Jessica is an author of several books and a frequent conference speaker. Her heart is to see women, families, and children freed from the bondage of moralism and to live in the truth that in the gospel there is joyful freedom awaiting them. Jess has a Bachelor's Degree in Theology and with her mother, Elyse Fitzpatrick, she co-authored the books Give Them Grace and Answering Your Kids' Toughest Questions. She has also written Exploring Grace Together and Everyday Grace: Infusing All Your Relationships With the Love of Jesus. Jess believes the truth that salvation is "naked confidence in the mercy of God." She has been married to her high school sweetheart since 1995. Together they have three teenage children.
Seasons of prolonged suffering have a way of beating your spirit down into the dust. Relational suffering. Physical suffering. Emotional suffering. Financial suffering. All of it can leave you feeling hopeless. We find ourselves looking up at the sky and wondering where He went or if He was ever there to begin with.
God’s children spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness. Imagine the hopelessness. Imagine the frustration. Imagine the seeds of distrust that were blooming into outright trees of anger and pain. “He brought us out of Egypt for this?” Some of us don’t need to imagine this anger, this pain, this sense that maybe God has forgotten or betrayed you.
If you are going to memorize a passage of Scripture, can I suggest these two verses? My guess is you are going to need the good news they deliver every day of your life, multiple times a day. I love the tone that John is taking here, “My little children” is such a sweet term of endearment.
Oh Come, see Him loving you before He was ever even born. (Ephesians 1:3-6) Oh Come, see Him planning our rescue. (Genesis 3:15) Oh Come, see Him being born into brokenness, poverty, and bloodshed. (Matthew 1:18-25) Oh Come, see Him living in utter obscurity as a boy, teenager, man. (Luke 2:52)
The disciples and Christ have just finished their last meal together. The disciples, of course, didn't know this, but Jesus did. As an act displaying his humility and kindness, he kneels before them. Jesus "who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,” lays aside his outer garments.
Today I want to give you some good news. It is good news for the relationship failure; for the one who is self-focused; for the one who is impatient with the change in others’ lives but is comfortable with the slow as molasses change in their own.