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Good Changes

Life is a fascinating partnership between us and our God. As I read Psalm 21 this morning, the following statement jumped out at me, “The king rejoices in your strength, LORD. How great is his joy in the victories you give! You have granted him his heart’s desire . . . Through the victories you gave, his glory is great . . .” (v. 1-5) I am not a king and I don’t ever expect to be one but I see in this a valuable principle of life. God works in and around our lives and shares the benefits of His victory with us. As a result, life will change for anyone who actively pursues a relationship with Him. I, for one, am glad my life has changed.
I grew up in a home that was dominated by fear. I was taught that people were to be feared, opportunity was to be feared, the unknown was to be feared and anything out of our control was to be feared. Then I met Jesus. I have since discovered that all people are to be respected and some people are to be trusted at high levels; Opportunity is the gateway into God’s will; the unknown allows faith to be exercised and God does His best work in areas of my life over which I have no control.
I grew up in a home that was isolated. Since we didn’t trust people, we didn’t pursue friendships. I spent most holidays with just my immediate family. I spent most weekends isolated from people. I was trained not to talk about family issues with anyone outside the walls of my home. As a result, I learned to be very private and to hide both the victories and difficulties of my life. Then I met Jesus. He adopted me into His family and He has a big family. I discovered a connection with people that was real, appropriately vulnerable and supportive. The bond that naturally exists in the body of Christ overwhelmed my training to live isolated. I have since gained the freedom to have real friends and to openly share how our Savior can set people free.
I was prone to anger and overanalyzing my performance. I viewed poor grades as an epic fail in life. I viewed a loss in athletics as a personal failure. I viewed almost every imperfection in my life as a serious character flaw and I struggled to enjoy any victory because I was confident a new failure was around the corner. Then I met Jesus. He died for me because I was imperfect. He readily admitted it and gave me freedom to admit it also. He assured me that my imperfections we not fatal. In fact, they have become some of my best learning moments. He also made it clear that I was not alone in the journey. He promised insight to guide me, inspiration to empower me and intervention to rescue me. He invests more in the partnership than I can and then humbly shares the credit.
Yes, I am glad my life has changed. On my own, I was heading for a repeat of what I grew up around. It would have been an okay life because my parents are good people who accomplished quite a bit despite the difficulties in their experience. However, “through the victories He has given,” my life is much more than I ever expected.

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3 Responses

  1. I think the key to you receiving God’s help and His victories in your life was your willingness to initially accept His love and forgiveness. We all know people that, for what ever reason, are unwilling to accept God’s free gift of forgiveness through His son Jesus. We pray for these people that they make the wise choice to follow Christ and let Him make His changes in their lives. Life doesn’t necessarily get easier for followers of Christ, but we have Him to come to in prayer with our needs and to seek His wisdom.

    Of course there is the ultimate victory God gives His people at the end of their lives here on Earth: victory over the grave and eternal life with Him! Not a bad deal if you ask me 🙂

  2. Thanks for sharing this word of testimony, Bill. (It explains so much about you! LOL.) I like to write about “choices” in attitudes and behavior, but there are few wise choices without an initial change in the heart, and you voiced that eloquently.

  3. Thank you very much for writing this. As I read all of this I found myself identifying with how you were raised with fear of the unknown.y family had a similar way of looking at life. I missed out on a lot in life because of it. God bless you and please keep it up.

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