Long ago I admired a poster at my friends office in Xerox.The headline said"Imagine". As I continued reading further I read that each morning in Africa a gazelle wakes up and says to himself, “If I cannot outrun the fastest lion on these plains today, I will be devoured.” And somewhere on that same morning, a lion wakes up and says, “If I cannot outrun the slowest gazelle today, I will starve.” So they run.
Every morning you and I need to wake up running because we are running from sin, and Satan is running for us. You know the difference between my life before I was saved and after? Before I got saved, I was running to sin, but now I’m running from sin. But sometimes we are overtaken by sin, and the Bible tells us to “restore one other.”
The world tells us that our value is connected to our 'doing'. Growing up, we're constantly compared. When asked why we weren't doing as well as our brother or sister, we felt we were doing our best and we had no answer. So we resolved to try harder, but no matter how hard we tried, someone still wasn't satisfied. We were still getting the message, 'Something's wrong with you.' This leaves us burned out, confused and turned off. It drives many of us into counselling, when all we need is the assurance of God's unconditional love!
Your wrong behaviours won't be changed until you know you're loved by God apart from what you do. And that's what Jesus made possible through the cross. Why is this important to believe? Because until you know who you are in Christ, you'll stumble along believing that your acceptance with God is performance-based. Your acceptance with God is based on performance, but not yours - Christ's! Jesus loves you unconditionally and is committed to working with you. And the best part is, He doesn't condemn you while He's doing it! He understands your temperament, your struggles, and even the faulty foundation upon which you've based your self-worth. He not only understands - He cares.
Once you enter into a personal relationship with Christ He begins a process of relieving your pain, revealing your true value, and releasing your gifts. Bit by bit, He restores everything Satan has stolen from you. And while all this is happening, you are positioned securely 'in Christ'. Therefore you're always acceptable to Him.
Remember that every human being endures some suffering in his lifetime. It may be the physical suffering of sickness or injury. It may be the inner suffering caused by the death of a loved one, rejection by friends, or simply loneliness. Whatever the cause may be, we all seek to avoid it as much as possible. The scriptures make it very plain that Christians are subject to all the causes of suffering common to men, plus the added persecution that comes with taking a clear stand for Christ.