For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. (Romans 5:6-10)

When frustration overwhelms you, when negative emotions consume you, force yourself to take a moment to remember Him to whom you look for salvation. Remember the One who is your pathway to God. Remember the One who is your door from blinding darkness to guiding light.

From the day He was born, He never slept on a pillow-top mattress. He never lived in a house with running hot and cold water. He never took a hot shower. He never turned on a light switch. He never had a kitchen with a microwave oven, a toaster oven, a mixer, or a refrigerator. He never once rode in a car, or on a bicycle, or in or on a truck, or on a bus, or in a train or airplane. He never spoke on a phone, or sent an e-mail, or received an e-mail, or mailed a letter, or read a newspaper, or watched T.V.

He never saw a hall, read a typeset book, took a “course,” or examined a library. He never shot a gun, cast a reel, put a model together, saw a movie, read a comic, went to a rodeo, or played a video game.

One of our vacations might finance Him for His adult lifetime. The money we often spend in “downtime activities” would likely take care of His whole life needs for months. Though He walked miles every month, he never owned a pair of boots. His life was simple -- eat what you can get when it is available; walk a lot; sleep where you can when you can; talk to those who will listen; pray a lot as you honor God for His blessings.

As simple as His life was, some things have never changed. Relationships are still difficult. Injustices still hurt. Expectations still collapse. People still hurt you. Rejection is still hard to take. Being misunderstood still grieves you inwardly. Evil still exists. Bad things still happen to good people. Frustration and disappointment can still destroy us. It is easier to be a pessimist who gives up than a person of faith who makes a difference. Progress still must be measured in persons, not nations.

The next time you are tempted to feel sorry for yourself, think of Him. Doing without Him would mean losing life’s focus and meaning. Your life is changed, not because of what He had, but because of who He is. Your life will change others for good, not because of what you have, but because of who you are. Dare to let His image become your image!

The fact that He died for us will never be fair, not even in the final judgment!

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 4 January 2007

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