This week, let’s concentrate our minds on the overwhelming victory that we are assured of in Jesus Christ. He never promised us that life in His kingdom would be without resistance; He only promised to help us deal with the devil’s resistance by His strength.
The question of God is the most basic of life’s issues. Whatever we do when confronted with this question influences our character at its deepest level. One cannot be a quality person and not deal in a quality way with this issue. We are what we choose.
We should be willing to make significant sacrifices for our enemies. God did more than talk about loving His enemies; He sacrificed His Son’s life for them. What treasure would we sacrifice — yes, sacrifice — to promote the salvation of our enemies?
Finding worthy things to like and then fully appreciating them is worth the effort. So let’s set ourselves a goal: let’s aspire to be people who’re defined by both the goodness of the things we love and the depth of our appreciation for every one of them.
It makes a lot of sense to do three things: (1) nourish high expectations of ourselves, (2) surround ourselves with friends who’ll keep our expectations high, and (3) influence others to expect higher things for themselves. Let’s be those who encourage hope in the hearts of others.
Inwardly we may feel a warm, condescending glow of ever-so-subtle superiority when we think how little others have suffered. “When they’ve been around as long as we have, they’ll see things differently,” we sigh, congratulating ourselves for being older.
Even when we acknowledge the primary role God must play in our progress, we sometimes still don’t move ahead. We fail to see the need on our part to take the spiritual steps we could take and to make the progress that is available to us each day.
I like Calvin Miller’s suggestion: “Joy intrigues.” Isn’t that it? Aren’t we most powerfully intrigued by those who, despite the ups and downs and the occasional unhappiness of life, drink deeply of a joy that seems to be theirs no matter what?