But I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me.

Psalm 13:5 (NLT)

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As I have told you many times and now say with deep sadness, many people live as enemies of the cross. Their lives end with destruction. Their god is their stomach, and they take pride in their disgrace because their thoughts focus on earthly things.

Philippians 3:18-19

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Following a stretch of destructive sex and drug abuse, Cheryl Strayed, author of the novel Wild, hiked 1,100 punishing miles of the Pacific Crest Trail to account for her sins and earn redemption. First-century Jewish authorities might consider this a virtuous thing, but Paul wouldn’t.

When Paul refers to “enemies of the cross”, he’s talking about the Jewish leaders — the ones who claimed to be the most religious people around! The only problem is, their kind of religion clung to harsh rules that forced believers to be circumcised, avoid “impure” people, and fear their sins before approaching God.

Perhaps that kind of rule-based religion and fear is a truer enemy of the cross than any. Paul asks us to trust in the limitless grace of Jesus, which heals, transforms, and allows us to live fully and freely in the world.

Trusting God doesn’t mean holding your breath. It means taking a deep breath. It means asking, as Cheryl Strayed did at the end of her grueling journey, “What if I was never redeemed? What if I already was?”

Blake Tommey

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Grace-giving God, take this heavy weight off my shoulders. Give me trust in your goodness, so that I can live freely as the beautiful, messy person you created. Put a deep grace in my heart — the kind that Jesus has — not only for myself but for the world you have already redeemed. Amen.

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Act. Laugh. Breathe. Stand. Free. Doubt. Root. Trust.

Blake Tommey

Blake Tommey lives in Charlottesville, VA where he serves as Baptist Collegiate Minister at the University of Virginia. He and his wife Lesley-Ann have a passion for hiking, cooking, and journeying with young adults as they seek to follow Jesus and listen for God.

Walking Toward Morning: Wondrous Love

Ken Medema -

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