But Jesus Died for Me

For a while now, I’ve been asking God to help me understand the most important thing in the history of things. The cross. I mean, I have the facts down. I know the verses…some by heart. But I don’t think I really get it or my soul would stay stirred up all the live-long day.
Jesus died for me. FOR. ME. That truth should make my heart pound in my chest. It should make my face flush with emotion. It should move me.
I’m imagining right now…if someone I knew ran into a burning building to save my life. Maybe one of my sons. Or my sweet brother-in-law, Bubba. Or a complete stranger. If someone risked his life to save mine, I’d never think of him without my heart doing flip-flops. I’d never stop thinking of ways to say thank you. I’d never get over such a sacrificial act.
But Jesus DIED for me. He didn’t just put His life on the line. He put Himself on the cross. For me. For you, too.
It doesn’t matter what bad thing happens to me. It doesn’t matter how people treat me. It doesn’t matter what my circumstances are. Everything fades in the background behind the towering truth: Jesus DIED for me.
Jesus died for me…that’s the big BUT we can put behind any struggle we face to put it into proper perspective. See if any of these fit your life. Some of them fit mine. Some fit people I love.
  • I’m getting a divorce, BUT Jesus died for me.
  • I lost my job, BUT Jesus died for me.
  • The cancer’s back, BUT Jesus died for me.
  • I’m sitting in prison, BUT Jesus died for me.
  • I’m drowning in grief, BUT Jesus died for me.
  • I’m in a halfway house, BUT Jesus died for me.
  • My parent has a terminal disease, BUT Jesus died for me.
  • My best friend betrayed me, BUT Jesus died for me.
  • I have depression, BUT Jesus died for me.
  • I’m lonely, BUT Jesus died for me.
  • I’m battling addiction, BUT Jesus died for me.
  • My child is rebelling, BUT Jesus died for me.
  • Money’s tight, BUT Jesus died for me.
Now you try…
  • _________________, BUT Jesus died for me.
Friends, lots of awful happens in this life. As I write this, my heart feels utterly beaten to a bloody pulp. Lots of tears. Lots of desperate prayers. Lots of questions. Lots of decisions to make.
If I let my circumstances be in the forefront of my mind, I might not make it.
“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importancethat Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4 NIV).
BUT Jesus died for me. All the yuck I’ve already been through. All the yuck I’m going through right now. All the yuck still to come…it’s all temporary. It’s all bound to this earth and the short life I’ll live on it. What Christ did for me will fly right on past my death certificate straight into eternity, which is where real life begins.
So, if you catch me whining about my lot in life, just lean over and whisper in my ear, “BUT Christ died for you!”
Pray with me?
Sometimes, I let my circumstances get too big for their britches. Ugly things I’ve done and ugly things others have done to me should never get the spotlight. The spotlight belongs to You because Jesus died for me.
No matter what happens, I will not lose heart. “Though outwardly [I am] wasting away, inwardly [I am] being renewed day-by-day. For [my] light and momentary troubles are achieving for [me] an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So [I] fix [my] eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NIV).
“Therefore, since [I] have been justified through faith, [I] have peace with [You] through [my] Lord Jesus Christ, through whom [I] have gained access by faith into this grace in which [I] now stand. And [I] boast in the hope of [Your glory]. Not only so, but [I] also glory in [my] sufferings, because [I] know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put [me] to shame, because [Your] love has been poured out into [my heart] through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to [me]. At just the right time, when [I was] still powerless, Christ died for [ungodly me]. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But [You demonstrate Your] own love for [me] in this: While [I was still a sinner], Christ died for me” (Romans 5:1-8 NIV).
For Christ’s love compels [me to] “no longer live for [myself] but for him who died for [me] and was raised again” (2 Corinthians 5: 14-15 NIV).
Oh, Lord, please stamp every single one of my circumstances with the old rugged cross. No struggle, no challenge, no difficulty I could ever face can trump what Christ did for me. Nothing compares to You. 
Keep me shaken and moved by Your stunning sacrifice and cause my struggles to shrink in the shadow of the cross.
In the name of Jesus who died for me I pray, AMEN
Be encouraged by the powerful message in “The Cross of Christ” by my gifted friend, Cheri Keaggy. 


When God Says Hold Still

I have the cutest little dog named Riff. He’s a snuggler. He’s ridiculously cute. He always brings a smile to my face. I don’t know what I’d do without my little furry comfort ball.
But Riff has a problem. He’s prone to ear infections. I have these drops that clear the infections right up, but Riff flails and fights so much that I rarely get the drops in his ears. So… he’s constantly scratching and rubbing his ears on the carpet to relieve his discomfort. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said, “Riffer, if you’d just hold still, your ears would be all better!” He doesn’t listen. He fights the treatment that would provide his healing.
I’m a lot like Riff.
God has some heart surgery He wants to do on me. He’s already healed so many of my broken places. He started with the smaller things, and now He wants to take care of the big one. The hardest healing still needs to happen.
I find myself flailing and fighting the urge to run. I don’t want to hold still and let God do what He needs to do to make me well. Healing hurts, and, frankly, I’ve had my fill of hurting.
But I have to do this. I have to let God do what only He can do. I’m not a silly dog who doesn’t know better. I’m an intelligent woman who has seen God’s power at work in both my life and in others. I know the present pain will provide future freedom.
I will hold still.
Why does healing have to hurt so much? You could fix me with just a raise of Your all-knowing eyebrow. Part of me wishes You would.
But then I look back on all the good work You’ve done in me so far. None of it came easy. I thought the pain would kill me, but it didn’t. I know pain is a pathway to knowing You better. And, well, that’s the whole point of me being here. To know You and to love You and to help other people to know and love You, too.
So, do what You need to do, Lord. I will stay right here in this hurtful, holy place. I will hold still for as long as it takes to be well and whole.
I will hold still and remember who You are. Be glorified in me, Lord (Psalm 46:10). 
I will hold still and let You complete the good work You’ve started in me. Make me more like You, Lord (Philippians 1:6).
I will hold still and watch You fight for me. Be my defender and my safe place (Exodus 14:14).
In the faithful name of Jesus, I pray, AMEN
Is God asking you to hold still so He can do what only He can do? Be encouraged and challenged by this song by Jenny  Simmons.