Inspirational Thought of the Day:
We are more blessed than we deserve.
Job 9:1-4 (ESV)
“Truly I know that it is so: But how can a man be in the right before God? 3 If one wished to contend with him, one could not answer him once in a thousand times. 4 He is wise in heart and mighty in strength —who has hardened himself against him, and succeeded?”
Proverbs 19:3 (NIV)
“A person’s own folly leads to their ruin, yet their heart rages against the LORD.”
Life is an amazing gift from God. Yet many people never really live the abundant life that Christ meant for us to have. What keeps us from a full life? Ourselves.
Life can be exhilarating and a bummer sometimes, if we are honest. The roller coaster ride of flat tires at inconvenient times, an award for a job well done, terminal illnesses, healing, reckless accidents, miraculous protection, unemployment, a new job, unfaithfulness, loyalty, rebelliousness, obedience . . . and the list goes on and on . . . can be no fun at all for us less adventurous types.
To think that life would be great if we never experienced pain is flawed, however; for the pain is a vivid reminder of how blessed we were to have had moments without suffering in the first place. When we made a mess of things all by ourselves, the consequences for our sin point us to our need for our Savior, which leads ultimately to that perfect, abundant, eternal life.
So how do we wreck abundant life in Christ if we did not cause our own demise? Our response. How we accept, deny, respond in anger or blame others or God – sets the course for whether or not we will walk in the joy that Christ has for those Who are His.
I get it, believe me, I do. When other people’s sins cause immense pain and horrible consequences. I have been there, done that, and still feel the effects. There have been moments of horror, anguish, PTSD, shock, disbelief in my life – but at the end of the day the LORD would bring me to a singular truth that I could not argue with – I am doing better than I deserve.
Every time I try to argue with myself about that truth, when I somehow feel I have been unjustly treated (and it might be the case), I finally relent and realize it is folly to even attempt to play the self pity card when the truly Perfect One didn’t. He did not deserve to suffer for my sin or anyone else’s, but He WANTED to. This was not because he enjoyed suffering – no, He cried tears of blood in anxiety over His choice, but He chose it nonetheless, because comfort was not His God and the salvation of our souls was His mission which He did not falter from.
Don’t get me wrong. There are tremendous burdens that seem completely unbearable, that make us lean into God hard. When we see others hurting, we have an opportunity to be the hands and feet of God – not just to dismiss their suffering. But in that comfort, it is in vain if we do not point them to the Healer Who is able to help us handle every let down. But perhaps our expectations, when placed in reality, help us to take notice and be grateful when things go well. Why is it that I did not get sick? Why is it that I can see this amazing gift from God at all? What an amazing grace is ours. Such understanding this is that we can turn away from our behaviors that hurt the heart of God and thank Him instead.
Lord, forgive us when we get mad or disappointed when things don’t go our way. Your ways really are the best. Give us eyes to see and ears to hear.