Lately I’ve been thinking how our faith could be expressed in love. You know, even the Bible tells us that our faith should be activated through love. How can we do it? Because it’s not so easy. Life is messy and relationships complicated. Our initial response in life, unfortunately, is not often love. So. What to do? How to get from war to love, from angst to alleluia?
For in Christ, neither our most conscientious religion nor disregard of religion amounts to anything. What matters is something far more interior: faith expressed in love. (Gal.5:6, MSG)
It all comes back to God. Like all the good things in life. If we are in Christ, we can be empowered by grace. But, even then, do we let God love through us? Do we honor God in our lives?
Mary DeMuth states in her new book The Wall Around Your Heart “The roadblocks to growth and joy come when we forget the bigness of God and instead make people bigger than He is.” And not only people. We also tend to make our heartaches, our problems, our past, our worries bigger than God. Lord, have mercy!
There is deep wisdom hidden in plain sight in the Lord’s prayer:
May your name be kept holy. (Matthew 6:9, NLT)
Not only in general but in me. In my thoughts, in my actions, in my life.
Only if we are grace-saturated and keep God’s name holy, we are able to keep our hearts open and love God above else and others like ourselves. And this does not apply only on sunny days. Mary writes “If we adore our Father, we give Him our bitterness, take the healing path He offers, and search for ways to reach out to others, even in our pain.”
We can’t forgive others, love others or even be gracious without being first loved by God. But it is possible to do so when our faith is activated through God’s love and grace. It is possible to be healed and made whole by God. If we turn to God in our hurts and give him all the pieces of our heart, we will be blessed. (Try it once and you are hooked. It really works!)
With the words of Mary “It may seem counterintuitive to praise God after someone has hurt you. But the process of lamenting helps turn the corner from angst to alleluia.” When we keep God holy, even when we are hurting, the help is very near. When we praise God, even when everything looks like chaos, the miracle is in making. When we are expressing our faith in love, even when we don’ feel like it, God’s turning the corner from angst to alleluia.
Forgive us being so self-centered that we forget to keep you holy in us.
Show us what it really means to live you in the center of our lives.
Empower us to express faith in love, even when we don’t feel like it.
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: Have you learned to turn to God when you hurt?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you dare to live openheartedly!
Image courtesy of Pierce Brantley design by Mari-Anna Stålnacke. Linking up today with Sharing His Beauty, Hear it on Sunday, use it on Monday, Playdates with God, and counting blessings with Ann Voskamp: #1050 The secret of life is to keep God holy in us.
I am part of Mary DeMuth’s launch team for her new bookand I have to say that this book absolutely rocks. It’s not only well written but it is full of uplifting stories that just I can’t capture here on the blog. But make sure to visit the other blogs that are linked up here. They are also blogging through the book. Maybe together we can give a more vivid and accurate picture of the book. And the launch date is coming up too! Hence even more fun in the horizon!