Gateway Gazette

Faith Forum ~ How’s It Going?

By Gloria Wessner

Hows it Going - FFNow that the New Year is well underway, how’s it going for you? Perhaps it’s going very well, 2016 has brought a new outlook, a new significant other and perhaps some positive other new changes. The reality for most people is that this year is going a lot like 2015 and is not looking very promising further down the road. Frustrated and feeling ‘what’s the use?’ it is easy to slip out of the positive mode and back to where one was or go down to a new level of low.

It can be extremely difficult to change one’s circumstances or change the unconstructive people that surround you. The bad conditions and situations you find yourself in – negativity, violence, verbal demeanings and disapprovals of you by others, may just be some of the things you have to deal with. So what can one do? There is really only one way for real change, and that is from the inside out, of you. Self-help books, religions, positive thinking and new age philosophies, psychologists and any other method will produce surface changes you yourself can do, but not the actual transformation needed to make the turnaround from within the inside of a person. The only way for that to happen is by the one who made you; not unlike the person who creates an invention is the only one who knows the intricate workings of the invention and can make the changes in it that are needed to make the difference between it working or not working.

Help often comes in the form of changing our relationships, changing work places, spouses, schools and circumstances. When those things can be changed it is helpful. As well, we learn through counseling, good advice, books, courses and helpful sayings we often read on Facebook how to emotionally handle what comes our way. However, there is only one permanent and life changing way that will stay with you for life and 24/7 each day, in each circumstance and whenever help is needed.

The Creator, the God who created you as an individual and loves you – He’s the one who is able to change you from the inside out. Out of his love for you, he implemented the ultimate sacrifice for that change from the inside – he sacrificed his only son Jesus to die so that we could be clean on the inside. Our wrong inclinations, wrongdoings (called sin in the Bible) had to be paid for because He is a perfect God – so Jesus paid that debt, in full, for you so that you wouldn’t have to and be lost forever so that you would miss that chance to have a personal relationship with Him. The debt is already paid – all you have to do is accept that gift – the gift of God’s love shown by giving his son Jesus as that sacrifice, for me and for you. Jesus bridged that gap between God and you so that you may live your own relationship with God. He created us to have a growing and vibrant connection with Him, someone who never, ever leaves you.

God took this even further. Not only does he want to have that vibrant connection with you right now, to be there in your every hour, but he wants to have that connection with you forever, yes, forever. The relationship that you can at this moment choose to have now, will never go away because it will continue on when this body dies and the real you will be in heaven to be with him for eternity. But that choice has to be made in this life, and that means learning to live life the way it was really meant to be lived, not the way I think it should be. I choose to give the control of my life over to him, day by day and situation by situation so he’s leading and I follow – you realize he knows the path ahead, a process you learn as you go and can fully trust him for his ever ready help He promises. The word of God below clarifies and verifies these thoughts:

“Since we have been made right with God by our faith, we have peace with God. This happened through our Lord Jesus Christ, who through our faith has brought us into that blessing of God’s grace that we now enjoy. And we are happy because of the hope we have of sharing God’s glory.  We also have joy with our troubles, because we know that these troubles produce patience.  And patience produces character, and character produces hope.  And this hope will never disappoint us, because God has poured out his love to fill our hearts. He gave us his love through the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to us.

When we were unable to help ourselves, at the right time, Christ died for us, although we were living against God.  Very few people will die to save the life of someone else. Although perhaps for a good person someone might possibly die. But God shows his great love for us in this way: Christ died for us while we were still sinners.

So through Christ we will surely be saved from God’s anger, because we have been made right with God by the blood of Christ’s death.  While we were God’s enemies, he made us his friends through the death of his Son. Surely, now that we are his friends, he will save us through his Son’s life.  And not only that, but now we are also very happy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we are now God’s friends again.” (Romans 5:5-11 NCV)

“Since we have a great high priest, Jesus the Son of God, who has gone into heaven, let us hold on to the faith we have. For our high priest is able to understand our weaknesses. He was tempted in every way that we are, but he did not sin.  Let us, then, feel very sure that we can come before God’s throne where there is grace. There we can receive mercy and grace to help us when we need it.” (Hebrews 4:14-16 NCV)

“God loved the world (you!) so much that he gave his one and only Son so that whoever believes in him may not be lost, but have eternal life (forever with God in heaven when our live here on earth is gone).  God did not send his Son into the world to judge the world guilty, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:16, 17 NCV, parenthesis mine)

Your 2016 can go in a brand new and caring direction, give God the chance to take the wheel and change it around by changing you.

Readers are more than welcome to write Gloria at: gloriawes@hotmail.com.

FF - sunset at pier

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