Friday, September 2, 2016

Hope and Joy Now and for Eternity

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At times, people hear the truth of Christ's gospel, but do not respond to it. It was not mixed with faith and they could not receive it (Hebrews 4:2). We can pray that God will strengthen them in their inner man to accept His Truth as their own (Ephesians 3:16-17).

People often lie to us, in order to keep our good opinion of them, or to keep us from rejecting or not loving them anymore. They are so emotionally depleted or lacking in self-esteem that they cannot risk our reaction if they tell us the truth.

Therefore, they also believe that God's love is conditional; and they reject Him because they think He will abandon them if they are not perfect. This is Satan's lie, which they believe as truth, and they are perpetually discouraged and defeated in their life.

Satan robs us of our freedom in Christ, which God intends for us to relish. Satan's whole mission is to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). Yet, Christ offers us His hope and joy in this life and for all of eternity (1 Corinthians 15:19).

We place our faith in the sacrificial atonement of Jesus for our sins, receive His forgiveness, and walk in new life. Everything changes for our good, even if our circumstances are a heavy burden.

Yoked to Jesus, we have help to carry our problems, and He eventually works them all out for our good (Romans 8:28). God uses trials to move us into the center of His will, to strengthen us for life's inevitable tribulation in our future, and to prove to us His unending love and provision for our life.

It is hard for the unbeliever to imagine that God's plan for them is better than the sensual pleasures and tangible possessions of this world. They do not realize that, in the larger scheme of things, life is as vanishing as a warm breath on a cold morning (James 4:14).

They do not take into consideration that eternity lasts forever (2 Corinthians 4:18), and we only have one chance to believe in Christ or to condemn our self to hell for eternity (John 3:16-18).

Father God, You free us from the condemnation of our past, the fear of the future and the uncertainty of life on this earth. Keep our mind off our current circumstances and focused on the joy You set before us each moment of the day - a stranger's smile, a bird's song, the giggles of little children, a sunny day, a gentle rain, a beautiful landscape of plant-life, a sunset, lake or stream.

Help us not to miss the true joy, success and peace which comes through having Christ residing within us by Your Holy Spirit. Remind us that any heavy cross we experience in life on this sin-cursed globe is easier and lighter when we are yoked with Christ, because He aids us in carrying the burden. 

Thought for the Day:
If we view life from the context of eternity, we gain a greater hope and fulfillment though living it for Christ; He abides within us and helps us to carry our burdens here on earth with more serenity and contentment, and to enjoy eternity with Him in abundance  and peace. - 1 Corinthians 15:19

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