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People need hope more than ever. As followers of Jesus, we have this promise in Colossians 1:27.....Listen to Radio Podcast featured on Moody Radio April 17 2024 

It Doesn't Matter

Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ,

Ephesians 3:8

I’m not going to ask if you’ve ever felt totally down, emotionally depressed, with no hope of ever coming back. Instead, I’m going to ask about the last time you felt that way. The most recent event that pushed you to the ground, with a foot on you neck, holding you there. The last time you were absolutely convinced that everything was falling apart and that there was no glue to ever put it back together again.

My emotional rollercoaster of a life[1] seems to go up and down. But the physical rollercoasters that you can see and touch have an advantage. You can always see where they are going and prepare yourself for them. But the emotional rollercoasters are invisible, so there is no way to prepare yourself for them.

My most recent deep dive into an emotional bottomless pit came from out of nowhere. It totally caught me by surprise. After picking up the mail, I was walking inside while looking it over. And when my eyes fixed on one envelope, I was gone. I didn’t even get to the opening and looking inside part. My emotions soared; my anger went through the roof. I jumped on that out-of-control emotional rollercoaster and went on a wild ride. Up and down. Banking hard right and left. Flipping upside down. My emotional G-forces had me pinned to the wall.

In some way, this is how Paul felt about himself and Jesus. He was more than not worthy, he was the most unworthy person in the history of the world. He not only persecuted the first-century church[2], but he was also full of evil desires[3].

So, how exactly did Paul feel about himself? Did he think he was some kind of spiritual superstar because God had used him to reach many people? Did he think he must be something special because so many churches were planted so quickly? Did he think he was indispensable to God because he wrote so much of the New Testament?

No. Just the opposite. He called himself a wretched man. But it’s worse than that: he saw no way out of his pit problem. No one was going to be able to pull him out. The bottom line is that he was stuck, and no one could get him out. No one, that is, except God.

Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Romans 7:25

Paul knew in the bottom of his heart that he was the same as everyone else. Someone once said, “The ground is level at the foot of the cross.” We’re all the same. No one’s higher or lower.

You see, that’s because the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin[4]. When he says “us,” it’s for everyone. And it’s for all sin. Not just some sin. Not just the small sins. Not just the big sins. But all sins.

And all is all. All includes every one. None are kept out. None are too dirty. None are too bad. And how can this be?

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.

Hebrews 4:15

Jesus not only experienced all temptation like we do, but he didn’t sin. He’s been down the same road as us, so he knows what we’re going through.

There is a scene in The West Wing where Josh Lyman admits his failure to Leo McGarry. And instead of beating him up with words, Leo tells a story about a guy who falls in a hole. Two different people walk by, but no one offers to help. Finally, he asks a friend to help. What does the friend do? He jumps in and says, “I’ve been down here before and I know the way out[5].”

Paul understands that the boundless riches of Christ are beyond all our understanding, It’s so far above anything that we might imagine. There is nothing in this life that can compare. There are no footprints in this life that we can follow, taking us to the riches of God in Christ.

It doesn’t matter where you look. It doesn’t matter how hard you look. It doesn’t matter how hard you try. It doesn’t matter what story or illustration you think of. There is nothing, nothing, nothing that can compare with God’s rich mercy.

Have you found it? Experienced it?

Noodling Questions

  • What are the things that push you into a roller coaster ride with God?

  • Are you highs really high? Are your lows really low? Explain.

  • How can you best calm yourself in the love of God?

[1] [2] Galatians 1:13 [3] Romans 7:18,19 [4] 1 John 1:7 [5]

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