Andrew Fleming, Institutional Technology
For the past several months I have been growing in my understanding and trust in two really important areas: knowing God as Father and trusting in his goodness. The verses below from Romans 5 and 8 stood out to me.
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:1-8).
“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? … 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:31, 38-39).
These verses remind me that, in a time when we sometimes feel alone, we are not alone. We have the Holy Spirit and a Heavenly Father who absolutely loves to be with us and spend time with us. Jesus dying for us set the bar for the minimum amount of love and good that God wants to bring into our lives, through Jesus and the Spirit. When the Father thinks of us, he thinks of us with joy and happiness. He wants to come alongside us, in both the good and hard places, and speak life, hope and peace to us. I have found that, to receive a deeper relationship with God I have to put deeper trust in his goodness, especially when the future is uncertain.
Two things that have helped me in this season are giving thanks to God and giving praise to him. Giving thanks is an amazing tool; it helps me shift my perspective, to look past the current moment and remember both what he has done in the past and to have hope and trust (faith) in what he will do in the future. It allows me to be at peace exactly where I’m at and tune my mind into what the Spirit is doing.
Praise has a similar effect: It reminds me how incredibly good God has been to me, not just in the big ways but in the small ways, too. It reminds me of his loving and nurturing character.
I hope and pray that these words are a reminder and encouragement to you. May your week be filled with the grace and peace that come from Jesus.
I work in the IT department at George Fox. One of my passions outside of my day job is the outdoors. I love to hike, climb, camp, backpack, ride bikes and do many other things outside. I have come to experience deeper relationships with God and my friends because of the outdoors, and because of that I love to make space for others to experience the outdoors the same way that I do. Here’s a photo of a place I love to ride my bike; it’s about five miles from campus.