Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Thanks to God, Via Jesus


“I am the wretch the song refers to.” ~Todd Friel


Paul said it in Romans, Todd Friel repeated it, and we echo it ourselves today, “Oh wretched man that I am!” Even Webster has its own definition of what “wretched” is. It means “deeply afflicted, dejected, distressed, miserable, woeful, and poor in quality or ability. “

Perhaps the more important issue here is why we are feeling wretched. To Paul he was struggling with the fact that he was always doing what he really didn’t want to do. His flesh seemed to be stronger in many ways than his spirit.

If you take a close look at Paul and ourselves there is a difference in the way we react to this “wretched” situation. With Paul immediately after talking about his struggle with the flesh he went on to say, “Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.” Paul knew the answer to his question about who would deliver him from this body of death. It was Jesus. He knew with his mind or spirit he was serving the law of God but the flesh was leaning towards the law of sin. However, Paul knew there was hope, optimism thanks to God via Jesus.

Now let’s take a look at “ourselves.” Yes, that was the whole idea. Open your eyes come on both of them! No peeking, we want a good wide open look. When we struggle with fleshly sin and get to feeling down on ourselves, discouraged, afflicted, distressed, poor in quality or ability we often stay there. We form a pity party and expect everyone around us to join in. “Oh what a wretch I am, I’m terrible, nobody loves me, nobody cares…..” sob, sob, sob, sob and that’s where we get stuck in our sobs. Once down it can be very difficult to get back up.

Sadly enough you would almost think we like being in the wretched part of life. A part where we get a little pity, people feeling sorry for us, a place where improvement is not expected, we have an excuse for all our bad behaviors because after all look at what a wretched person we are. No, we need to have the hope that Paul did, thanks to God, via Jesus. That should be our theme in life don’t you think, “Thanks to God, via Jesus.”

It’s a given fact we all fit in that wretched man mode. You might even say we are put there to learn our way out. Now that sounds interesting doesn’t it? When we are kids learning is done out of curiosity a lot of the times. As adults learning is a part of humility. We need to want to learn our way out of those wretched moments. Learn how to be self-controlled. Learn how to fear God. Learn how to walk with God. Learn how to be dependent on Jesus.

Those wretched situations are not there for us to sit and pout in or collect enough pity to get us through to our next situation. We need to recognize what we are without God and what we can be with Him. Even with Christ in our lives we experience those “wretched” moments but it needs to be used as a time to grow not sink further into the quicksand of life.

The choice is ours whether we want to be bitter or better, sink or swim, pity or praise, and the list goes on. Yes, we all fit that “wretched” man mold but what we do it is the artwork that God is interested in. Are we going to stay or go on like Paul did? Where is our attitude? Do we know in our hearts and demonstrate in our lives that “thanks to God, via Jesus” I may not be where I want to be but I’m not where I use to be. Praise the Lord!

In Jesus, the wretched man doesn’t have to win, thanks to God!

© 2010 Karen J. Gillett @ Pencil Marks and Recipes Publishing

3 comments:

Nic said...

The choice is ours whether we want to be bitter or better, sink or swim, pity or praise, and the list goes on....In Jesus, the wretched man doesn’t have to win, thanks to God!

That is so true! It's OUR choice what to do with the grace that God has given us. Really enjoyed your IOW post, Karen! I always look forward to them! :-)

Tami Boesiger said...

Even with Christ in our lives we experience those “wretched” moments but it needs to be used as a time to grow not sink further into the quicksand of life.

Amen, Karen!

theanniversaryshop said...

You are so right that often we want to use our wretchedness to justify our actions. Like Paul, may we use our understanding of our own wretchedness to truly give ourselves to God and let him pull us up out of the muck and mire.