For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2 Corinthians 3:17
TRUE FREEDOM COMES IN SURRENDERING TO GOD
For this month’s Oasis of Hope, we marvel at the kindness, creativity and glory of our awesome God. We see how even in the hardest times His sustaining grace will carry us, and we learn how surrendering to Him with reckless abandon can lead to wonder and awe and creativity in our own lives, with true freedom.
We all want to be free, but what is true freedom? So often we put chains on ourselves or allow others to do so, and we live fixed and rigid lives forgetting how we were meant to live — or chronic illness comes along and changes everything. Whether we are caregivers or dealing with our own chronic illnesses, we can feel trapped and overwhelmed.
However, we serve an awesome God who knows us better than we know ourselves. He is not afraid of our questions, and He desires our love and adoration. Without Him we really aren’t free at all. By surrendering to God and putting ourselves in His hands instead of our own, we find freedom and beauty in this journey through life. God breaks the chains that hold us back, setting us truly free.
Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings.
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32 NLT)
GOD IS WORTHY OF OUR PRAISE
We worship and praise God because He is worthy. He not only created the world but is sustaining it — all by His own power. When we notice the beauty of creation all of its intricate details, we can’t help but be in awe. God is omniscient and omnipresent, yet also near and involved in our world and in our lives.
There is a freedom in being honest in the hard things even when we are afraid. We can talk to God about them, and with His strength we can face them head on, knowing that He will listen and uphold us with His grace. No matter what our circumstances, God will be with us through them all. He not only gives strength and comfort, but in Him we can also find deep joy, and a peace we cannot manufacture on our own. God’s grace is sustaining and sufficient. We have so many reasons to praise Him.
GOD’S KINDNESS, SUSTAINING GRACE, AND CREATIVITY
Our first offering is Incomparable Kindness • A Prayer to Marinate in God’s Kindness by Scotty Smith. He invites us to pause and drink in the wonder of God’s kindness to us.
Next up is Sustaining Grace by Shelly Esser, in which she tells about a time when her daughter faced serious surgery. Her testimony shows us how God covers and sustains us with His grace even in the most overwhelming circumstances.
Third, we are treated to 3 Observations About God’s Creativity and Glory by Dr. Ted Essler. With vivid descriptions he shows us how “God’s creativity is intimately woven into His character and makes Him evident to us.” Dr. Essler points out that our creativity can show God’s glory, because we are made in His image.
Our final article ties together creativity and surrender. Join Karin Fendick in Permission to Be Reckless • Abandoning Self to God, as she shares an original poem and part of her story of surrender. She leaves us with a challenge: If the concept of abandoning your entire life seems too large, too big a bite, try this nibble with me. Surrender your words, then write. Allow the wonder of a new thing.
INVITED TO PRAISE HIM
As we think of God’s creativity and glory, we are invited to praise Him. His kindness is overwhelming and His grace sustaining. Surrendering to God is the only way to be truly free. In so doing, we will discover our purpose and fulfill our calling in Him.
The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. (Psalm 28:7)
IN THIS ISSUE
In this issue of Oasis of Hope, we begin with a prayer in awe of God’s kindness. We see His sustaining grace and are invited to worship Him in awe and wonder, and finally to surrender to Him in our creativity.
- Incomparable Kindness • A Prayer to Marinate in God’s Kindness by Scotty Smith
- Sustaining Grace by Shelly Esser
- 3 Observations About God’s Creativity and Glory by Dr. Ted Essler
- Permission to Be Reckless • Abandoning Self to God by Karin Fendick
Incomparable Kindness • A Prayer to Marinate in God’s Kindness
There is no other God who would raise up dead sinners for an eternity of lavishing on them more and more of His kindness. I’m left speechless, breathless, and ever so grateful. May Your incomparable kindness for me, be celebrated as Your kindness through me, all this one day long.
In the trials is where His power and work are displayed best – in the tough spot that tries our faith, because true faith counts on God and believes before it sees. This faith sustains us in the most trying places, when everything around us seems to contradict God’s Word.
3 Observations about God's Creativity and Glory
We are God’s creatures; living in the creation, created by the Creator. Creativity helps us understand how we are created iHis image. It is a part of His nature and He has given us creative powers. There is creativity in thought, culture, art and literature, work, economics, and in all other areas of life.
Permission to Be Reckless • Abandoning Self to God
Okay, not just abandon, but reckless abandon! Not being abandoned by someone else, but abandoning self in total surrender. If the concept of abandoning your entire life seems too large, too big a bite, try this nibble with me. Surrender your words, then write. Allow the wonder of a new thing.