I switched things up yesterday evening and went for a run when Bryan got home from work. I couldn’t resist the beautiful weather. The sun was starting to set, it was cool and crisp – perfection. As I ran my mind was flooded with thoughts. How can it be that as I run around my happy little neighborhood – people walking their dogs, playing in the yard – that other parts of the world are in utter turmoil?
I’ve been reminded the last few days that this life I am living is fleeting. Everything I have, that I tend to take for granted, could all be gone tomorrow. As I ran I felt overwhelmed with a feeling of freedom. Not because I live in America and was born into such privilege, but because I live in the freedom of Christ. There is no fear in that freedom, no worry, no despair. There is hope.
And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever. (1 John 2:17)
This is a freedom that cannot be taken away. This is a freedom that is un-wavering. This is a freedom that will be victorious.
In order for me to live out this freedom, I believe that I first should live in a spirit of gratitude. Thankful to God that while the world seems to be falling apart, I stand firm in my faith and on the solid rock of Christ. Thankful that while others may fear for their life, I know that my life is not my own, but belongs to God and is dedicated to his own glory. Thankful that I can lose everything here on earth – everything – but I will gain more than I could ever imagine in heaven. These are PROMISES of God that I can only cling to when the world around me offers no promise, no peace, no certainty. These promises, of course, are available to anyone who believes.
If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it. (Matthew 10:39)
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see. (1 Peter 1:3-5)
I then believe that I am called to live in a spirit of love. If I am truly living in gratitude for all that I have and all God has promised, there is no other response except love. Love for God, love for the life he has given me, and love for other people, both near and far. I don’t have much control over the things going on in the world, but I can control my heart, my thoughts, my words and my actions.
So I will spend time in God’s word and in prayer to care for my heart and my mind. I will flood my thoughts with the words of God, not the words of the world. I will take care of my body, the only thing that (aside from in death) cannot be taken away from me. I will choose to love deeply – my family, my friends, and yes, even strangers, even the unloveable. I will do my best to be a representation of Christ to this broken, dark world, and wait expectantly for God to move in mighty ways. He WILL overcome.
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)