Are you looking for wisdom?

First Corinthians starts talking about wisdom in verse 18, all the way through chapter two and maybe into chapter three as well. But the verse I can’t move past is chapter 1 verse 21, which says:

God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom.

It has me thinking of examples of human wisdom versus God’s wisdom.

Human wisdom says that the only way to have enough energy for my day is to get as much sleep as possible and have a perfectly balanced routine. But godly wisdom says it starts by first abiding in Him. For we do not live off of bread alone, but by every word that comes from the Lord. (Luke 4:4)

Human wisdom says that to find fulfillment and purpose, I need to make things happen, doing everything in my power to make a name for myself. But God says that selfish ambition leads to evil of every kind, and that we must instead serve one another. (James 3:15-16, Matthew 23:11)

And how do we gain salvation? Not through daring feats, wondrous acts or perfect behavior….but by surrender.

We don’t find wisdom by looking at our own understanding of how the world works. We find it by looking to God and trusting his Word.

The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. – 1 Corinthians 1:18 NLT

Our Confident Hope

About a year ago, I received uncertain medical news about a loved one. I remember feeling the weight of it. The ache in my heart. I went into the bathroom at work and prayed. As I sat there on the cold tile floor, I felt unable to continue. Unable to muster up the strength to face another medical crisis.

I hate it, but sometimes…this is life. Jesus promised we would face troubles of many kinds. We can’t tell life, “Thanks, but I’m done now.”

But we can tell Jesus, “This is where I stop, and you begin.”

My husband encouraged me that day by texting me Romans 12:12 which says, “Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.”

So I whispered to the tile walls, God is not done. He is my refuge. I can trust his timing and his decisions.

The unease didn’t leave me, but this reminder gave me something to cling to. It was an anchor to remind me who God is and what he is capable of.

Sometimes the most helpful reminder is to acknowledge that He is our refuge. In crisis, may you find your strength by turning into the embrace of Jesus.

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.
Psalm 91:1-2 NLT

Loved

I was raised in a Christian home. My upbringing included Sunday School on Sunday mornings, Youth Group on Wednesday nights, and Small Group on Fridays. From an early age, God quickly became the most important person in my life.

I can remember the first time I raised my hands in worship during Sunday School. I would spend hours in prayer at church camp in the summer. My journals are filled with prayers and questions – looking to God for the answers.

Growing into adulthood, the godly women in my life encouraged me to spend intentional time alone with God, where you read your bible and pray. And I have done my best to make this a priority for the last 10 years. They’ve never been the perfect “hour every morning with a cup of coffee”, and they’ve never been perfectly consistent, but spending time in the Word and in prayer has continued to grow in importance the older I get.

I have had many seasons in life where I’ve felt alive in Christ. I’ve felt his love wash over me and my times with him have been fruitful and life giving. But this year, my times in solitude with the Lord started to get frustrating.  I was leaving each time upset and irritated. I couldn’t feel God. I couldn’t hear him. The logical solution was that I was doing something wrong. So, I would try getting up before work to start my day off right. I kept falling asleep, so I’d plan out exactly what I would read. When that didn’t work, I’d try spontaneity – just opening up anywhere in the bible and reading. I gave devotional reading a shot. I tried focusing on prayer alone. I gave reading a book by a Christian author. Nothing worked.

It wasn’t until just recently that I was able to finally voice the lie that had been planted in my heart. Luke and I were driving home from a dear friends funeral, and I don’t remember exactly how it came up or how the conversation wound its way there, but I remember telling Luke with tears in my eyes… I don’t think God loves me.

Just voicing this to Luke and identifying it caused blinders to off my eyes. I can see it now. I was trying to earn his love. I realized on that car ride home that I had been trying to earn his presence by getting up early each morning. I was trying to be good enough for him to speak to me by doing all the right things. I was trying to come up with ways to manipulate him into speaking to me.

But as I remembered the overarching story of the Bible, the truth became so clear: I cannot, under any circumstances, earn his love. 

Romans 5:6-11 says,

When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.

God chased after us, even while we rejected him. God extended his love to us, even when we failed, yet again. God sealed the deal, even while we sat covered in our sin – paralyzed by our inability to measure up.

Psalm 23:6 says,
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.

He pursues us.

I hope you can begin to walk in this freedom today, too. I encourage you to spend time with the Lord, knowing, believing, and declaring that he loves you.  Let this truth wash over you:

You are loved. You are his.