Strength Beyond Ourselves

We long for strength beyond ourselves to help us cope. Have you ever wondered if God could be that strength?

If so you’re in good company. Polls show that while most people believe in God, and even pray, they still have questions. Is Faith really rational? How can I know if God exists? And if He does, does He really care?

Some describe it as a hunger or thirst for something more. Maybe you have gone down that road, “if only I had more money, a nicer car, a bigger house. If only I could experience this or that, that would bring purpose to my life. But then after climbing the ladder, so to speak, we look back and say, “is that all there is?” “Isn’t there a bigger purpose to life, something that will give meaning?” And we wonder if God could give us purpose?

Others have been brought to the end of their rope by the stresses of life. It could be martial or family responsibilities, illness, the death of a loved one, or something that has happened in your past that’s tearing you apart. Yes, we try to keep a stiff upper lip. But on the inside we know that, as strong as we may try to be, the reality it that we feel helpless. We long for strength beyond ourselves to help us cope. And wonder of God could be that strength?

Still others realize that the stresses in their life are their own doing. Whatever it might be, we can look back and see that we are living with the consequences of our own choices. And many wonder if God can love someone who has been down the path we have chosen?

These questions are the kind of questions that the Bible describes as spiritual seeking. We are all on a spiritual journey whether we realize it or not. Being a spiritual seeker is a great thing to be, because according to Jesus. Seekers always find what they’re looking for.

I go to church regularly, but that isn’t what makes me a Christian. I go to church because I thrive on having great friendships and the support of those who also go to church. Church has become a close family for me. I know if I need the love and support of any of these people I can count on them 100% of the time. I realize that it’s sometimes difficult to find a loving, non- judgmental church but they are out there.

We have to make a distinction between having a relationship with God, and having a church family. There’s a huge difference between having a personal relationship with God, and having a church family. It’s my personal relationship with God, that makes it possible to have a supportive church family.

Many seek God through a process of inquiry, that may include church attendance, but I don’t see how you can have one without the other. At some point in our spiritual seeking we need come to a decision that we will trust in God. Faith is personalizing the message of Christ. It is trusting in what He did for us personally by dying for our sins.

The outcome of our faith is sometimes referred to as spiritual birth. Just as physical growth follows physical birth, spiritual birth follows spiritual birth. The learning environment found in the church is a important part of the spiritual growth process. While spiritual birth follows a decision to trust Christ, and Him alone, as our means of forgiveness and relationship with God. It is this faith decision that makes us a Christian.

At Grace, we’re all about this spiritual journey, helping each other move toward God.

I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for my church, and my pastor. I have learned a huge amount about God and my relationship with Him, through the church. And I cannot begin to imagine how people survive without a church or a personal relationship with God, especially in today’s world.

To seek the valley of easy victory is to miss life’s deepest meaning.

Henry David Gray

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