“By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.” - 1 John 3:19-24
“I have not my own goodness
No, I have no pure desire
For You wrote into existence
All the faith that You require”
Compared to the beauty and goodness that is in Christ, how could we measure up? Psalm 16:2 even says that the only good in us is Christ. His righteousness is sufficient to cover over all of our sin. But because our shortcomings are ever present, it’s understandable that we try to condemn ourselves. When we focus more on what we’ve done than what God has done, our perspective can be distorted. But this encouragement from 1 John reminds us that God is even greater than our hearts. Even when we want to judge and punish ourselves, His mercy and grace hold the ultimate authority. Because of this, we have confidence before Him.
What does He ask us to do in turn? To believe in the name of Jesus Christ. In Hebrews 12, Jesus is described as the “founder and perfecter of our faith.” Even our belief is not our own. Jesus himself authored our faith so we could be in right standing with God. There’s hope for the doubter, because your faith is not your own and the work He started in you He promised to complete (Phillippians 1:6).
“How I need You just to need You
How I long to never long for another
I could have strength, I could be bold
But if I have not Your stronghold
Then I have nothing, I have nothing at all”
What a beautiful reminder of how much we simply need Jesus. Even our desire for Him has been placed in us by Him. We could have strength, confidence, and boldness, but without Christ, we really have nothing. That’s our story — a beautiful and complete dependence on Jesus. He is our stronghold, and nothing can separate us from Him.
“My hands are open
My life is all poured out
Is this how You want me, Lord?
I'm waiting on You now”
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” Romans 12:1
This is how we’re meant to respond — with hands wide open and lives poured out as a sacrifice. Romans 12 offers us the most simple and convicting definition of worship: to offer our bodies as a literal living sacrifice. Laying down our control, our plans, and our desires, to leave room for God to have His way in us and through us. We all have questions we want answered, but sometimes the only response we’ll get is to “wait.” So we wait on the Lord, abide in Him, and trust Him to sustain us for every single day we have left. He is our stronghold, and without Him we would truly have nothing at all.