I was hurting, severe heartache for a man that I knew God did not want me to be with. I remember yelling at my pastor, “Don’t I deserve to be happy” and he responded back in a way that changed my life forever. He told me you’re not getting what you deserve and you should be happy about that.
I often see social media post about how God blessed me, and they posted the keys to a new house, or a brand new high-end car, or a 5-star luxury vacation. Then they sign off on it with, “don’t downplay what God is trying to do in your life, you deserve his good gifts”
I have always struggled with this as I know God is a giver of good gifts. I tell my family every day they are a gift from God. But could we be losing sight of what “good gifts” He gives?
Let me explain where God has been taking me lately. The gospel is all about the good news, right? The good news that Jesus came to die for our sins, so we don’t get what we deserve.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.- John 3:16
So, if I am reading this correctly, the plan was so that we will not perish. That was and is the path that we are on if we choose not to believe in him.
So, the gift is salvation not worldly gifts.
I went to Cuba once where this woman told me that she had been praying for a new house. That she fasted and prayed and told God that if he would bless her with a house, she would dedicate her home to serving him. She got it and she was having services in her house. Mind you this is a communist country and you cannot open a church, but she told God that she would. She pretty much told God I will suffer to bring you glory. But she received the gift she was waiting for, the house of her dreams and by a miracle, the government gave it to her for free.
I could not wait to see this house. When I got there half the house was missing a roof, the bathroom had no running water and certainly no AC. And the part of the house that had no roof she had set up her own little makeshift pulpit, and lined up chairs and took a risk and invited everyone she could to join her in her house to hear the gospel. Her home was filled, and she spent the little she had to provide lemonade and pastries to her guest who came to her new home.
From American standards, the house looked like it survived a war. From God’s standards, this woman was in the war and walking in victory.
And here I am yelling, “Don’t I deserve to be happy”
I really should be happy that I am not getting what I deserve.
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?- Matthew 16:24-26
Once my perspective shifted to this understanding it didn’t take away my desire for a new house, better car, nicer clothing and jewelry, or fancy tech. But it did do this.
1. Made me LOVE God so much more, I lost sight of chasing my desires.
2. I have JOY in the most difficult places because I know what Price was paid for me.
3. I have this PEACE amongst life’s trials.
4. I practice PATIENCE with others who have yet to learn this truth, cause I was there.
5. I am KIND to all recognizing that I am not the only one JESUS died for.
6. I recognize God’s GOODNESS in my life more.
7. I recognize God’s FAITHFULNESS.
8. I see God’s GENTLENESS in correcting me with these truths.
9. And after all that, my desires pale in comparison that I have more SELF-CONTROL. -Galatians 5:22
Are you holding onto something God is asking you to let go of?
The lesson I learned when I finally let go.
Happiness dies in the face of adversity. Joy does not and Joy only comes from God.
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2
You deserve joy!