I once heard John Piper say that when he wakes up, “Satan is sitting on my face”, and I can relate. If I had to pick a “worst time of the day” in my life, it would be the time of awakening; it’s at this point that failures of the previous day come back to haunt me.
Maybe you know what I’m talking about. In those early morning hours, I don’t know why, but sometimes it all comes back: that moment I was short with a family member, the missed opportunity to speak up for Christ, perhaps wasted time from a too-long lingering in front of nighttime television…you get the idea.
And for this reason I was recently encouraged from Jerry Bridges’ book, Who Am I. Bridges was a long-time staff member with the Navigators who recently passed away, and from what he wrote, it sounds like he might have at least occasionally experienced the same early morning issues. But what struck me was the verse he applied during these times.
Now of course, there are many verses in Scripture that help us when our sin comes back to trouble us, but this verse seemed to be a favorite of this godly man, and it touched me afresh. As Bridges put it…
“Even today, fifty-five years later, that verse brings sparkle to my life. I often wake up discouraged about something. But as I get dressed and walk down the hall to the kitchen to make a cup of coffee, 1 Corinthians 1: 30 will come to my mind and I say to myself, ‘God, it is of you that I am in Christ.’ And all of a sudden I will break into a great big smile, and the discouragement is gone.” Jerry Bridges, Who am I
Here’s 1 Corinthians 1:30 in full…
And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption. 1 Corinthians 1:30 (ESV)
Do you see? It is because of God’s love, not my own righteousness, that I am secure in Christ with all the blessings therein. And therefore if I didn’t earn redemption by my good behavior, then neither can I lose it with my bad.
The knowledge of this, called to mind and rooted deeply in my soul, delivers me from paralyzing introspection and guilt that might have otherwise ruined another day.
And more than that, the security and hope I find being in Christ leads not to living for self in the day ahead, but rather to striving to live for the One who has so gloriously loved and saved…a sinner like me.