There are lots of reasons, good reasons, to feel like one is living in what C.S. Lewis called 'the shadowlands.'
We live in a fallen world. Unhappiness, sorrow, betrayal, anger, disease, dying, January...
As I was pondering this yesterday, actually while taking a shower, the following words came into my head.
'When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
faultless to stand before the throne.'
Even in this miserable world, we can stand here and be assured, even joyous, that God is just, and all will turn out right in the end. Also, that our relationship with God does not depend upon us 'being good all the time,' making sure we don't mess up. We're not fooling God. He knows our hearts. God knows our frame, that we are but dust. (In other words, we don't need to worry about living up to His expectations. He has no high expectations of us.) We may not want to admit it, but God knows that we are simply helpless sinners in need of a Savior. I don't know about you, but that's a real comfort to me, for it tells me that God's love for me is the same always. He doesn't withhold His love while waiting for me to 'snap out of it.' Even a cranky me can go to God and rest in Him.
Our standing before God depends not upon us, but on His grace, on Christ's righteousness, not our own. There's nothing like the freedom that comes from knowing God's grace, knowing Jesus IS our righteousness, and putting all our trust in Him alone. That makes all the difference. Even in the shadowlands.
'On Christ the Solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand.'
What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.- Philippians 3:8-9
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.- II Corinthians 5:21
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.- Romans 8:28
rhyming lines from The Solid Rock, hymn by Edward Mote.