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The Good News!

I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I love that He knows me personally. I love that He makes a place for me. A place for me to offer my talents. A place for me to help others on this path. A place for me to feel like I am not alone in this dreary world. I love that He loved me with such power that He gave me the greatest gift of all gifts: the gift of eternal life. He suffered all the agony of my sins. It was not trite or small. It is not a cliche. He really did suffer all the things I suffer in the hope that I would learn from my experiences and would not have to suffer the full weight of my sins. I have suffered as we all have, but it has only been because I have been so blinded by the world. The world has such great hold on me. I am swimming in it and trying not to get wet. I try to make my life what I want it to be, but Jesus had a better plan and such great love that He perseveres with me, letting me struggle and kick against the pricks so that I will find His way. Gently driving me. Because His way is so much better. I am a stubborn and willful woman. I think things ought to be the right way, forgetting that things are the way He wills them. I would violate the agency of others with my way, but He will not. Having faith in His plan means that I must have faith that He can save those I love. I must have patience in His timing and let others have their experiences too. I rejected having others tell me how to live, and I found this way of living through God. I could have listened to others and found it, but would I have found it with such a vengeance? I don't think so. Some just need to learn through experience. Maybe all of us do. Can we really have strong and lasting faith if it is only based on what others tell us, if we never experience the pain and agony of trying the wrong path first? Maybe. I don't know. There seems to be not many of that type in today's world.
But He suffered it all, whether we would turn to Him or not. With His great forknowledge did God shorten Jesus' suffering, omitting the sins of those who would not come to Him? I don't think so. The scriptures tell us He suffered for all. What a great act of justice AND mercy. He fulfilled the demands of justice without a guarantee that we would accept it and draw on His mercy.
But not only did He suffer the agony of my personal sins, He also suffered the pain that I inflict on others and that others inflict on me. He suffered all pain! What a wondrous and incomprehensible thing! He suffered that I might not suffer when I am wronged! But how difficult it is for me to let go sometimes. Why does my soul hold onto the pain. Why is letting go so hard? Perhaps it is because I lack the faith necessary to let go. At the moment that I hold on to the hurt I am lacking the faith that God can heal me. I am rejecting the mercy He is offering to me and to the one who offends me; a dangerous situation since He told us that if we could not forgive others and extend mercy, then we were unworthy of forgiveness and mercy ourselves. Yet I cry out against the injustice! I should not be in this situation! I should not have been hurt by that person! The greater sin lies elsewhere! Yet in my cries of justification, I am rejecting the Atonement of God! What peril I am in! If I reject the Atonement for another, I reject it for myself! Even worse, I reject the comfort for those I hurt too! How can I possibly make up for the wrongs I have committed in my life without the Atonement? I cannot. I am utterly and completely impotent to heal another's hurts, especially those I have caused. How to fill the gap? Only through Jesus Christ can that gap be bridged. But I have turned over my biggest hurt to Him. It was a simple decision to make, but one that I must keep committed to. I must not dwell on the offense, or the results. I am not without blame or power to overcome it. Once I rejected the hurt, I began to be free of it. The self-pity was denied entrance into my heart. I no longer let it hold me down. I suddenly had the power to overcome the results. Through faith in Jesus Christ, that wonderful and mysterious power I hold in my own heart, I can overcome anything! What marvelous Good News! What a marvelous Gospel! There is no other like it!
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