Each of us has experienced the brokenness of humanity over the course of our lives––in our relationships, in the world around us, and in our own hearts––and there’s something innate to the human experience that causes us to long to be whole, to love again wholeheartedly, to accept ourselves, and live for something greater. In a strange divine plot twist, God himself took on our brokenness in the person of Jesus…so that we might be made whole through his life.
1. God makes peace through Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
- When we put our faith in Jesus for the first time, he makes us whole in that moment because true wholeness is being one with God, being in right, unified relationship with him––and that’s what Jesus accomplished for us on the cross. However, he also increasingly makes us whole the longer we walk with him. Just as Jesus made peace between us and God, he is the one who gives us the ability to make peace with others and even ourselves. We all carry wounds, places in our hearts where we are not reconciled to ourselves, our pasts or our memories. And Jesus came to make us whole in all those ways too.
- Because we have peace with God, we can embrace the peace of God (true inner peace) in any and every circumstance. Even in circumstances where things are happening that we don’t agree with, we can work toward peace among people we disagree with because we know our lives are under the sovereign control of the one who holds the keys to our circumstances.
Take some time to process, journal, pray, etc. What is the emotional state you most often find yourself in right now? How can you let God’s peace rule in your heart, no matter what you’re walking through?
2. God sets us apart.
1 Thessalonians 3:12-13
- To be set apart is to be “sanctified,” made holy or sacred. God hasn’t randomly assigned to each of us the way he sets us apart. Each of us has been called specifically and set apart for a specific purpose.
- Our world is constantly tugging at us, pulling us to look more like the culture in which we find ourselves. But God hasn’t just set us apart individually––he’s set us apart corporately, into the beautiful culture of the family of God.
- Never make any decision as someone who isn’t set apart to be holy. Ask yourself, “What would holiness do in this situation?”
What is the specific purpose God has called you to and set you apart for? If there is any way you have been living “common” instead of set apart, what would it look like to start walking in holiness in that area of your life?
3. God wants all of us.
1 Corinthians 1:7-9
- Often, we find ourselves tempted to compartmentalize––to “stuff” certain feelings, bury certain memories, or choose to not let our relationships with Jesus change the way we live in ways we find hard to give up. When we do that, we prevent the Lord from doing his ongoing work of making us whole in all the details of who we are.
- God wants all of us, and that’s not something he desires because he’s some kind of control freak. He wants all of us because it’s the only way we will ever find healing and wholeness. The antidote to compartmentalization is whole-hearted surrender.
What part of your heart have you kept from the Lord? What would it look like to surrender all of your “compartments” today?
4. God is faithful.
- The key to our continual growth in Jesus is that God himself is faithful. He gives us this promise in the words of the Apostle Paul to the Philippians, that God is not done with us and will not quit until he has completed his work in us.
- When we are truly confident that God is faithful, it will keep us from making some big mistakes. When we trust that God is who he says he is and he’s absolutely going to finish his work in us, we don’t have to worry about anything. We can walk through life trusting him, instead of trying to “help God” get where he needs to be (like Abraham and Sarah did).
- And in the seasons where we seem to be waiting on God a very long time, we cling to these promises of what we know to be true (even if we haven’t seen the answer to our prayers yet).
As we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection, how do you find yourself waiting to see his resurrection power in your own life and circumstances? What are the specific ways you need to trust his faithfulness?
Optional Follow-up Questions:
- What makes you say that?
- How do you feel about that?
- How would you explain your answer to a non-Christian friend or neighbor?
- Why did God design it to work that way? Why not just do (whatever else) instead?
- What would you say to someone who disagrees with that?
- Why do we really have to do it like that? Why can’t we just go (some other route) instead?