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Judy Lair is a licensed counselor and owner of Counselorplace Christian Counseling. She is the author of “From the Other Side of the Couch: A Biblical Counselor’s Guide to Relational Living.” Judy’s personal struggles with fear led her through the valley of hurt and sorrow. She now embraces a joy-filled life grounded in God’s truth and freedom in Christ. Judy uses her professional counseling expertise to tell stories that help people find healing and freedom. Her vulnerable, godly approach helps people find courage to move from Fear to Freedom. For more information or speaking requests, email JudyLair@counselorplace.com or sign up for blog posts at http://judylair.blogspot.com

 “Freedom is attainable. Trust me, I’ve been on the anxiety side, gone through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, and now I’m praising God, eating at the banqueting table, and helping others make the same journey. Whether you find yourself stuck in anxiety, disappointment, grief, or confusion, your heart can be set free.” Judy Lair, “From the Other Side of the Couch.”

Monday, September 1, 2014

Is God For You?

My pastor Chris has been teaching a sermon series entitled, "Backstory." Chris points out when we miss the beginning of a movie, it’s hard to understand the full context. Imagine jumping into "Finding Nemo" 30 minutes into the story. You’d have no idea who Nemo was and why Marlin so desperately needed to find him. Any interpretations and conclusions you’d make about the characters and their motives would most likely be incorrect. The same thing is true regarding God's creation of the world and humankind.

In Genesis 1, God declared his handiwork, including people, to be "good." It's vitally important that our view of ourselves and the world is based on the understanding that God emphatically states we are created good.

The belief that humans are fundamentally good has been challenged by those who’ve come into the movie theater hundreds or thousands of years later. These folks point at the horrible things people do to hurt each other, concluding humankind has always been "bad." Deep down, most Christians believe God has to love them (him being God and all), but at best, he tolerates their imperfect existence. Most folks get stuck in the middle of the story where our heart is deceitful and we cannot do the good we desire.

But that’s not where God’s story ends.

Today Chris finished the sermon series by pointing out that everything broken in the Garden of Eden was made right by Jesus Christ on the cross. God, through his son Jesus, broke into human history at the point it went bad. It’s now all being made right again through each one of us who understands this truth. The final chapter of this story is about us going back to living out the good God created in us.

Jesus’ sacrifice made it possible for us to live a redeemed life. The only way we can be successful is to understand God created us good and He is always for us. Grab onto that truth, write it on your doorpost, rearview mirror, tattoo it in permanent ink! If we’re always worried that God’s disappointed in us, it’s hard to do anything but live in fear and discouragement. A foundation based on Genesis 1 allows you to confidently tackle your weaknesses and learn how to love yourself and others well. That’s how the last chapter of the story unfolds.

If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up or us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us…For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, with be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:31-39

Do you believe God is for you?

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