Article by Paul Papworth
Is Jesus really enough? Of course, most “good” Christians will affirm this without giving it a second thought. But, what do we believe when life gets hard, when we are overwhelmed and have come to the end of ourselves? Is Jesus really enough?
This question has been impressed upon me at several junctures in my life over the past few weeks. The question first came to mind when a friend—a brother in the Lord—told me about the new spiritual breakthrough in his life. As he looked to unorthodox beliefs and practices to makes sense of his life, the sufficiency of Jesus was called into question. Not long after this, another friend—also a brother in the Lord—came to me lamenting a recent relapse and the subsequent separation from his wife. Is Jesus enough for my friend and his broken marriage?
More personally, I found myself wrestling with the question as my wife and I tried to purchase a home amidst the craziness that is the Vancouver housing market. After a few failed attempts, we were confronted with the reality that with our limited resources and our limited comfort level with risk, we would have a very difficult time competing with people whose pockets are deeper than ours. At one point in the process, we were advised that we’d need to go “all in” (subject free and top dollar) to have any chance of “winning the day”. Up until this point, I felt at peace with trusting God to provide for us with what he had given us. But in that moment, I began to question whether or not God would provide. I wondered if it was time to just do what everyone else is doing and lean into the wisdom of the world.
As I took a step back and breathed deeply to restrain my anxiety, I could see the choices before me more clearly. The choice between the wisdom of the world or wisdom from above. The choice to listen to what the world tells me or what God’s word calls forth in my life. The world calls me to envy what others have, the gospel calls forth gratitude for the abundance of God’s grace in my life. The world tells me to compete at all costs and strive until I get what I want, the gospel invites me to rest. The world is telling me to be anxious, the gospel instills peace. The world says it’s hopeless, the gospel ignites hope in a God who is sovereign, almighty, loving, good, perfect, and faithful. The world tells me that Jesus will never be enough, but God’s word reminds me to trust that Jesus is sufficient for all of life.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. (Colossians 1:15-20).
We didn’t go “all in”, and we didn’t “win the day”. While we felt a degree of disappointment, we have come to rest in and treasure more fully the sufficiency of God’s grace given us for this life and the life to come.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily held by everyone at Christ City Church.