Tag Archives: endurance

except by grace…

This is a brief post that is not about the Claytons, except to say that my heart is broken tonight reading about some other families. If you are here to read our latest news it is the post right before this one called news of a different kind. Please read this first.

I won’t share the entire story, but to shorten it, there are some families who have received a “no” in country when they went to court for a decision about their child. You can read a short update about these stories here:

http://owensgotokaz.blogspot.com/

Read the post titled Unbelievable. It really is almost unbelievable. It was hard for me to read. I cannot imagine being in the situation that these parents are. They went, met their child, saw them every day for weeks, and started thinking and preparing for a life with them, only to have them snatched away.

I don’t know how I would respond, and hopefully we will not find out, but for tonight I hurt for these families. Thank God that his grace is enough, that his love is faithful, that his mercies are new every single day, and that they never fail. What God is so great as our God?

I think in a moment like this it would be hard to echo these thoughts, but I will not pretend to know what they must be going through, and I won’t trivialize it. Our hearts are full for them right now.

Some days we just have to say that if it were not for grace that does not depend on us we would never make it.

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An uncommon way to glory

(Edited on August 14: We posted two blogs on the same day to break up the reading some and because they were sort of different in focus. One is more of an update on the new situation. The other is some thoughts Aaron had on it. This post was actually written second, so If you want to see all the latest in the right order read the post right before this one, then this one. Thanks.)

There is a theme running all the way through Hebrews of endurance. The writer keeps encouraging them to endure and not to give up. With all that would have been going on around them with opposition (past, present, and future) and struggles it would have been tempting to either just give up or to turn back to the old law. Hebrews encourages them to endure, even when it is hard and not getting any better. 

There are several passages that emerge with this theme, and it sort of climaxes in Chapter 12, but one passage that is a little more obscure, but is so powerful is chapter 10, verse 23. It says, “hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” Those are incredibly encouraging, motivating, and challenging words for me.

It is so motivating to press on through difficulty, especially when the focus and purpose of the struggle is for something that is based on the gospel, which is how we see our adoption. But it’s also challenging. I don’t just endure because of prideful wanting to finish something or to preserve character. In fact, those things are lifeless and drain me about as much as anything because when I am motivated by them I get bitter, angry, frustrated, scared, and just not pleasant. They are all man-centered ways of thinking, and they don’t have anything to do with hope.

But this says to hold on to the confession of our hope. So the motivation is purely out of hope, which is what our confession is based in. But a lot of the time, my confession is not in hope. I am self-reliant, selfish, self-centered, and any other self-exalting word you can think of. My confession, spoken or not, is in myself and what I can and feel like doing. It has nothing to do with hope.

But God-centered, gospel-centered, gospel-glorifying endurance is always based in hope. Our confession is in hope that springs out of the grace that God has lavished on us in his kindness to us in Jesus. And he is faithful. He never changes. Our perspective changes, and our expectations from him change, but it is only us who change. He has never changed.

And so while endurance is really not much fun and wears me out, even brings out the very human side of me in anger, grief, distrust, self-righteousness and 100 other things, it is incredibly good for me and is in some ways a privilege. Because when I endure the right way, it screams of the gospel. It screams of grace and of Jesus. And that is really why we started in the first place.

Thank you for walking with us. We love you.

Aaron


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