I buy you books; you eat the covers!

2 Thessalonians 1:2-6 (MSG)
2 Our God gives you everything you need, makes you everything you’re to be.  3 You need to know, friends, that thanking God over and over for you is not only a pleasure; it’s a must. We have to do it. Your faith is growing phenomenally; your love for each other is developing wonderfully. Why, it’s only right that we give thanks. 4 We’re so proud of you; you’re so steady and determined in your faith despite all the hard times that have come down on you. We tell everyone we meet in the churches all about you. 5 All this trouble is a clear sign that God has decided to make you fit for the kingdom. You’re suffering now, 6 but justice is on the way.

I have seen people struggle with a lot of things. Sometimes, God reveals things to me that could help them but they just don’t take the advice. My friend Roy says that “unsolicited advice is criticism.” He is right. So how do you let someone know that there is a way in which they could go that would bring them joy, peace and happiness. Instead, they ignore all the good they have been given and do not use the knowledge they have. It’s like they have books with answers but use them as door stops. I buy you books and you eat the covers!

Most people go through their lives “in quiet desperation”. They do the same things over and over again not grasping why things don’t improve. They doubt they can make a difference. They doubt life will get better.

You have everything you need to live out the life your Creator planned for you. A life of blessing, health, provision and joy. It is all inside you. In fact, Jesus said in John 17:22 (NIV) “I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one”— The glory of God is in you. What else do you need?

I have coined a phrase called self-compassion. We humans are cruel to ourselves. Why? We go through life wondering what others think of us but not acknowledging what God says about us. We have “all we need” yet don’t use the gifts, talents or resources at our fingertips. I have a friend who suffers from depression. She struggles with thoughts of inadequacy without realizing the glory of God within her. Someone once criticized her and that is what stuck. Why do we listen to people and not the Creator who loves us more than we can ask or imagine? She has the answers within her reach but doesn’t take advantage of them. It is like self-sabotage. Like she doesn’t believe she deserves better. But she does!

Does this all sound familiar? Are you doing the same things over and over and expecting different results? That is the definition of insanity. Your Heavenly Father designed you for better. On top of that, He gave you everything you need to succeed. If you follow His lead, joy and peace are the results. Also, when you seek His Kingdom, everything else will be added to you. Insanity and depression or peace. You decide! But it is up to you. Choose joy, peace and happiness. They are waiting for you.

Lord, remove the doubt that entangles us. You made us for far greater. I know You are up there shaking your head over our foolishness. How about you slap us around a little and knock that not-worthiness out of our heads and, by your Spirit, remind us just how much You love us. So much, in fact, that You were willing to enter time and humanity and take all of the world’s pain, sin and sorrow upon yourself. Thank You for that incredible love. In Jesus name!

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