Marvill-i-ous!

more-than“How are you?”  Having some fun, I often say, “Marvill-ious!”  My silliness, a childish made-up word, catches people off guard. Even when I am inwardly struggling with some situation in life, it is my goal to lift others. So, I work at being encouraging and positive. Emotions are infectious. How are you ‘infecting’ those around you?  Yet, I know that there are real limits to mere optimism. Sometimes we cannot just think our troubles away, make some ugly situation into a good one, just by being positive.  But, as a Christian, I have great reason for hope. So, do you! No matter what is going on today, there is a truth that wraps around it all – sickness, disappointment, failure, and weakness.

The Word explains that the struggle is real but so is our expectation of triumph! “Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it.” (Romans 8:20-24, NLT)

Harold Myra writes; “Optimism is not living in a fantasy world where nothing tragic ever happens. Vital optimism is a confidence that tragedy is not the last word, that the best is yet to be. Optimism is being able to acknowledge brutal realities and to point to an even greater reality – that our experiences are not in vain, our responses are not futile, and our efforts are worthwhile. For Christians this kind of optimism is linked to an abiding trust that history is going somewhere and that God… is powerfully directing it.”

There is no denying that we live in a world where terrible things happen. I am not ashamed to admit that I readily groan and even weep when I see stories about refugees in war zones, about starving people in the poorest nations, about bloviating politicians who are focused more on ‘winning’ than on solving real problems. I feel real heartbreak when I fail God and others. But disappointment, failure, – yes, even death – are not the last words for the me. God’s amazing promise is that He is the Restorer of the broken, the Healer of the bruised, the Lifter of my head!

Further developing the thought in that 8th chapter of Romans, Paul writes that “What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?” (Romans 8:31-35, NIV)  God is greater. His purposes prevail. He holds my life in His hand!

So we deal with life’s disappointment with something better than optimism. We face life with the ‘full assurance of faith’ not one that rests on our ability, but on His promise. Purpose to live positively today, drawing on a deep reservoir of faith that is inspired by the promise of God and the Presence of the Holy Spirit. Grasp hold of the hope to which you were called in Christ Jesus. Lay claim to His promise that He is greater than anything in your life today.

Choose to be ‘marvillious!’

The word from the Word is this: “None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.” (Romans 8:37-39, The Message)

_________

God Of All My Days

I came to You with my heart in pieces
And found the God with healing in His hands
I turned to You put ev’rything behind me
And found the God who makes all things new
I look to You drowning in my questions
And found the God who holds all wisdom
And I trusted You and stepped out on the ocean
You caught my hand among the waves
‘Cause You’re the God of all my days

Each step I take You make a way
And I will give You all my praise
My seasons change You stay the same
You’re the God of all my days

I ran from You and wandered in the shadows
And found a God who relentlessly pursues
I hid from You haunted by my failure
And found the God whose grace still covers me
I fell on You when I was at my weakest
And found the God the lifter of my head
And I’ve worshipped You and felt You right beside me
You’re the reason that I sing
‘Cause You’re the God of all my days

In my worry God You are my stillness
In my searching God You are my answers
In my blindness God You are my vision
In my bondage God You are my freedom
In my weakness God You are my power
You’re the reason that I sing

‘Cause You’re the God of all my days
In my blindness God You are my vision
In my bondage God You are my freedom all my days

Jason Ingram | Mark Hall © My Refuge Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)

Be Essential Songs (Admin. by Essential Music Publishing LLC)

CCLI License # 810055

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