“Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” – Psalm 46:10
When we are in pain, we work tirelessly to end the suffering. We often create remedies and believe wholeheartedly that the solution is just up ahead. Unfortunately, these efforts bring only temporary relief. Ultimately as the pain returns, we find ourselves disappointed.
Life Under Our Own Design and the Results
What plagues us? Is it depression, anger, bitterness, addiction, anxiety, broken relationships, stress, trauma, grief, loneliness, or maybe a collection of things that does not lend itself easily to a label? In a moment of honesty, we must admit that when left to our own efforts, we are powerless to overcome the problems that have troubled us for so long. If we dig deep into our past patterns, we can see that under our own design, the problem is not getting any better. For some of us, the pain may be getting even worse.
How does the pain increase? As our core problems continue to fester, emotional pain becomes more intense and frequent. Relationships become increasingly dysfunctional, and we isolate ourselves. Addictions grow over time, as we discover we crave more of what briefly disconnects us from reality. We can feel a sense of hopelessness at work, as our dissatisfaction intensifies year after year. Maybe it is resentment and bitterness from an unresolved memory, loss or tragedy that is contributing to our increased pain.
What does this point us to? We need to acknowledge that our way will not work. We cannot save ourselves. We desperately yearn for freedom from what has ensnared us, but we cannot do it on our own. Truth is available when we can admit that our design has failed.
What is Truth?
It is easy to ignore the growing problems in our lives. The world values and encourages pride and independence. These values encourage us to reject truth. We want to be able to say, “I did it my way.” Ultimately, this value leads to a life that feels increasingly isolated and without purpose.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” – Matthew 5:3
The crisis that brings us to counseling is like finding ourselves walking through the woods in a dark, cold and lonely night. Our pride tells us to strive harder, to run faster, to strain our eyes to see ahead. If we just get strong enough, we can find a way out of this mess on our own. But the more we try, the more lost and in danger we become. It takes a humbleness to acknowledge that we need a light to guide the path.
“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path” – Psalm 119:105
Can we admit that apart from God, we are powerless and cannot manage the problems that cause pain and struggle? Can we yield to the Lord’s authority? Are we willing to rely on His Truth? Contained within the Bible is the Lord’s Truth, God’s very words. It is Truth without error. Almost 2000 years ago, Pontius Pilate, a Roman governor, looked into the eyes of Jesus and asked, “What is Truth?” Pontius Pilate stood before the Lord but was unable to accept Him. During pain and struggle, it is a test of courage, to be humble and reach out for the Truth that is right in front of us.
Valuing Truth – a Life Guided by Intelligent Design
“And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” – John 1:14
Intelligent design reflects that our lives did not occur by accident. From the beginning, the Lord’s way has been established and is working in His creation. His design is what works now and for the future.
Accepting Truth, we can choose a different path, one step at a time. We can admit we are powerless to accomplish this on our own. We can focus on the way of Jesus. We can find the Truth in God’s very words in the Bible. A Christian Counselor can lead us in discovering how to be open to the Truth, during every counseling session. We can learn about His way and cease trying to struggle under our own power. We can choose to live our lives by intelligent design!
“If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
John 8:31b – 32
Where is pride evident in my life? In what part of my life is it difficult to accept the truth? Where have I been striving in my life, attempting to face challenges under my own strength?