Saturday, October 31, 2009

Ghost Stories

Today is Halloween, the day when we entertain each other with ghost stories. We're able to have fun on Halloween because we don't really believe in the scary and gruesome things that we celebrate. We don't go to bed worrying about vampires or goblins because we know those things aren't real and therefore can't hurt us.

We all make different choices about what we're willing to believe in. Some people believe in ghosts and some don't. Some people believe in demons and some don't. But all Christians have one thing in common: we believe in God. God is the most real, the most absolute, and the most powerful being there is, so my belief in God overshadows and shapes all of my other beliefs. Even if I believe in ghosts or demons, I know that God's power is stronger than anything they could muster. Everything in this world that I fear becomes less real when I compare it to God. There are things in this world that can cause me pain, but there is nothing that can do my soul permanent damage because God is my spiritual physician. Whatever dark forces do exist in this world, I am protected from them because I belong to Christ.

Powers of darkness aren't the only things that frighten me, though. I also fear my own sin and what it can do to harm me. I've learned, though, that the evil inside me is not nearly as real as the love of God that overflows in my life. God is willing and able to save me from my sin, and God's forgiveness will restore me from any self-inflicted damage. I am sinful, but I am also loved, and that's why I'm not afraid. In fact, because God loved me enough to send His son to redeem my life, I don't even have to be afraid of death anymore. The Christian reality is that death and sin are nothing more than ghost stories. I don't have to waste my life fearing what they can do to me because they are powerless compared to God.

God is my ally. Of whom or what shall I be afraid? Maybe there are ghosts, demons, or even serial killers out there who could do me harm. I understand that I may suffer great pain in my life. Still, I know that God's love was there before evil, is with me as I struggle with evil, and will still be there after evil is vanquished. Darkness will not haunt my life forever, so why should I fear it? Eventually I will be set free, and in the meantime I have God's love and strength to comfort and aid me. No ghost story can take that away.

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