By Meg Bucher, Crosswalk.com
God has placed us in this generation purposefully, to live life to the full. This is a wonderful time to be alive, despite the challenges surrounding our modern world on a daily basis. From ancient history to today, chaos and conflict have challenged humanity. We were never promised life would be easy (Matthew 7:13-14), but God does ensure His plans for us are greater than anything we could ever ask for or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). Only God knows the number of our days (Psalm 139:16). He is trustworthy and good. We can be still and know that He is God, sovereignly sustaining us day by day (Isaiah 46:4).
By adopting a grateful countenance, we can find endless reasons to be glad to be alive during these times.
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1. We are alive.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10 ESV)
Satan is the thief Jesus spoke of. He is the father of lies, who seeks to steal, kill and destroy. He has already been defeated by Christ Jesus, our Savior. Jesus’ death on the crossed sealed the devil’s fate, and gave us an abundant life. Abundantly is defined as over and above, more than is necessary. We not only have all that we need in Christ Jesus, but more than we will ever need. Not just materially, but the peace and freedom we experience in our souls through salvation is indescribable. Life can shake us, but our joy remains. We can dream big, and pray God’s will over our plans, knowing an abundant life awaits us in Christ.
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2. We are free.
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14 NIV)
Freedom in Christ is remarkable. In one moment, on the cross, by His death, He set us free from the punishment for our sins, which is death. Our salvation in Christ can never be stripped from us. We are forever forgiven. Jesus knew the sins we would commit and struggle to break free from long before we made our entrance into this world. Finding our freedom in Christ is remarkable, and rare. “The narrow way involves constraint and hardship,” the NIV Biblical Theology Study Bible explains of the narrow gate; and of the many as opposed to a few, “This does not mean that only a tiny percentage of the world’s population for all time will ever be saved, but it does suggest the number will not be large.”
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3. God’s plan for us is greater than we can imagine!
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21)
It’s difficult for us to imagine the generations upon generations Paul wrote of in this verse. The promises of God are difficult for our humanity to grasp! When we pray to God, He hears us. His heart is moved by the prayers of the righteous, and He is close to the broken hearted. Our God is the God of miracles, and sometimes He blows us away with the way He answers our prayers. Sometimes not in the way we hoped, but could have only dreamed of. We are created to bring glory to God, and as we follow Christ daily we get to be a part of His plan and witness to salvation. What an amazing reason to thank God we are alive!
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4. God knows who we are.
“You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” (Psalm 139:16 NLT)
Pause to ponder the ways in which God is all-knowing and everywhere. He hears our prayers—all of our prayers —from all of us. His sovereignty, His omnipotence, is unimaginable! He knows every moment, every day of our lives. He saw us before we were born. God doesn’t just know facts about our lives, He knows the brevity of our hearts. The depth of our souls are visible to Him. We serve a special purpose no one else could. Each of us, individual and unique, all purposed and equally loved. God is the same yesterday, today, and always. Because of who He is, it’s a wonderful time to be alive.
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5. God is trustworthy.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV)
There are many modern methods of communication that keep us connected and informed with each other, across countries and continents. In a world overflowing with information, we put our trust in God’s Truth. As we pray God would reveal to us what is true in our news feeds, forecasts, and daily reports, He is faithful to help us discern and gain a wise perspective on the world around us. A gaze through the lens of God’s perspective allows us to experience His wonder. He has placed us in this generation to shine in His honor. We can breathe easy when we seek His counsel daily. He is faithful to guide us.
6. God is good.
“For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” (Psalm 100:5 NIV)
Humanity is frail and fickle, but God is rock solid. He is good, and His plans for us are good. He is not surprised by the era we live in, nor the challenges alongside it. This Psalm echos a common phrase in Scripture, through all generations. We can find comfort and confidence this is a wonderful time to be alive, because God is still good! He is still faithful and His love forever enduring! He has not changed, though the landscape of our humanity has drastically evolved over the millennia. He is always good. Every one of us can make a list of people, places, things, and moments we are grateful for because we are made in the image of our good God, and He cares for us, through all generations!
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7. God is in control.
“He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:10 NIV)
This article will publish in the heart of a global pandemic. The calendar blocks many of us clung to daily were slowly erased, rewritten, erased again, rewritten again, and this cycle continues on. Personally, I became acutely aware of my lack of trust in God considering my daily schedule. I was praying over my little calendar blocks instead of handing Him the blank square and trusting Him to manage the minutes in my days. But it’s hard to be still! Our lives are packed to the brim, but God reigns sovereign over our schedules. The Creator of the Universe is capable of stretching our minutes and His plan is better than ours. Be still! Enjoy the wonder in each day instead of letting it rush by in a blur.
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8. The power of God lives in us.
Jesus’ death on the cross swung the gates of heaven open wide. The temple curtain was torn in two. The thick, massive, heavy curtain signified our unworthiness to stand in the presence of God. But that is no longer. We not only stand in God’s presence, but His very Spirit dwells in every believer! In Christ, the power of God lives in us! The Spirit translates our prayers for us when we cannot put into words what we need or how we feel. Our Comforter and Guide, the Holy Spirit of God gives us the strength and grace we need to be vessels of Jesus’ love to the world.
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9. God sustains us.
“Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” (Isaiah 46:4 NIV)
Humanity is a frail fall away from the ditch of self-pity, self-righteousness, and selfishness. We aren’t automatically generous, patient, and grace-filled. God sustains us and rescues us, sometimes from our very selves, as we are sanctified daily. He knows what we need, physically and spiritually. He knows all of our downfalls and shortcomings, but also our magnificent triumphs and spectacular talents. He is faithful to sustain us through heartaches and pain, confusion and loss. In so many ways, the Author of our hearts cares so specifically for us.
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10. We are God’s children.
“The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” (Job 33:4 NIV)
Life within the love of Christ makes us members of God’s own family. Jesus called us His friends. God is relational. The story He has written since the first page of Genesis involves a detailed plan to abide with His children, His family. We are set in our earthly families by a purposeful God. How much more care does He have for His children? In Christ, we share the inheritance, and become royal rulers alongside our Savior. Earthly life isn’t easy. We’re living in a time where tragedy and unspeakable heartaches happen on the daily. Social media floods our minds with so much terrible and tragic news.
There’s a lot of pain on earth. A lot of people are wandering lost, and it’s our great joy to light up the dark corners of their lives with the spark of joy we have in Christ. God made us. He knows the number of our days. He gave us life. Let’s live each day of it to the full. It’s a wonderful time to be alive because of who He is and Whose we are.
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