What to do when life isn't going the way you want

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A guest post by Jennifer Kelly: 

This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent. John 6:29 (NASB)

I was asked a question a while back. 

It was one of those trick questions – a hard and honest one that ends up changing everything in the end. All that is needed in answering such a question is silence. To shut your mouth and reflect with some bravado. I needed the question to steep into my mind and stay there for a while. I needed it to simmer and sputter and settle.

It went like this, “Jen, are you more in love with the gifts of Jesus or Jesus Himself?”
THIS question rocked my ever-moving world.

Do I trust Jesus? Is my response to Jesus, in the context of my everyday life, to know Him more? Am I walking and talking with Jesus? Am I reading His Word with the intention of learning how He would have me live this life? Do I trust Jesus even if life is not going the way I want it to?

Faith can seem like such a passive thing – a very small part in our oftentimes-fragmented lives. 
And it was never meant to be that way. 
We say our distant prayers to an even more distant God for eternal coverage, for money, for-this or for-that, and go on living life on our terms. And then we wonder why we are left standing there at the end of the day, disheartened and disillusioned.

Elizabeth Elliot wrote, “We have been given a task. Faith is that task”.

Faith in Jesus is anything but passive. (tweet this)
It’s living water. 

The living water of Jesus ebbs and flows and moves and bubbles up into every nick and cranny of your life. When you follow Jesus, you realize your attitude, your money, your gifts, talents, abilities, home, children, thoughts and actions are not your own. You realize it’s not about you. 

When we are more interested in the gifts of Jesus isn’t that still about us? When our faith is a tool used for self-betterment or making us feel better, how is it any different from what the world offers? 

But, when we find ourselves in love with Jesus – the God, the man, the Savior and King, our faith becomes this anchor of hope rooted only in Jesus. We are not so easily moved. We live with conviction and honor and duty and grace and love, because He first loved us.

His love moves us in such a way that we become available to do His will even when things don’t go our way. Because it’s about Him.

When I’m in love with Jesus, I am beyond thankful for His mercy and grace and look forward to His return. I can face death and disease and discomfort knowing that there are better days ahead – found only in the precious blood of Jesus. 

I’m no longer concerned with what I’m getting out of my faith (blessings, work, healing, money, house, kids, etc.) but am only thinking about the ways in which I can express my gratitude and love, how I can serve my Lord and my King. 

And that can only come with surrender. 

And to that my dear friends – I gladly surrender.

Ponder: Are you more in love with the gifts of Jesus or Jesus Himself?

Prayer: Lord, I'm so thankful for all you've done. Help me to find ways to express my gratitude. 

More about the author of this guest devotional 
Jennifer Kelly is a very messy wife and mom. She loves reading, writing, philosophy, music, art, theatre, and really anything that is created by an artist. Jennifer is learning quickly and slowly, joyously and painfully, that it’s really not about her, but the One that calls her by name. Follow along her with her at www.jenjkelly.com or on twitter @JenniferjkellyJ and Facebook.

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Photo Credits (Creative Commons): unsplash.com | Design: Wendy van Eyck

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