I really felt that He was thankful for me! Somebody is singing praises of thanksgiving for me! I felt that when Paul wrote that, he was thinking of me, and beyond that Jesus was thinking of me. I feel so many times as if I don't matter. As if I could disappear from the world and no one would even notice. But someone is thankful to the point of spilling over for me!
Here's verse 9-12: "
Be assured that from the first day we heard of you, we haven't stopped praying for you, asking God to give you wise minds and spirits attuned to his will, and so acquire a thorough understanding of the ways in which God works. We pray that you'll live well for the Master, making him proud of you as you work hard in his orchard. As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. We pray that you'll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us."
To make the Master proud of me? That's what I long for! To not give up and quit? To have strength that endures? To not have that mindset of I'm just going to make it one more day, but I might not make it tomorrow? To actually have real Jesus joy and Jesus thankfulness and Jesus strength? To enjoy life? This would be to experience that life more abundant that Jesus talked about. This is what Paul wants for ME! This is what Jesus wants for ME! And he prays for me to have it! It is attainable... somehow. I want this.
God rescued us from dead-end alleys and dark dungeons. He's set us up in the kingdom of the Son he loves so much, the Son who got us out of the pit we were in, got rid of the sins we were doomed to keep repeating.With this depression, I feel like I am in a dead-end alley and a dark dungeon... but that's not where I am in Christ. This is a good reminder.
We look at this Son and see God's original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him.I may not know what it is now, but I have a purpose! He says I do! I feel purposeless, just as I feel I don't matter to people (worthless, I suppose). But Jesus says everything finds it's purpose in Him. Perhaps I have not searched in the correct places for my purpose?
So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross.
Here it is again... everything finds it's place in God, but even more so, everything that is broken gets fixed and put back together! Wow! That's me, alright! And even better than it was before...we get put back together into a beautiful song. If I look to him as the source of my purpose and my place He will fix my brokenness. He will rescue me from my darkness. He will place the strength and joy in my heart to serve him with out tiring... because it is he who gives me the song to sing for him! It is that song that gives him pride in me! I can't make him proud in and of myself, can I? wow... He does it all. He gives it all. It's almost more than I can comprehend in one morning.
And finally... Jesus says to me, "Don't give up!"
You yourselves are a case study of what he does. At one time you all had your backs turned to God, thinking rebellious thoughts of him, giving him trouble every chance you got. But now, by giving himself completely at the Cross, actually dying for you, Christ brought you over to God's side and put your lives together, whole and holy in his presence. You don't walk away from a gift like that! You stay grounded and steady in that bond of trust, constantly tuned in to the Message, careful not to be distracted or diverted.So.... I'm glad that I got up this morning!