This conversation I had with my sister ended (I hope!) my practice of looking at people of the world and comparing my life with them, often, me, feeling and believing that they have it better than I do. So, as I had written in When We Look at the Temporal Instead of the Eternal, I used to look and think that these people are so abundantly blessed despite not serving and worshiping the living God in spirit and in truth. And as I had come to realize, our vision is sometimes shortsighted: tending to focus our attention to what is seen and not to what are unseen which are the eternal blessings our salvation brings.
And as I had experienced amidst the trials, there’s also a great possibility that we may overlook the instantaneous gift we have received when we surrendered our lives to the Lord Jesus Christ, and that is our liberty. Sometimes, it’s easy for us to take it for granted, even forget, until we see someone struggling to obtain it.
People can be held captive by the enemy in many different ways: drug addiction, alcoholism, chain smoking, gambling, materialism and covetousness, promiscuity, womanizing, etc. One may not be looking like the wretched person that we know of. And that is exactly what the Lord has showed me lately. I had admired her; she seemed to have it all (well, except maybe true salvation), until I learned that she is chained to something destructive that she’s completely powerless to extricate herself from. Her addiction is so pernicious that no amount of rehab can save her.
I’m not happy that I learned she has a huge problem, but this has taught me never to think that there are people from amomg those who have not received salvation who are better off than those who have. This has made me realize the fact that the life of the redeemed is in no way comparable to others. Truth is, it is beyond comparison. The redeemed life is a freed and powerful life. It is a life free from bondage. It is a life sealed with the Holy Spirit and closely guided by it until we reach eternity.
For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” (Rom. 8:15)
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Tim. 1:7)
And because of these realizations, my gratitude to my Savior and Healer has grown deeper. I have gained fresh new appreciation to my salvation and the new life it brought, despite the many trials. The glory of this liberty that I have obtained and hold has shone brighter. I will in no way trade it for the world. Having a deep, steadfast gratitude and appreciation to what the Lord has done for us helps us run the race with endurance, rejoicing all the way to the end.