Strength in the Savior

This week, we will continue with the rest of Philippians 3.

Not that I have already reached the goal or am already fully mature, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus. Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus. 

Verses 12-14 call us to think of the future. If you have a brain injury like me, the future can seem bleak at times – but God has the best plans for us. Following verse 13 is a piece of cake for one thing. Struggling with memory may actually make following verse 13 (forgetting what is behind) easier than for someone with an undamaged brain. Those of us with a TBI really have an advantage here. Forgetting just happens and you don’t really have to try – it just happens. Memory issues may feel like a struggle, but it may be setting you up better for the Lord’s plans for your life.

15 Therefore, all who are mature should think this way. And if you think differently about anything, God will reveal this also to you. 16 In any case, we should live up to whatever truth we have attained. 17 Join in imitating me, brothers, and observe those who live according to the example you have in us. 18 For I have often told you, and now say again with tears, that many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 

Verses 15-18 tell us about what we do need to remember – to live arriving to what the Bible teaches. If some action wouldn’t honor the Lord, it’s best to avoid it. The past is in the past, but it’s possible to make different choices in the future-if you need a new game plan. It’s always good to think about it. For example, I need ways to practice my Italian, but I am not acquainted with anyone locally who speaks Italian and the local library didn’t have any other books (besides language instruction books) – so I requested they order a title I selected. When it arrived, I read it out loud to myself and it was helpful in growing & maintaining my language knowledge.

Their end is destruction; their god is their stomach; their glory is in their shame. They are focused on earthly things, but our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will transform the body of our humble condition into the likeness of His glorious body, by the power that enables Him to subject everything to Himself.

Verses 19-21 do discuss the dire circumstances of people who choose not to follow Christ, but it also offers hope. This may be particularly inspiring for those of us facing brain injuries or another disability. Verse 21a says, “He will transform the body of our humble condition into the likeness of His glorious body…” It is wonderful to dwell on eternity with Christ because when that time comes, our minds will be restored and transformed – our disabilities will disappear.

Until Christ returns though, each of us has a purpose here on earth, and there is a reason for whatever challenge you are facing or what kind of suffering you are enduring. We are simply not be able to see things from the Lord’s perspective. Remember that others may be watching your actions and listening to what you say, even if you do not realize it. Not a sparrow drops without the Lord’s knowledge – not a single person faces suffering and persecution without His knowing about it.

Please feel free to email me at patina@booksbymalinalli.com or send a letter to P.O. Box 2325, 610 W. Navajo St., West Lafayette, IN 47996. I love receiving mail – I read every email or letter I receive, but I especially love getting a letter.

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