Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Mile in Our Shoes

It’s so easy sometimes to feel alone. It’s so easy to believe, during the trying times of our lives, that we are the only ones suffering. It’s so easy to allow self-pity to ease its way into our lives. It’s so easy to give into the pain, listen to devil and proceed to give into his ways. Whether we realize it or not, when we doubt, give into the pain, and believe the negative thoughts racing through our minds, the devil wins.

For however long he has our minds occupied, we are distracted from the things which truly matter. When we are focusing on the negative things, we have lost hope. We have removed our eyes from God and are slipping further and further into the depths of our own misery. Did you know that most often times we create our own misery? It’s true. We continue on our journey of self-destruction and never stop to think about the day when the Lord will require us to pay for our sins. We listen to the devil more and more and forget the promises of our Lord. We allow the devil to convince us that we have no self-worth and our lives are hopeless and pointless. We believe him as he hurls the bad, negative, hopeless thoughts our way.

And, suddenly, we are right where he wants us to be. We’ve stopped going to church. We’ve stopped praying. We’ve stopped reading our Bible and stopped allowing our light to shine. We are not a balm to some broken heart or lost soul. We are a stumbling block. We are the very picture of misery. We are of no help to others and a hindrance to our own lives. We’ve lost the enjoyment of our salvation and life.

But the good news is that God allows us to change. He allows us to change directions. He knows that we are only human and that we will fail, so He developed a plan for those times. He allows us to repent of our sins and gives us another chance to change our ways. He blesses us with life and wants us to see the beauty of His gift—just for us. He wants us to be happy and enjoy life. He wants to bless us and watch us grow into a beautiful vessel for Him. He wants people to look at our lives and know, without a shadow of doubt, we belong to Him.

Imagine you are fighting a war. It’s a very important battle where lives are at stake. You are fighting for souls, and their eternity. What would onlookers think if you decided to just change sides? If you moved over to the devil’s side and started fighting for him. I believe we are either serving God or the devil. Those are the only two sides in this war. Ask yourself today, which side are you fighting on?

God never promised us life would be easy. He never promised us a life without heartache or trials. He did, however, promise to never leave our side. He promised to always be with us. He has walked in our shoes. He knows the temptations we face. He knows the heartaches of our hearts. He knows the devil torments us on every occasion. He also knows how to defeat the devil every single time.

My daddy preaches that if we want the devil to leave us alone, then we need to stay out of his reach. We need to live, as best we can, for God. We need to seek God on all things. We need to believe whole heartedly in His promises. We need to read our Bibles and learn of the times past. We need to be at church, every possible opportunity and hear God’s beautiful word. He has grace for our every need.

I believe God has everything we will ever need. We may not like God’s ways. We may not understand them all. But I have grown to love them and appreciate the greatness of them. Wisdom doesn’t come without suffering. We cannot grow in our lives without pain. Instead of fighting against it, I am learning to embrace it.

I know that all things are for my benefit. I know that God suffered far greater for me, than I will ever suffer. I know that He was perfect, upright, without any sin and yet He carried my cross. He gave His life for me. Think about that for a moment. Regardless of what we face or how we suffer, we will never suffer as Christ did for us, and yet He opened not His mouth. He never uttered one complaint. He suffered greater than any man has ever suffered, and He did it all in love. So when life gets you down, just remember God knows how we feel. He has walked a mile in our shoes, only He didn’t stop when things got hard for Him—He went all the way.

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