Wonder

I do’nt know about you but the last few weeks have placed quite a burden on my heart, I have become so much more aware of the hurt and the brokenness of the world as it occurs closer to home; with the attacks in Manchester and London as well as with our brothers and sisters facing persecution in the Middle of the East. These are hard times but times that require us to get on our knees and let our hearts break for the things that break His as we pray for restoration and healing, for the coming of His Kingdom.

However, amidst these terrors God makes us aware of His presence and the joy that comes from knowing that in the darkness His light shines even brighter and won’t be extinguished. He challenges us to look at things from a different perspective.

Recently I have been obsessed with Hillsong United’s latest song “Wonder.” This song explains the wonder we experience as we choose to share God’s way of seeing the world, and really reminded me to be joyful in times of trial, to live in constant wonder of Him despite the brokenness and suffering of the world.

The chorus declares “I see the world in light, I see the world in wonder, I see the world in life, Bursting in living colour, I see the world your way, And I’m walking in the light.” Does this mean we see through rose tinted glasses? Not at all, but rather we have a hope that although we see the reality of sin and suffering we can see the light and aim to adopt God’s perspective.

I was really struck by the lines “You’re the wonder in the wild. Turning wilderness to wonder.” Thinking about them I challenged myself to look at the personal wilderness that I sometimes walk through and reflected on how God can turn that wilderness into wonder. For instance, when I come out of a season in the wilderness I can look back in wonder at what God has delivered me from.

But not only is God’s wonder revealed when we leave our wilderness, but its right there with us in the midst of our pain. This time last week I watched Ariana Grande’s One Love Manchester concert and was reduced to tears as I watched in wonder at the unity and compassion shown in the midst of so much suffering. I truly believe that in the pain of the aftermath of that horrendous attack God’s wonder was revealed, does that make it all ok? No but it instils a hope within us, it ignites a light to overcome the darkness, a wonder in what God can do in the midst of suffering.

So I’m aware that this month She Spreads Light have been focusing on the theme of Honour. This post has not specifically touched on this, but I felt that God placed this message on my heart to share with you all. I encourage you however to really think about your perspective , have you chosen to see the world through the eyes of God? It is such an HONOUR (I knew I’d get it in somewhere) that God invites us to share in His wonder, to see things the way He does, so why wouldn’t we?

Love Always. 

Rachel x

Eternal Perspective

Look around you, look out at the world and what do you see? A broken world, laughter, tears, pain, beauty, grief, joy…the list goes on and on. We are constantly making observations and processing new information but its what we do with these observations that’s important.

Sometimes I watch the news and I am overwhelmed by the suffering in this world, but I have a hope that this won’t last forever that God will heal this land.

I recently read that ” a godly leader has an eternal perspective.” Living with this eternal perspective gives us hope and reminds us to constantly live our life pointing to Christ. I continually go back to Hebrews 12:1-2 which says “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” 

Jesus is the perfect example of how we should live and His eternal perspective gave Him the perseverance and bravery to die a criminal’s death in order to fulfil God’s will and bring joy. Living our lives with this outlook will help us to live a purposeful life constantly in relationship with Jesus.

We know there will be trials but we have the hop of the joy ahead in heaven. We are aware of the leaps of faith we have to make, but we can trust our great God. This world is full of temporal, fragile things but we have a God who is steadfast and everlasting. We may not be able to see our future, but we trust God who wrote the blue prints of our life and gave us a plan in which we will prosper.

As we begin this journey of exploring perspectives we will always rest in our eternal perspective. Through everything we want to point to Christ and fix our eyes on Him.

Perspectives: Other People

One of the main ethoses of this blog is pursuing that call to share God’s love with other people, spreading that beautiful message that God loves you for who you are right now. And what a beautiful message it is, but sometimes we look at the people around us and we find it hard to l0ve them the way God does.

Sometimes we look at people and think that maybe if they just got rid of that thing in their life, or maybe if they matured a little we could love them. But that’s not how Jesus loved and it’s certainly not how He called us to love. You see, God was brought to earth in human form through Jesus as the perfect example of how we as His disciples, should live.

Look at the story of Zacchaeus, Jesus saw him in that tree while he was still so flawed, yet right then Jesus loved him, so much so that He wanted to spend a meal with him. Even more, Paul tells us in Romans 5:8 that “Christ died for us while we were still sinners”, He didn’t look at us and think “if only they didn’t sin so much, because then I could love them more.”

Just like Jesus we are called to love people where they are, unconditionally. I challenge you this week, to try and look at someone differently, see them through the eyes of Jesus. Love them for who they are, not who they could be. This isn’t easy, but it is worth it. Show someone God’s love this week by seeing them the way He does and treating them as His son or daughter.

 

 

Perspectives: Light in the darkness

Matthew 5:16 says “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” I love this verse and its simplicity as it clearly lays out our purpose to be bringers of light, and ultimately bringers of the Kingdom. We are called to bring light and where will that light be most effective? In the dark.

I know it’s great being surrounded by other like-minded people, who encourage you in your walk with Jesus and draw you closer to Him. Dont get me wrong you should definitely find people like that to journey with but please avoid the christian bubble life. Yes, we can use our light there but sometimes we need to step out of that comfort zone.

It can be hard, living a life contrary to the way your friends are living, having fun with them but knowing that you live to please God, not them. Trust me, living a life which honours God will not go unnoticed, your friends will see the Holy Spirit working within you even if they don’t know that’s what it is. Living a life of integrity is so worth it.

However, although we are called to be lights in the darkness, in that darkness we can never forget we are there as lights who follow the true light of our Heavenly Father. A friend of mine said to me recently, “never trick yourself into thinking you are witnessing to you friends when really you are just doing exactly what they are doing.” This really struck a chord! Its so easy to think that by simply being a christian and being with our non-christian friends we are bringing light to a dark situation-however this only happens when we are truly living set apart for Him.

Romans 12:1 always comes back to me in times like this, and the Message version puts it perfectly saying ” Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” It’s easy to feel down and tired of living against the grain but here we see why, that this is our calling, to be set apart for His glory.