Jesus is Better- Even on Hard Days
I was sitting on the train on my way home from PSU. As I looked out the window a phrase ran through my mind over and over again, "Knowing Jesus is better than anything else." I was determined to say this truth to myself until my heart believed it. It had been a hard season...a season of questions, frustrations, wrestling, and fighting for hope. Life seemed different, still joyful, but harder than it was before. There were a lot of things that felt more valuable to me than Jesus: having control, freedom from pain, an end to sadness, and life to feel normal again. Those felt really important. I knew that Jesus was more valuable, but I wondered what it looked like to act on that truth in this difficult season of life.
I knew I wasn't alone in this season and reflected on the women in my life. These are the dear sisters that I love, that I share life with, that I have the privilege to walk along side in the highs and lows of life. Many of them were hurting too; some in the throes of depression, some experiencing brokenness in relationships, some questioning their faith and what was really true. Thoughts kept running through my mind..."Jesus, what do they need? What do I need?"
He came to see that knowing Jesus is better and more valuable than anything he could gain or lose.
I had been reading Philippians chapter three where Paul writes about how Jesus is more valuable than anything. In the beginning of the chapter Paul talks about how before he knew Christ he had many things that seemed valuable to him and to others. He was from the right family, he was educated, he was a religious leader, and he kept the law. But as Paul continues to explain he says, "But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed I count everything as loss for the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord." When Paul believed in who Jesus was and what He had done for him, his identity was no longer in something that he had done; his confidence wasn't in what he had. He stopped trusting in these things because he came to see that knowing Jesus is better and more valuable than anything he could gain or lose. As we look at the life of Paul, we see that this truth gave him hope even through great pain and suffering, because he knew that knowing Jesus meant being in a relationship with the living God. One day he would be with his God face to face, and all would be made right. These truths were supremely valuable to Paul.
In the midst of the hard season, the emotional struggles, the brokenness in relationships, and the questioning, my sisters and I, like Paul, needed to remember that Jesus is more valuable than anything else. He is the great God who has revealed himself to us in his word. It is there that we see him, meet him, and come to know him. He is our compassionate, loving, and just God, who became man, walked through pain and experienced the brokenness of this world just like we do. He was without sin, yet he lovingly, willingly, and obediently endured the cross and bore our sin and shame. He died and rose again conquering it all, so that we might know him and live with him forever. This is the gospel, and this is what we hope in. As we walk through dark valleys, we have great strength and joy, because we know that he is more valuable than anything we could gain or lose. These truths are what we need to cling to, even when they don't feel true. We need him, and one day we too will be with him face to face beholding his glory. We long for and hope in great anticipation of that day.
I walked off the train that day encouraged by the joy that comes from knowing Jesus. As my sisters and I continue to walk together, it is paramount that we remember what Jesus has done for us in order that we may know Him. He is better than anything else in life. He must be proclaimed. Whether we are sitting on the kitchen floor with cups of tea sharing hurts and struggles, rejoicing together over an answered prayer, studying the word together, or reaching out to those who are lost and hurting, we remember that even in seasons of loss, hurt, and struggle we know that we have been given the greatest thing that we could have, and that is life with Jesus. As we look towards His return may we strive to proclaim him in all we do by holding fast to the truth that he is more valuable than anything that we could gain or lose.
Nina Weaver is a student at Portland State University who loves studying languages, rock climbing, exploring Portland with friends, talking (preferably with a cup of tea in hand), and teaching and studying the Bible. She currently serves at her church discipling and leading Bible studies with college gals. She seeks to trust Jesus as he graciously teaches her how to follow him in all of life.
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