4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)
As is typical with God, I don’t believe it is a coincidence that this was the next set of passages on the 50 Affirmation sheet I’m using as a daily reference for this series, and that it would be “this” morning I would be presented with them for deeper reflection.
For quite a while now I’ve been under the impression that salvation is multi-faceted. I was saved from the hell I was living, I’m being saved from making the same poor choices in the present, I am offered the choice of trusting in Him so I am saved from the future worries of this world, and there is the ultimate salvation which is eternity with Christ.
Past, Present, Future and Eternal Salvations
This is a critical concept for anyone like me who may have grown up in an abusive environment, one that wasn’t safe, one that offered little hope in the future. One that brought fear in what bad thing will happen next, not a joyful anticipation of what good thing is coming next.
I’m finding it interesting that the past few weeks my conscious mind once fully awake and alert is doing much better than in the past, staying focused on Christ and learning to love myself and others more completely and authentically through fellowship, worship and service to others in need.
It is when I first awake though, that initial sensation when the alarm goes off at 5am of dread, almost an internal fear of the day. It’s not based on any thought or task that I’m consciously aware of, and after going downstairs and getting coffee, coming back upstairs and diving into God’s word I find that it fades away.
I think this morning meditation speaks to that, the old self that so easily defaults to autopilot. A body of flesh with sinful desires, a heart that has been hardened from a childhood I didn’t choose and couldn’t control, and an adult life which I had full control over in my life but chose poorly but without Christ I didn’t know the way out, I remain hopeless and forever focused on how to escape and bury the pain, not seeking ways to change it.
For me this morning, the one part of salvation that I think my soul needs to understand more deeply is freedom in Christ does not mean He takes my past, present or future away, but that I now have a choice.
In my old life I had nowhere to run but materialism, the bottle, lustful behaviors, work-a-holism which filled each day with a hopelessness, emptiness, depression and pushed me deeper into the pit of despair.
None of that is true today. The promise of Christ which I can absolutely recognize in my life is that I was saved from my old ways. I am no longer hopelessly in bondage with no way out. There is a very clear way out.
Prayer, worship, fellowship, rejoicing, serving, reading, singing, laughing, anticipating, feeling, smiling, hoping, doing, being, loving…
Today I have a choice, I am free because I was saved. I can take great confidence in knowing that no matter what comes my way this day, it cannot outshine the Cross of Christ and the promise of things to come nor take away the joy of what has already been done.
Yes there are still hardships and heartache, but this life, this situation, this season is all temporary. True glory awaits in eternity but even closer than that, God’s redemptive love is at work within all who believe, trust and follow Christ.
We can take great peace and joy in knowing that any struggle, whether internal or external is a gift from God in Sanctifying, in Saving us from the hurts, hangups and habits of the past and filling us with a new heart to help, encourage and embrace the present which leads evermore towards a greater anticipation of the future.
Without Christ there is only fleeting and empty hope in an ever-decaying world, but in Christ there is a growing, a blossoming, a vitality that grows stronger with each breath for He fills us with His love, hope, and promises.
Father God I thank You alone for the promises and grace that frees us from the bondages of this world, for setting our vision and path on things that matter. To help those hurting and suffering, to point those lost and confused toward You alone Father who loves us with a passion, compassion, and mercy that transcends full understanding. Unconditional Love is not something anyone will ever fully be able to give or receive in the flesh, but it is supernaturally bestowed on us by You, for You alone saved, are saving, and will save us Lord. He us this day be filled with a joy simply because You chose to reveal Yourself to those who believe. Come close to Your children Father God, help us share Your good news to all the world by giving us the desires, words, ability and strength to server You more fully this day. Let us not fear the dark times that continue to grow darker, but let us embrace the light, Your light which we know wins in the end Lord. Guide and protect us the day Lord, In Jesus’ precious name we pray…