2018| Are You The Same Christian From Last Year?
Reading a book a while ago, the author said, “Your life will not look the same from one year to the next.” He went on to say that our lives will either become better or worse in each year we live. When I read that, I applied it to my physical circumstances. I remember being angry because our physical circumstances were horrible. I was a Christian who felt cheated because in my eyes, our lives were better before we became Christians.
Ecclesiastes 2:17 “So I hated my life, because the work that is done underneath the son is grievous to me.”
When I look back on my life before I was a Christian, both me and my husband had good jobs and could pay all of our bills. To some who have never had to worry about paying bills and the idea of your physical survival in constant threat, this might not make sense. However, me and my husband have lived on both sides of the table. We know what it feels like to have good jobs and not have to worry about how we are going to eat.
We have also lived on the other side, and had no clue how we would pay for ANYTHING! The latter part of our lives came after we accepted Christ.
It made no sense!
Okay, so, when we weren’t Christians, we have no financial worries, yet when we give our lives over to Christ we now have no idea if we’ll be homeless the next month?
God had some serious explaining to do!
In her book, Life-Changing Bible Verses Every Woman Should Know, Rebecca Lutzer says, “We make the mistake of basing our theology on our circumstances.”
In other words, what Mrs. Lutzer is saying here is, if life is going great we think we have favor with God. However, if life is going bad, we believe we have made some mistakes or God is upset with us.
But that’s the key point; what is the criteria of a good life?
Do you consider your thriving career, your big house, lots of friends, and activities, the elements of a good life?
Or your changing soul?
Ecclesiastes 8:1 “Who is like the wise? Who knows the explanation of things? A person’s wisdom brightens their face and changes it’s hard appearance.”
Yes it’s true, prior to our Christian lives we had no financial worries. But what we did have was malice in our hearts. We used bad language. We watched disturbing movies that evoked fear. We weren’t nice to the people around us. We were mean to drive-thru workers. We would call out sick for work, even if we weren’t sick. We weren’t even nice to each other, our children, or even as a husband and wife. We didn’t care if we ever spent any quality time together. We made fun of each other. We put each other down. We called each other names. We talked bad about each other to our extended family members. We laughed at other people’s failures.
I can go on and on. We resembled nothing that looked like Jesus Christ – yet we could pay our bills. We had nice cars. We could go shopping on the weekends. We could eat out at expensive restaurants.
When we accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior, he stripped away every security we had in our money. Maybe it’s not money that God has stripped away from you, but it’s something.
What is it?
Whatever it is, He’s using it to transform you.
Transform us, He did.
We are totally different people today than we were ten years ago.
Our physical circumstances have not really changed over the past ten years, but our heart has!
2 Corinthians 12:8 “ Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Have you ever thought that maybe God won’t allow you to really experience your true hearts desires because you are still clinging on to the past when “life was good”, or because you don’t recognize the change within your soul?
You can only accept your life as being great when your physical circumstances look the way you want it to look.
Has your soul changed over the past year or years? Do you even care about your soul?
What will happen when you reach that physical breakthrough you’re dreaming about? Will you finally take a deep breath- then level off?
You see, I’m convinced Christians who are searching deeply for God every day, almost enjoy the drudgery of being a Christian, even if they don’t admit it. They enjoy devotion. They enjoy prayer. They enjoy learning and the wisdom God gives them.
They don’t enjoy it like one might enjoy a hot fudge sundae, but through the pain and heartbreak, they can see God in the midst.
They aren’t serving God for the perks. They serve God because they desire to change within.
They look in the mirror and where they once saw a human being who despised the world, they enjoy serving others. When it was a burden to go to church, they wouldn’t miss the chance to worship God. When the drive-thru worker messes up their order, they extend the same grace God gives them. Even if physically life is still hard, they enjoy the transformation they now see.
How do you classify a good life?
Will your life be good when your problems go away?
Will your life be good when all your dreams comes true?
Do you have a great life today, despite your circumstances, because Jesus Christ has made you new?