you will find Truth to this, yourself. Be blessed as you come to understand what this means for you.

In Jesus name!

Carefree

The Light that Shines In the Darkness

Everyone has a path they must walk upon to become who they are.

Every path has light and darkness. When we see the light in our life, we feel hope, inspiration, love, acceptance, growth, and belonging. The darkness creeps in and tries to steal everything that is good, because that’s what darkness does. But our darkness can only evade the parts of us that we let it take over. How powerful do you think your darkness is?

Everyone’s opinion of their own darkness is usually that theirs is the worst kind anyone could imagine. More intolerable, more threatening, and more unforgivable than anyone else’s. Sometimes, people view their darkness as disgusting, embarrassing, and a reason to consider themselves worthless. For some people, their darkness defines them. For others, the dark part of the path is just a tool for the bigger picture of their lives; its only purpose is to guide them to the light in themselves—meaning, the truest version of themselves.

Which of these is your view of your darkness? Does your darkness define you, or simply point to the part of you that you’re most proud of?

How important is your darkness to you? Do you cling to it like oxygen, or do you only reflect on it during introspective moments, using it as a reference point? When a person’s darkness consumes them, it becomes their identity: There is no “them” without their darkness. They are permanently what their traumas have them made to be, and without it, they would be weak, shallow, and fallible. In that type of mind, darkness equals danger, and gives that person a sense of power or entitlement, believing their darkness is something like that of a superpower. But even that perspective (let alone the feeling) is a defense mechanism, and it only works on the outside. Inside, feelings get bottled up– rather than being expressed in healthy ways. Darkness, when caged, eventually erupts like a volcano. A person may claim they are more “powerful” because of their darkness, when in fact they are falling into isolation more than ever before, shutting down their vulnerability and closing the door to trusting others with their openness. They tend to think that obscuring who they really are makes them stronger, but what is actually happening is they are tearing themselves down.

After living in darkness for so long, a person may either tire of that mentality, or they may become so convinced that their darkness makes them impenetrable that they turn bitter. The ones who tire, a lot like me, need someone who knows what life looks like away from the ropes of darkness—away the threat, the destruction, the lies. A person who jumps into the deep end of darkness may need their own personal version of an eye-opener. They need to see how much worse it gets, and they must see how good their life is, with everything considered.

I can tell you right now that at the end of my darkest tunnel, I found Jesus. There are still traces of my darkness everywhere I go in life, and I notice them with open-minded awareness, knowing that I have been there before, but no longer need to go there. In other words, my darkness is not my identity. When I reminisce on what I went through, I am very grateful l am not going through that anymore, and I’m more confident that whatever comes my way, I will face with a much more mature, developed, and wise mentality.

I have learned a lot from going through very difficult traumas; the divorce of my parents probably the most difficult, along with my battle of finding purpose by spiritually suffocating on disbelief. In learning, I am less surprised by what comes my way now. It may still hurt, and it may even provoke shock and certainly deep pain, but nothing like what I experienced as a child. I can refer back to how hard those experiences were for me, and look forward with more assuredness in myself. But that mindset is only possible because I believe in Christ! Christ allowed those traumas to happen to me, knowing how they would help transform me into a stronger person in the long run. And indeed, they have!

All the credit of my wisdom, strength, knowledge, and reasons for my gratefulness all go to Jesus. My darkness is something I consider a gift now because of what I’ve learned from living through it. Like a blessing in disguise.

What does your darkness tell you about yourself? How do the words here help you see others with their darkness? We all have it, just as we all have light; whether or not we decide to access it and use it for the betterment of ourselves and others. How do you view your darkness when you consider the ways you could use it for good? How have you learned to say ‘no’ to the parts of your darkness which no longer push you along in your personal growth? If you haven’t yet reached a point in your life where that is possible, how might you consider what unhealthy ways your darkness is leaving on your life? In which relationships is your darkness making the heaviest impact, and are those the type of relationships that make you feel validated, accepted, and loved? Does your darkness demand attention from people who aren’t responding to you appropriately? If your darkness demands attention, then y0u may want to consider how important it is for you to be defined by your darkness.

I decided when I was 22 that I wanted to change my life and give it to Jesus. The reason is because He was sinless and yet, while all of us were still sinners, He died for every single person ever to exist. And He did it out of love. That’s the kind of God I want to follow. That’s the kind of God who understands darkness; One who has been to the gates of Hell itself and taken the keys so I never have to go there. My darkness is not important to me other than in the sense that I may reference it in order to relate to others who still live with theirs. I know my story, and I’m glad to share it with those whom it would help, but it doesn’t do any good in my life anymore. Darkness is a lesson to be learned—not a lifestyle or mentality to live into. My lesson was that I am not worthless, that I am loved, that I am worth the love of God through Christ; and that no matter what I experienced growing up, the love of God is permanent, overcoming, transcendent, everlasting, unconditional, unfathomable, and pure. There is no reason for me to return to my darkness because the God of creation loves me more than I could ever imagine.

The darkness in my life had its time. I learned my lessons. Now God resides where that darkness was, and though I can still speak for it when needed, God is so much more important and invaluable now than my darkness ever was. I hope that this is hopeful news for you, and that you, too,  can be encouraged to bring your darkness to the One who saves, Jesus; and that you can embrace that friendship of all friendships– the most intimate bond of all bonds—releasing your darkness to Him, allowing Him to use you for the betterment of the world.

That is why we’re here; to be a light. Shine your light and point straight to Jesus, and watch Him change lives.

Darkness