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Take in the Big Picture

On a day-to-day basis any one of us is met with degrees of disappointment. Every person I know has endured some kind of difficulty in their lives. There are all kinds of hardships, persecution, famine, nakedness danger and sword. Paul experienced them all.  He experienced them even more intensely when he was following Christ. The fact that we have problems as Christians should not surprise us. 

Paul encouraged us to take in the big picture. While troubles will be a part of our journey on earth, there is something greater to think about. Romans 8:35 asks, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine, or nakedness or danger or sword?" Most of the time we put all our energies into lamenting the troubles in our lives. We work on finding ways to avoid them, or to make them better. Some of us just give up and spend our times dissecting our troubles and examining them from every angle as evidence that God does not love us at all. 

Oswald Chambers makes this observation about Paul: "Either Jesus Christ is a deceiver and Paul is deluded, or some extraordinary thing happens to a man who holds on to the love of God when the odds are against God's character. Logic is silenced in the face of every one of these things. Only one thing can account for it–the love of God in Christ." (May 19, My Utmost for His Highest

You see Paul answers his own question in Romans 8:38-39, "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." That's the big picture that made Paul's life so bearable under unbearable circumstances. The big picture for Paul was that He was loved. The fact that he was loved by Jesus Christ was the reality that gave him hope in God in spite of whatever happened in his circumstances.

You may be experiencing very discouraging circumstances today. Perhaps you are in the biggest crisis of your life. Take in the big picture. Recognize the scope of all that God has done in your life. Begin by pondering the reality that nothing can separate you from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus. Move from there into examining your life with God.  Think back to the ways He has drawn you to Himself. Consider all the ways He provided for you.  Read Psalm 136 and write a similar Psalm about your life with God. I pray that you will be the kind of person who experiences the extraordinary thing that happens when you deny logic and trust that God loves you.



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