Chemotherapy and the Baptism of a New Believer

If I could sum up the past week with one word, that word would be “inspiration,” because that is what my family has been to me, an inspiration.

What I have learned over the past week is that God is always good, He is always faithful, and He is indescribable. I have been more than amazed at just how good God really is. When I think of my family, all that they have gone through and continue to go through, I am blown away at the amount of faith they put in our wonderful Savior.

Last Wednesday, I was blessed to spend quality time with Dad (Ronnie) as he went to Scott and White for his first chemotherapy treatment for colon cancer (one down, eleven more to go). Time and time again, I always emphasize just how much Dad is my Superman. Although the past few weeks leading up to the start of chemo has left my Dad quite anxious about the next six months, he never seems to lose the faith He has in Jesus. He doesn’t use the phrase, “I’m going to get through this,” by itself. Instead he proclaims, “God is going to get me through this,” acknowledging that only by the grace of God, can he overcome cancer, not by anything he does himself.

A picture of my Superman Dad and me!

A picture of my Superman Dad and me!

Sure, the next six months are going to be tough. Chemo at any level is never easy. Yet with God, one can have hope for the future even in the midst of cancer and chemo. As I sat in the chair next to Dad, I was amazed by how much strength and calmness he had as the poison ran from the IV into his body. He was even trying to figure out future practical jokes to play on the nurses administering the chemo. After all, you’ve got to have a sense of humor in all of this.

While we truly believe that God has a plan for Dad, just as He has a plan for each of us, I would be untruthful if I said that we didn’t also have a fear of the unknown. As imperfect human beings, fear is absolutely a very real part of all of this, and yet, God somehow reminds us to place our trust in Him and not fear. He calls on us to cast all of our anxieties on Him because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). So why do we fear? Why can’t we somehow dispose of those fears when God assures us that He is absolutely in control?

Friday morning when I awoke, I scrolled through my Facebook newsfeed, reading about what was “trending” and what everyone was posting about. Then I read something my Nana posted and I was astonished (which is not an adequate word) by how God spoke to her.

To provide a little context, my grandparents have wonderful children they adopted as their own, and the youngest one has been through major health problems himself at such a young age (age 10). For quite some time, Isaac has battled Juvenile Dermatomyositis, an autoimmune disorder that causes his immune system to attack his muscles when he gets really sick. Having gone through so much himself, he also never ceases to inspire me by telling everyone how much he loves Jesus and how much Jesus loves the whole world.

A picture of Isaac and me...

A picture of Isaac and me…

Here is what my Nana posted on Friday:

We have the most meaningful conversations in the van in the school pick-up line.
Isaac: Mom, has God ever contacted you?
Mom: I’m not sure what you mean, Isaac.
Isaac: Does God ever talk to you?
Mom: Well kind of. I feel He is with me and guiding me.
Isaac: No, have you ever heard His voice? He spoke to me last night and His voice is like an ocean sunset, you know, calm and peaceful. He said for me to stop worrying so much that He is going to heal Ronnie and that I need to rest and in a few days something wonderful is going to happen and then I saw Him and went to sleep.
Mom: speechless…

Emotions flooded over me as I read this post. If ever I needed a reason to not fear and to trust in the Lord, this would be it. If I ever needed a human example of someone’s faith to imitate, it would be Isaac’s. Perhaps too, I also need to stop worrying, and trust in the calmness and peacefulness of our Heavenly Father. What a powerful example Isaac is to me and to those around him. The way He describes our Creator, “His voice is like an ocean sunset,” gives me goosebumps.

To continue to show me how good and faithful He really is, God used yet another example in my family, in Shayla. Last week, I described how this young high school freshman, full of life, accepted Christ as her Savior last Sunday, and how overjoyed I was by her example. I wept tears of joy in welcoming my new sister-in-Christ. When I returned home this past weekend to witness her baptism, I couldn’t stop loving on her, congratulating her, and telling her how proud I was. She has never cared what anyone else thinks of her, and I know that will continue as she unashamedly proclaims to the whole world that she is a Believer who follows Christ.

I was excited beyond words to witness Shayla’s bright smile as her mentor at FBC, Blaine, dunked her in the baptism pool as the entire congregation watched her profess her faith in Christ. For the past week, she couldn’t stop reminding me and telling everyone on Facebook and elsewhere that she is a Follower of Christ and she counted down the days until her baptism which took place yesterday.

Shayla and Blaine, who had the opportunity to baptize her on Sunday...

Shayla and Blaine, who had the opportunity to baptize her on Sunday…

The past few weeks, Shayla has also served as a source of inspiration to me. She has shown me just how much we should all proclaim our belief that Jesus is Lord of all.

That same day, Bro. Mark talked about how our lives should be a memorial of when God did something awesome in our lives. When people hear our testimonies generations from now, will they know by the way we lived, that we never ceased glorifying God? When people see us now, will they see the light for the Gospel that we are supposed to be?

2 Corinthians 3:2-3 says, “You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts” (NIV).

When people read our “letters” are they reading about Christ? Are they reading about what we are doing to advance His Kingdom? Are we living by the Spirit of God in order to touch the lives of others?

This is why I am inspired by Dad, by Isaac, by Shayla. I am inspired by them to live my life for Christ with every fiber of my being. Even in the midst of cancer and chemotherapy, Dad still continues to proclaim God’s goodness in His life. Even at such a young age, knowing pain and heartache himself, Isaac continues to share how much Jesus loves him. And with her outgoing spunkiness, Shayla is unashamed to proclaim to the whole world that she chooses to serve Jesus Christ with all her heart. These are the examples I strive to live by.

After Shayla’s baptism and Mark’s sermon, we ended the service singing my favorite song, “Because He Lives” by Bill and Gloria Gaither. I cried tears of joy as we sang these words:

And then one day, I’ll cross the river, 
I’ll fight life’s final war with pain; 
And then, as death gives way to victory, 
I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know He lives! 

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow, 
Because He lives, all fear is gone; 
Because I know He holds the future, 
And life is worth the living, 
Just because He lives!

No matter what the future holds, with Christ, it will always be a bright future. I don’t know what tomorrow brings, but I do know that we can all face uncertain days, because He lives. As believers, we are promised that when we leave this Earth, we will spend an eternity where we will know no suffering or pain. But until then, let us always remember that we can face those uncertain days, and that life is worth the living JUST BECAUSE HE LIVES!

Gaither, William J. and Gloria Gaither, 1971. “Because He Lives.” LyricsMode. Web. 31 Aug. 2015.

New International Version. Bible Gateway. Web. 31 Aug. 2015.

Because He Lives by the Gaither Vocal Band

Lifesong by Casting Crowns

Shout it! Go on and scream it from the mountains…

Yesterday, my heart leaped for joy with the most amazing news that anyone can hear, someone I love, someone so close to me, accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior. How can I not be excited!? How can I not praise God and weep tears of joy in knowing that I have a new sister in Christ!? That sister in Christ is Shayla, one of the wonderful young people my grandparents have so lovingly adopted. Shayla has always been like a sister to me, and that is what I call her, my sister. And now I get to call her my sister in Christ. It makes me wonder how big God must be smiling when one of His own chooses to follow Him.

Shayla and me after her 8th grade awards ceremony in June...

Shayla and me after her 8th grade awards ceremony in June…

For as long as I have known her, Shayla has always been this spunky young lady, always full of joy, with one of the biggest hearts for the loved ones around her. She always brightens my day when I am around her, especially when we tease each other. After all she is the coolest Horned Frog on the planet! Okay, so that was a joke. She’s like the biggest Baylor Bear fan (even more than me), so she probably doesn’t like me calling her a horned frog, the mascot of Baylor’s main rival, TCU. Hehehe.

Yet that’s the relationship we’ve built together, a relationship between a brother and a sister in which the two would walk through fire for the other. So of course like brothers and sisters are supposed to do, we tease each other.

As UMHB’s Welcome Week came to a close, I went with my group of freshmen to visit First Baptist Church in Belton, right next to the UMHB campus. It was such a wonderful experience. Not only was it my freshmen’s first time to visit FBC Belton, it was mine as well. In the packed College House, we talked about Jonah and from this experience, one thing stood out to me… Trust in God’s plan even when it’s not your own and follow Him. In the main service the pastor talked about being salt and light to the world, living as an example for others by following Christ.

If that wasn’t enough to make this experience wonderful, we sang one of my favorite songs, “All the Poor and Powerless.” My heart was filled with joy as we started to sing this song as I realized just how awesome and mighty Christ truly is. One day, when Christ returns, every tongue and nation will cry out that He is Holy, and no matter the pain and suffering we endure, we will know that Christ our Redeemer is Holy!

All the poor and powerless
And all the lost and lonely
All the thieves will come confess
And know that You are holy
And know that You are holy

And all will sing out
And we will cry out
And all will sing out
And we will cry out

All the hearts who are content
And all who feel unworthy
And all who hurt with nothing left
Will know that You are holy
Will know that You are holy

And all will sing out
And we will cry out
And all will sing out
And we will cry out

Then with my arms raised high, jumping and weeping for joy, I sang these words:

Shout it
Go on and scream it from the mountains
Go on and tell it to the masses
That He is God

As believers, we must shout it and scream it from the mountains until the entire world hears the name of Jesus. As I enjoyed both the College House and the Contemporary Worship service, I was realizing just how rewarding it is to follow Christ and truly shout His name for all of creation to hear and know that He is holy.

Little did I know that 40 minutes south of this service focusing on following Christ and being the light unto the world, Shayla would be answering that call and surrendering her life to Christ. I later received the news as she told me that she would be baptized next week. My heart was overwhelmed by gladness at this wonderful news. As I was singing “Shout it. Go on and scream it from the mountains,” Shayla was doing just that. She was proclaiming that Christ is her Lord and Savior and that she chooses to follow Him.

What a wonderful testimony she can share with the world, that she once was lost and now Christ has found her, brought her out of darkness and into light. With everything our family has gone through, she knows more than many that life doesn’t automatically become easy once you accept Christ. But life is so much sweeter when you can rely on the Lord and place your hope, your faith, your life in His hands. She decided that life’s challenges are only for a brief moment, yet God’s promise of redemption remains eternal.

Once one accepts Christ, that person is made new. This person, this saved person, is now sheltered in the everlasting arms of God with the knowledge of eternal life. Christ died and rose again so that we might have eternal life, and once we accept Him into our hearts, we become new people as believers.

Galatians 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (NIV).

When we accept Him into our hearts, we have new lives. No longer do we live as our worldly selves, but we live with the promise of eternal life, with Christ living in us. All of this is thanks to Jesus who gave himself for all of us.

I am so unbelievably proud of Shayla and I cannot wait until she shows the rest of the world her decision to follow Jesus when she gets baptized next week. If I have learned anything these past few weeks, it’s that God is worth it! The truth is that we will struggle. We will face hardship. Yet those things are only temporary. The love of Christ is forever!

So like Shayla, allow Christ in your heart. When you do, you will be a new creation! There are so many in this world (even those around you) that have never heard the Gospel. So proclaim His name to the world!

SHOUT IT! Go on and scream it from the mountains that HE IS GOD!

Jordan, Leslie, and David Leonard, 2012. “All the Poor and Powerless.” SongLyrics. Web. 24 Aug. 2015.

New International Version. Bible Gateway. Web. 24 Aug. 2015.

All the Poor and Powerless by The Digital Age

Jesus Loves Me by Chris Tomlin

It is well with my soul…

The last few weeks, I have thought of various songs that give comfort in some of the most challenging times in our lives. They have been songs that have reassured me that God has everything in control, even when I feel nothing but chaos. Last week I shared with you the fact that my father’s cancer has returned for the second time. When I first heard of the reemergence of his cancer, I was shocked. I certainly could not have ever imagined that this could happen, especially not twice.

This made me think of all the times when we wonder why these things happen. Honestly, I don’t know why these things take place, and I never will. What I do know is that I serve an awesome God, and more than anything else, I am reminded to trust that He is sovereign.

I have now been back on the UMHB campus for almost a week as I prepare for welcoming the new class of freshmen for Welcome Week. I am beyond excited to play a role in mentoring and encouraging these new faces as they transition into the college life. It wasn’t too long ago that I was in their shoes, going off on my own for the first time.

As I prepare for the school year ahead, I cannot stop thinking about my Dad. He absolutely means the world to me, and I can’t imagine what he’s going through and will go through once chemo starts next week. All I know is, is that God has a plan. He has a plan for me, He has a plan for these new freshmen and transfers, and He has a plan for my Superman Dad.

While the next six months will be challenging for my family, I know that God will use all of these circumstances for His glory so that His name will be exalted among every nation. He uses our weaknesses to give hope to others, and although I don’t always understand what’s going on, I just have to trust that He is sovereign.

As I type this entry, I can’t help but get emotional. I have so many thoughts running through my mind. It is in these moments, that I ask God to calm my heart so that I may know that He’s got this. Never has He left us, and He never will. I also pray this feeling of calmness for Dad. The next six months will be tough. Chemotherapy is never easy. Yet, I know God has a purpose for my father, and so I pray that when he becomes anxious and when fear tries to take over, that he never forgets that God is right there. God can calm our fears and worries when we trust that He is sovereign over all. I know that if anyone can conquer cancer and chemotherapy twice, it’s my Dad. He is the toughest, kindest, most determined person I know. After all he is my Superman.

I still pray, though, that when he gets anxious, and when we all worry about tomorrow, that we never forget to seek the face of God, that we continue to trust that He is sovereign, and that we ask Him to calm our storms.

Recently, I thought of an old hymn by Horatio Spafford, “It is With My Soul.” As I read these words, I pray that it is well with my own soul, and that I learn to trust in the majesty and sovereignty of my Lord and Savior.

When peace like a river, attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say
It is well, it is well with my soul

It is well with my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul

And Lord haste the day when my faith shall be sight
And the clouds be rolled back as a scroll
The trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend
Even so, it is well with my soul

It is well with my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul

No matter what life throws our way, we must learn to trust that He is sovereign, and that He leads us every step of the way. Sometimes we just have to proclaim, “It is well with my soul.” In the end, no matter how horrible various circumstances may seem, we will all stand before the throne, and as believers in Christ, we will one day know no suffering. What a day that will be. Until then, may we sing praises to His name. May our souls long for Him and trust in Him in the midst of all uncertainty.

I am constantly reminded of Psalm 46.

God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
    and the mountains quake with their surging (NIV).

In every trial, God truly is our refuge and strength. Even though so many things in life seem terrible, and tomorrows often seem uncertain, God never changes. He goes before us and calls on us to trust in Him.

So when the uncertainties of life come your way, trust in Him. Let your heart proclaim, “It is well with my soul.”

10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”

11 The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

As I meditate on Psalm 46, and as I thank God for all that He has done, for all that He has given me, including the most Christ-like Dad, I say, “Be still my soul. God can use all of this for His glory and He will use it!”

I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know that God is in that future. He’s in my future. He’s in my Dad’s future. He’s in your future! And so, even though the Earth trembles, and the storms of life rage on, I ask God to still my soul, for the God of Jacob is my fortress.

Therefore, may I always proclaim, “It is well, it is well with my soul!”

New International Version. Bible Gateway. Web. 18 Aug. 2015.

Spafford, Horatio. “It Is Well With My Soul.” MetroLyrics. Web. 18 Aug. 2015.

It Is Well With My Soul by The Isaacs

Be Still by Kari Jobe

The news I never wanted to hear: His cancer is back…

Earlier this summer, my family heard from Scott & White something we never wanted to hear. The news was that there was a possibility that Dad’s cancer had returned and they wanted to do tests as soon as possible. At that moment my mind raced, “Could it be back so soon?” I wondered. Not long after, I was joking around with Shayla when my Nana (out of the blue it seems) said, “you need to go talk to your daddy.” She quietly pulled me aside and told me, “The cancer is back.”

I didn’t know what to think or how to feel; I was simply shocked. Several years ago, I never dreamed that my Dad, someone so close to me, my best friend, would have colon cancer, much less have it twice in just a few short years.

I still remember when it all started, the summer of 2013. Dad had a colonoscopy and BigDaddy and I went with him. After the procedure was over, our gastroenterologist (we have the same one) pulled me into a small conference room to tell me why Dad was having so much pain. I went in there thinking it would be something simple and easily treatable. He then proceeded to tell me that there was a sigmoid mass. I was taken aback when hearing the word “mass.” Immediately, I pleaded with him, “Please tell me it’s not cancer?” Knowing that our doctor was outspoken about his faith, he simply stated, “If Lord willing.”

Of course he couldn’t tell me, “Nah. He’ll be fine.” A few weeks later we found out that it was indeed cancer. As common as it is for people to get cancer, in some form or another, you never imagine that it could happen to someone you care so deeply about.

After surgery to remove the cancer, he would undergo six months of chemotherapy. There were nights when I cried myself to sleep. I couldn’t wrap my brain around the fact that Dad had cancer. Yet throughout all of the chemotherapy, Dad continued to remain strong in his faith. He would constantly tell me that “God has a plan for each one of us, and that the horrible things we go through can be used for His glory and to encourage others.” Even when I felt discouraged with my Crohn’s, Dad, who was going through far worse than I could possibly imagine, would encourage me to walk boldly knowing that God always goes before us.

December 24, 2013, I received the greatest Christmas gift, second only to the birth of Jesus. God gave me a cancer-free Dad! The following Spring Break, he completed his last chemo treatment, and we had a great idea. Wearing the Superman shirt we got him for Christmas, he posed in a picture with me, and I explained all the reasons why he was my Superman. He raised me as a single parent, conquered college algebra, received his degree, beat cancer, and finished chemo with his head held high.

A picture of my Superman Dad and me!

A picture of my Superman Dad and me!

The following semester, he was once again sick with an illness he told me made him feel worse than chemo ever did. Once again, he was all I could think about. One day, as I was discouraged while having a rough day, health-wise, I received a text out of nowhere it seemed. It was from my Superman, and it read, “It came to me in my weakness that God moves strong. He’s shaping me into something awesome for His glory alone. Show me this text in a month and we’ll praise Him together. Love you boy!”

If you still wonder why I always call him my Superman, that’s why. In the midst of such sickness and pain, he has always encouraged me to stand strong in my daily walk with God, and that in God, all things are possible! Even after his surgery the year before, he continually raised up his index finger to the heavens and said, “Thank you Jesus,” even though he was still trying to wake up from surgery. He says he doesn’t remember it, but I do clear as day.

Fast forward to the day my Nana pulled me aside to tell me the news, my mind was in shock that he had it a second time. In a way to distract us for a while, we went to the movies with Jeremiah and saw Pixels with D-Box seats (it was 3D and the seats moved along with the movie). It was pretty cool and for a while, I completely forgot he had cancer again.

The ride back home, reality came back to me. The cancer is back, the cancer is back. At a loss for words, the CD player started playing, “I Still Believe” by Jeremy Camp. The song reaffirmed in my heart that nothing is too big or scary for God. It reaffirmed my confidence that Jesus has our back every step of the way.

Looking towards the stars, I listened to these words:

Scattered words and empty thoughts / seem to pour from my heart
I’ve never felt so torn before/ seems I don’t know where to start
But it’s now that I feel your grace fall like rain
From every fingertip, washing away my pain

I still believe in your faithfulness / I still believe in your truth
I still believe in your holy word / even when I don’t see, I still believe

Though the questions still fog up my mind / with promises I still seem to bear
Even when answers slowly unwind / It’s my heart I see you prepare
But it’s now that I feel your grace fall like rain
From every fingertip, washing away my pain

I still believe in your faithfulness / I still believe in your truth
I still believe in your holy word / even when I don’t see, I still believe

I felt that the song was perfect in that moment. My mind was truly scattered, yet in those trying times, it is God’s grace that gives us comfort, that washes away fear, anxiety, and frustration. In these moments, He speaks to us, saying, “Be in awe and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted throughout the earth” (ISV). It is in our weaknesses that God truly moves strong. So, I still believe! I believe that He remains faithful, and that His word is true. He will be exalted among the nations. He is so powerful that nothing is bigger than Him.

While Dad will now go through six more months of chemo to knock out the cancer (thankfully they caught it very early, but the word “cancer” is still scary), he still continues to believe in the awesome mightiness of God, and that God goes before him. Dad inspires me daily and continues to show me that God moves strong. I hope he always remembers that he never fights alone. He never ceases to amaze me and make me proud to say that Ronnie Stewart is the greatest father ever. I truly believe that no form of cancer, or anything else, can stand in the way of God using us in mighty ways.

Thank you Dad for inspiring me and inspiring others. By showing me how God moves strong, you truly are MY SUPERMAN!

Camp, Jeremy. I Still Believe. By Jeremy Camp, 2002. K-Love. Web. 12 Aug. 2015.

International Standard Version. Bible Gateway. Web. 12 Aug. 2015.

I Still Believe by Jeremy Camp

How Can I Keep From Singing by Chris Tomlin

In Christ Alone

What should I write? How should I say it? These were some of the questions that crossed my mind as I thought about this week’s blog. As always, God used various things such as music to share a different aspect of His truth with me.

As many of you know, I love love love music. I frequently reference a variety of Christian music in my blog. Yesterday, as I was getting ready for church, Dad started playing songs sung by Michael English. One song stuck out to me and that was the song, “In Christ Alone,” (see video below) which made me realize that it is only through Christ that I can do anything, and when something glorious happens, I should boast only in Him. When difficult circumstances arise, the first person I should turn to is Jesus. In Christ Alone.

So before I continue with my thoughts, here are the lyrics to this song…

In Christ alone will I glory
Though I could pride myself in battles won
For I’ve been blessed beyond measure
And by His strength alone I overcome
Oh, I could stop and count successes
Like diamonds in my hand
But those trophies could not equal
To the grace by which I stand

Before I continue with the rest of the song, allow me to focus on what this first verse showed me. I could talk about all of the different things I have accomplished in life, such as good grades, various scholarships, achieved goals, but the truth is that none of that could have been possible without Christ. I could talk about all that He has blessed me with, yet I cannot overlook that is He who has given me those blessings. All these successes, and all of these blessings in life are great, but none of it could possibly compare to God’s matchless grace. None of these “trophies” could equal to the eternal relationship I have with Christ. In Christ Alone.

The chorus goes like this…

In Christ alone I place my trust
And find my glory in the power of the cross
In every victory let it be said of me
My source of strength, my source of hope
Is Christ alone

In every circumstance, good or bad, instead of trusting in the world and relying on Earthly things, I should place my every trust in Him. Only through Him, can I accomplish anything worth accomplishing. Sure, I certainly work hard, and hard work is needed to accomplish many of life’s goals, but without Christ, all that hard work would be for nothing. Christ loved us so much that He sacrificed Himself on the cross so that we could have a forever relationship with Him. So that is where I will find my glory, in the power of what He did on the cross. When I am victorious, let it be said of me that my ultimate source of strength, the biggest reason why I succeeded, the reason I had hope that it could be done, is only by the power of Christ. In Christ Alone.

The second verse is as follows:

In Christ alone will I glory
For only by His grace Am I redeemed
Only His tender mercy
Could reach beyond my weakness to my need
Now I seek no greater honor
Than just to know Him more
And to count my gains but losses
To the glory of my lord

I have come to realize that even in the bad circumstances, I should praise Him. Only through Christ, can I overcome any challenge or any trial. For truly through Him, I am REDEEMED! When I am with Christ, when my hope is placed in Him, I am not broken, scarred, bruised, ashamed, sick, or afraid. Instead I am loved, I am His, I am REDEEMED! Only His grace and mercy can pull me out of any situation. So in every circumstance, I should seek His face. Therefore I glory in trials, and I thank Him for my weaknesses, my sufferings. These circumstances allow me to fully rely on Him, and they draw me closer to Him. There is without a doubt no greater honor than to know Him more and more. Only by His love, can I live a life worth living. In Christ Alone.

So why should I fear, why should I worry? If my life is filled with Christ, if I am alive in Him, what is there to fear? In Christ alone, I can find courage, peace, and reassurance. And if am successful, how can I not give Him the credit for giving me the strength and wisdom to get the job done? It is in Christ alone, that I can truly find meaningful success. Without Him, my accomplishments would be for nothing. When life is going great, how can I not thank Him and give Him the glory? It is in Christ alone that I can truly be happy and enjoy life to the fullest.

Therefore, because of all of this truth, I will only boast in Jesus. How could I possibly boast in anything else? This reminds me of part of a song sung by Phillips, Craig & Dean called “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us.”

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection
Why should I gain from His reward
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

I cannot boast in anything else! Any talent I have, any success I have is absolutely worthless without Christ. Therefore let my heart give Him all the glory, and let me boast in Him above all else. He gave His life for me (yes me!). I am so unworthy, of this sacrifice, yet He gave His life for me anyways. The very least I can do is give Him all the glory and boast in Him. In Christ alone will I boast!

As imperfect as I am, He chose me to be used for His glory. He chose me despite any weakness I have. What an honor! He chose all of us according to His purpose. He didn’t choose perfect people. He chose imperfect people. Never believe the lie that God cannot use you. Society may sometimes overlook you and tell you that you are worthless, but who cares what society thinks? God’s opinion is the only one that truly matters and He thinks you are precious and someone that can be used for His glory! It is often those society overlooks whom God uses to carry out His plan.

1 Corinthians 1:26-31 (The Message) says this:

26-31 Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don’t see many of “the brightest and the best” among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn’t it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these “nobodies” to expose the hollow pretensions of the “somebodies”? That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God. Everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ. That’s why we have the saying, “If you’re going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God.”

Worded in another translation (NIV), the last verse says this:

31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”

Society may tell you that you are a nobody. God thinks the opposite! He can use you and every part of you for His purpose. So boast in the Lord. Blow your trumpet for Him! It is in Him alone, that anything is possible.

When life is going great, when we find success, let us give Him the glory and remember that only in Him are all of these blessings and successes meaningful. When life has us “down,” let us remember to call ourselves REDEEMED and know that only in Him can we find strength and courage to overcome any challenge. When we feel worthless, feel as if we cannot be used for His glory, let us remember that we can be used for His purpose, and that it is through Christ that we find worth. So let us boast in Him and blow our trumpet for Christ.

In every situation, let us always remember these words: IN CHRIST ALONE!

English, Michael. In Christ Alone. By Donald A. Koch and Andrew Shawn Craig, 1991. Lyrics007. Web. 3 Aug. 2015.

New International Version. Bible Gateway. Web. 3 Aug. 2015.

Phillips, Craig & Dean. How Deep the Father’s Love for Us. By Stuart Townend, 1995. SongLyrics. Web. 3 Aug. 2015.

The Message. Bible Gateway. Web. 3 Aug. 2015.

In Christ Alone by Michael English

How Deep the Father’s Love for Us by Phillips, Craig & Dean