“Get Out of Jail Free?”

It’s now January 3, 2021 – have you broken your New Year’s Resolutions yet? Sad to say – many people have done just that. I wonder why we have such a hard time making changes in our lives. Most of us agree that changes need to be made. Mental changes – we need to read more, learn about the stock market, and keep abreast of world events. Physical changes – we need to lose weight, exercise routinely, and stop bad habits. But most of all, we to make spiritual changes – pray more, read God’s word, and worship with our church family. The most important decision that one makes in life is put on the Lord in baptism and be “added to the church” (Acts 2:48). But, some people have the mistaken idea that once you become a Christian, you’ve got a “get out of jail free” card, like in the game of Monopoly. Bad things won’t happen to you – you’re a Christian. Sadly, this conception is so wrong. Being a Christian doesn’t change WHAT you deal with, it changes HOW you deal with what comes your way.

We live in the world. Life happens. Tragedy may come due to the carelessness or evil intents of the hearts of others. Tragedy may come due to acts of nature, such as hurricanes, tornados, or floods. We’ve definitely learned in the past year that viruses and other physical conditions can cause our whole lives to change. Being a Christian doesn’t mean that you’re exempt from bad things happening. Being a Christian means that when things DO happen, you can use the avenues of help that God has provided. You study His Word to meditate on His precious promises. Do you believe them? You use the power of prayer to approach His throne with praise and petitions. You share your needs with your church family who will pray for you and with you. How will they know what to pray for, if you don’t tell anyone? I’m not saying that you won’t be sad or angry at times, but you will find strength in knowing that you are not alone. And others will see the way that you face trials and temptations, and they may be led to the Lord by your example. They will want what you have – the “peace that passes all understanding” (Philippians 4:7).

Being a Christian doesn’t change what you deal with, but it definitely changes how you deal with it. May you “grow in the strength and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (II Peter 3:18). Simply blessed, Courtney

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