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If you have wanted to love the Lord your God with all your heart and have wanted to love your neighbour as yourself..
If you have heard inspiring sermons about Jesus Christ, and have resolved each week to start doing what is right..
And if you have failed miserably at all this – read on.
I write this because more than anyone else reading this, I know that I have failed in following my Father God as His beloved child and as His slave- miserably so.
How often has that slow, sinking feeling enveloped my being after I sin against Jesus and lose hope of ever winning over my sin-battles! It is like I am gazing at something so beautiful and suddenly everything starts fading into black. Someone makes it all dark around me and I go blind- and it seldom seems like a matter of choice. Sadly, it is always I who choose wrong or right, isn’t it?
Why am I so weak? Why do I desire wrong sinful stuff that Jesus hates, over and over?
At such times, it is Satan’s standard operating procedure to make me question my being a child of God in the first place. And, that is a good question to ask oneself if indeed one’s everyday life is characterized by no attraction to Jesus Christ and to obey His words and a tendency to keep going from sin to sin, with no remorse.
But the very fact that God’s Spirit is helping me write about my sins and thus come before God, gives me assurance that I have been purchased by the death of Jesus- and that I belong to Him. It is purely mercy that God loves me this way due to His Son, Jesus.
But what helps me find hope to change my life? How do I know my God is not done with me yet? If you are in any position similar to me, I hope these three reminders would be of help to you:
1. Hope for change is sustained by God-given patience. Please ask for it.
And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?
But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Rom 8:23-25 ESV
These lines from Romans show how Christ-followers have hope to be fully adopted as God’s sons. Why should that thrill us? The answer lies in the second reminder below-
2. God our Father has promised He will make His people exactly like His Son, Jesus.
And our Father has always done what He has promised.
For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. Rom 8:29 ESV
If you are one of God’s children, it is your destiny to be “more than conquering” (Rom 8:37) against everything the evil one has to throw at you. Yeah, you are pre-destined to be made just like Jesus. This is God’s work and he will do it! But this new life shall come through death to our old ways of living life. And that shall come only as you pin the eyesight of your soul to Christ crucified. As it is written,
“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Gal 5:24).
3. Talk and remind yourself about your hope in Christ- He will give you change .
Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him,
My Saviour and my God. Ps 42:11, NIV
The psalm above is just one of the many Biblical examples where the writer is talking to himself, reminding his own soul to hope in the Lord God. This is a very beneficial thing to do. The few times I have talked to myself with encouraging gospel-words, depending on God, it has built up my soul like nothing else and has helped me turn away from sin.
You might stumble and you might return to sin, yet again. In fact there is no one who can claim to be without sin. But you are to never give up on hope. And I hope the Lord will lead you and me to look not to our sins, but to Him.
Stay enslaved to the hope of new life held out by the man on that deadly cross, Jesus Christ.
If you have been in times of despair, did the good news about Jesus encourage you and help you fight your sins? What or who helped you have lasting change in times of hopelessness?