Have you ever felt sorry for yourself or hurt by someone and then realize that the exact same thing happened to Jesus? Christ went to great length to identify with us. (Hebrews 4:15- For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.) He became poor for our sake (2 Corinthians 8:9-For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.) He was rejected (Acts 4:11), laughed at (Luke 8:53), he was abandoned (Matthew 26:36-46), he was grieved (Mark 3:5), ect. What I’m getting at is that I’m not alone in these situations, and I am united with Christ. His Spirit dwells in me, I belong to Him, and although my body is dead because of sin, my spirit is alive because of righteousness. (Romans 8)
At the end of a very tough week several months ago, I sat across the table from my mentor; I sat there crying telling her about how I had continually messed everything up. She said to me, “This is going to sound harsh, but stick with me. You DO mess everything up. You are rotten to the very core and nothing you do is good enough. But that’s why you need Jesus.” All the good in me is Jesus working, nothing I’m doing. Without him I would be a puddle of black ink all over a white room. I’m literally dead in my sin, I’m worthless because of sin. But my spirit is alive because of righteousness. Jesus makes me new, he makes me clean, he knows me, he holds me, and get this, He died for me! Sometimes I can’t believe it, actually pretty regularly I forget that.
I complain about my present circumstances, I wallow in self pity, I find new ways to make it about me everyday.
FACT CHECK: You’re DEAD in your sin Tessa! The only thing in you that is of any worth is Jesus Christ.
“So then, brothers, we are debtors…but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” It’s my natural inclination to feel sorry for myself. My sinful self desires to have Tessa on the throne of Tessa’s heart; but my heart is captured by Christ the King, and by the Holy Spirit the deeds of my body can be fought and there will be victory.
I’m the dullest knife in the box. I’m the worst of sinners. Guys, sometimes I even murder people in my heart. I’ve been prideful, and I’ve put another god over the God more times than I can count. I’ve complained, I’ve cheated, I’ve lied. I’m a horrible broken arrow. I’ve cursed mosquitos and flies, I’ve sought comfort in useless pleasures, and I’m never ever ever going to get better on my own. I’m stuck in this cycle of sin. But in steps Grace, and I’m met with a glorious new life. I don’t have what it takes, but Jesus Christ does. Jesus just gets me. He knows I’m a failure. He knows I’m a screwup. He knows I mess everything up. He knows, He’s seen it all. Even in the times when I turn South, Jesus stands there. Not only does He stick with me, He whispers gently into my ear, “Tessa, there is now no condemnation for you. You are mine and I am yours. We are united, no one can change that. I’ve got your heart forever, I’m not letting you go. Don’t let others make you feel condemned. I’m the only one who can do that to anyone, but I’ve chosen to shower you with my mercy, and I want you to come into my rest forever. I know it’s hard Tessa, I know. I’ve been there. People mocked me too, they abandoned me too, I’ve been there. Soon you will be in my glorious present. Sooner than you know, and I promise you, it’ll be worth it.”