Grateful

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I’m so glad that God is not like people. He is so high above and beyond anything that we humans could ever grasp. He’s holy. He’s righteous. He’s just. He’s forgiving. He’s patient. He’s loving, and He’s kind. And this Holy God Who’s above all cares about me. I can’t fully understand it, why He takes such thought and concern. But His thoughts are not our thoughts, nor His ways our ways (Isaiah 55:8). That makes me glad.

I am so thankful for my beautiful Savior. Without Him I am nothing. Without Him I have no reason for living – no joy, no comfort, no peace, and no hope. I have nothing without the Lord. Everything is meaningless without Christ. His love compels me. His sacrifice humbles me. His resurrection encourages me.

Over the last few years of my life, I have really come to understand what Paul meant when he said that whatever he gained he considered a loss for Christ and that everything was a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ (Philippians 3:8).

The world sometimes has a way of knocking you over, dumping a heap of garbage on you, and proceeding to kick you while you’re down – while laughing in your face about it. People will take and take from you until there’s nothing left to give even if you wanted to do so. But no matter how or how much the devil tries to devour me, there’s one thing that he cannot touch.

I am not my possessions. I am not my job. I am not my education. I am not my body. I am not what anybody says I am. I am not my past. I am not my future. I am not my failures. I am not my successes. All those things I consider a loss already when it comes to knowing Christ and being found in Him – just like Paul explains in the book of Philippians. So whatever the enemy steals from me, however he tries to destroy me, he can never touch my soul. No one can. That’s all I have, all I care about, and all I need. Everything else doesn’t even matter anyway. My soul is forever tied to the Lord, and my true citizenship is in heaven with God.

“Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14). My goal is to be with the Lord, so I strive every day to be like Him. I have so much work to do, but I’m making every effort because this world is not my home.

The enemy is on the prowl with each effort and step towards heaven. He works through circumstances, but he also works through people. So when someone tries to bring me down or harm me in some way for the devil’s purposes, I can show Christ. I can carry out the word of God that instructs me to “be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger. For man’s anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness” (James 1:19-20).

This means, when someone disrespects me or slams a door in my face at work, I don’t raise my voice or respond in a similar way. It means if someone slaps me on one side of my face, I turn the other side to them, too (Matthew 5:39). It means if someone wrongs or hurts me, I don’t seek to repay evil for evil in allowing anger to consume me.

The Lord teaches to “not avenge yourselves; instead, leave room for His wrath. For it is written: Vengeance belongs to me; I will repay, says the Lord” (Romans 12:19). That is not how the world responds. The world does everything to try to incite anger and rage. It’s a tactic of the enemy to perpetuate evil and hate. The only way to conquer evil is with good, and the way to conquer hate is with love. That’s practical. It’s hard, but it’s living out what God teaches.

That’s what Christ gives me. Though the enemy seeks to steal every possession, to kill the spirit, and to destroy life itself, he can never touch my soul. For that, I am grateful.