Thursday, February 17, 2022

           At times, life can be awfully discouraging.  People can hurt us by the things they say or write.  Words have a way of stinging us and leaving a long trail of poison behind.  Occasionally, it can be helpful to remember what the Bible says about us.  We want to give serious weight to what God says about us.  We know, for example, that we are profoundly loved by God (John 3:16).  We know that God made us (Genesis 1:27 and Jeremiah 1:5).  We know that God invites us to trust Him (Proverbs 3:5-6).  When your life seems unsettled, rattled or even upside down, remember that God says you are the head and not the tail (Deuteronomy 28:13)!!  This curious verse means that God sees who you are and what lies ahead much more clearly than you ever will.  If you feel like the tail and have no idea where you are going, just remember God said you are the head.  You are not backing and bumping your way through life.  You can confidently live each day by your trust in Him.
            In Christ, God says we are His people, His chosen possession.  Peter wrote, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9).  Paul says in Galatians 4:7 that we are children of God.  The expression “in Christ” changes everything.  To be in Christ means darkness is replaced with light.  We are found and not lost.  We are in the family of God not lingering rebelliously on the outside.  A wonderful Bible study would be looking at all the times the expression “in Christ” appears in the letters of the New Testament.  Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone and the new has come.”
            We worship the God of second chances, new lives, new birth and new directions.  We can come to know and experience the Lord no matter what may be going on around us.  There is an interesting website that continuously plays “old-style radio show” stories of people whose lives were changed dramatically and forever by coming to faith in Christ.  You might want to visit unshackledradio.org and listen to some of these real-life stories produced by the Pacific Garden Mission.  The common thread is how God can take people in any situation and save and encourage them by His grace.  The people whose stories you hear were often at the dead-end of life with no apparent way of moving forward.  But God found them and reminded them who He is and who they are.
            If you find yourself struggling with what others have said about you or the defeats that you seem to be experiencing in life, then it may be time to take to heart what God says about you.  You are not the tail.  You are the head.  God knows where He wants to lead you and His hand is always open to you—night and day, every day of the year.  The Bible promises that “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13).  God gives us victory in and through Christ—victory over death, sin, the grave and even the accusations that others may make about you.  The Lord is our shield, defender and vindicator. 
            If you are struggling with discouragement or some pain inflicted by others, remember what the Lord has said about you.  The middle verse of the Bible teaches us a lesson that should be at the center of our lives.  The Bible says, “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man” (Psalm 118:8).  It is not an accident that God tells us something extremely important in the middle of His Word.  When God speaks, He redefines and renames everything else.  So today, lift up your eyes to the Lord and find you strength and hope in Him.  Have a great Thursday!      

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