Updated: Dec 15, 2022
Today, Gracie is guest posting! Gracie shares how the Lord taught her where the true source of joy is found. You will be encouraged as she points us to the lasting hope we have available to us, regardless of our circumstances or our past mistakes.
From the beginning of this year, God has been teaching a lot about His love. I feel "Jesus loves me," has always been a straightforward notion for me to grasp. I was taught ‘Jesus loves me this I know’ as a child and I was blessed to be raised in a family that reminded me constantly that I was loved by God. But in that, I became so used to the phrase “Jesus loves me” that I never actually took the time to understand what that love means or what it looks like.
I can testify to many battles of regret, insecurities, and disapproval towards myself. I have always been the person who was the opposite of someone who is an open book. I feel like I can be a very closed book with a lock! It takes a lot for me to be open with someone and share what I am struggling with. I never really understood why because I believe in the power of going to others with what we are going through and allowing them to pray for us. However, it was not until this year that I recognized that the reason I am hesitant to open out to others is because I am afraid of their criticism. When I fail, I condemn myself so hard that I am even more afraid others will do the same. As a result, I keep it to myself. But God is such a good God, and I am thankful that He sees us where we are - in our struggles, and loves us enough to not leave us there.
I first came aware of Romans 8:1 in the middle of January of this year. That verse states, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (ESV). When I read this verse, I stopped and just sat in awe. There is no condemnation in Christ. My flaws, my insecurities, my anxieties. There is NO condemnation in Christ. I had this distorted perception of who Christ is that I felt condemned by him when I messed up. But Romans 8:1 states specifically that’s not the case. When I make a mistake, when I fall short, Jesus isn't there to scold me and say, "Shame, shame, shame." Quite the opposite. He sees my mistakes and failures and stands with His arms open for me to run into. He is right with me - full of love and grace. And he is the best accountability partner I've ever had.
I have heard joy be described as a feeling of good pleasure and happiness that is dependent on who Jesus is rather than on who we are or what is happening around us.
(Joy is) "Dependent of who Jesus is rather than on who we are or what is happening around us."
Running to Jesus with our concerns brings joy. There is joy in no longer carrying all of the weight on our shoulders and turning to Jesus with our problems. Relying on Jesus rather than who we are or what is going on in our lives. Recognizing the mess we are in, while recognizing that Christ Jesus is our hope.
Charles Spurgeon said it pretty spot on when he stated, “Believers are not dependent upon circumstances. Their joy comes not from what they have, but from what they are, not from where they are, but from whose they are, not from what they enjoy, but from that which was suffered for them by their Lord.”
If you are like me, then yes, it is all too easy to cope with our difficulties on our own. Getting out of our comfort zone and being vulnerable is quite difficult. However, there is hope in Jesus, who will comfort us in true love and grace. There is joy in that!
Gracie Lisemby is a musician and singer with WeRCalled, and a social media influencer who loves Jesus. When she isn't touring, Gracie enjoys hiking, reading and spending time with friends.