by Faith Eury Cho
What if you’ve been devoted to Jesus, and you’re still wrestling with disappointment?
• On Sundays, you may have sung of His promises, but on Monday you may have found yourself struggling to believe.
• Perhaps, the hope was for a great destiny. To be set apart by God to do something significant in this world. You’ve prayed and prayed about living a life that leaves a legacy, but face closed doors and discouraging failure.
• The dream could have been to have a church community – to belong to a growing spiritual family that you can nurture an eternal connection with – but such hopes have been tainted by rejection and betrayal.
• Maybe you’ve longed to become the best version of yourself and you know God, your Creator, can help you fulfill your greatest potential. Yet, despite adhering to Christ’s teachings, your failure and weakness are drowning you in shame.
• Or perhaps the dream was for a blessed life because we know that all good things come from God above. You wanted God’s protection, strength, or provision, but you feel that is lacking in your current situation.
The truth is: from now until we see him face to face, the harsh realities of life constantly challenge our faith dreams. And, when we are vulnerable and in need, it can be tempting to turn to other sources for the blessed life.
Dreams can crash. You will fail and, sometimes, other people will fail you. Plans will fall through. Doors will close with no indication of opening again. Circumstances will not budge in your favor and certain people may never change. You may be in a waiting season or perhaps a crushing season. If this remains your reality long enough, you may begin to wonder, “What’s the point?”
Believe it or not, there is good news in these broken dreams and valleys. They are a reminder that our dreams—while good—are too fragile to build our lives around. Although our hopes and goals are noble motivators, they are not our ultimate or most worthy purpose for life on earth. In fact, we were never meant to center our lives around the mere pursuit of our betterment or gain. Instead, our lives were meant to center around an authentic and passionate friendship with the Presence of God.
God, while divine, is relational. He is not a doctrine, a self-help religion, or your inspiration for the week. God is someone to know and to follow. Growing in wellness, character, calling, and discipline are some of the great blessings that come from walking with Jesus. However, you will miss the true gift of the gospel if a growing intimacy with Him is not your purpose. A life dedicated to building a friendship with Jesus and yielding to Him in trust is a Presence-centered—and powerful—life.
Jesus demonstrated this during His ministry on earth. Before anything was accomplished or any person was tended to, something else came first.
• Before choosing His twelve disciples, He spent all night with God (Luke 6:12).
• Before leaving a place where He was highly sought after in order to preach the gospel in neighboring villages, He woke up early in the morning to be with His Father (Mark 1:35-38).
• Before walking on water, Jesus was on the mountainside alone in prayer (Mark 6:45-50).
Jesus prioritized closeness with His Father, which is why He taught, “I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without me,” (John 15:5). He calls us to live the same way He did and to build a life on a friendship with God.
In today’s culture, we are constantly being told what the pathways to the best life could be. Surely, we can see the necessity of the organized life? The gluten-free life? The clean-eating while walking 10,000 steps a day life? We know it’s important to activate our goals, get our routines together, and manage our mental health. The list goes on, and we live in a time when people will offer you three steps and a link in their social media profile to get you there.
But true power comes from the life that the Bible teaches—the Presence-centered life, where each day revolves around befriending Jesus intimately, authentically, and passionately.
Faith Eury Cho’s mission is for all to know and enjoy the gift of the gospel, which is the Presence of God. She is the author of Experiencing Friendship with God, which can be found anywhere books are sold. She is also a wife, mother of four, pastor, and itinerant speaker. You can learn more about her at www.faitheurycho.com.