Thursday, December 22, 2011

It Really Is A Wondeful Life

(If your time permits, watch the below movie clip before reading today's post, so you will better understand the points I make below. Email subscribers may need to click over to my blog to view the clip. Tip: The main point of this clip is around the 2 minute mark!)

At the beginning of the movie It’s A Wonderful Life, the first thing we see is a scene in outer space. We get a glimpse of an infinite galaxy filled with blinking stars and asteroids, but we soon realize that God and Joseph, who are being depicted as stars, begin to talk with one another.

God and Joseph have heard the dozens of prayers that were being sent up to heaven on George Bailey’s behalf. Although everyone did not know the severity of Georges problems, they did know he was in trouble. Family, friends, loved ones and mere acquaintances were all so worried about him and the strain he was under, that they were pleading for God to intervene in his life.

So out of love and compassion for one of His own, God decided to take action.  He called in one of His angels - Clarence - and assigned him to be George’s guardian angel.

In this first movie clip above, we hear and see the three of them talking, and during the conversation, God said something very interesting that caught my attention.

As God was telling Clarence that a man named George needed his help, Clarence asked God if George was sick. God responded by saying: “No. Worse. He is discouraged.”

You see, God knew that discouragement could be much more damaging to a person’s heart, than any type of physical sickness could be.

George had experienced so much disappointment, heartache, regret, and frustration, that he was overwhelmed with emotions. He had countless unmet dreams and life goals that had not been met.

He was facing trials and great hardships. And as the movie progresses, we see that he was also facing jail time, due to evil Mr. Potter stealing the Bailey Building and Loan’s $8000 bank deposit on Christmas Eve, leaving George liable for financial fraud, theft and misuse of funds.

George had hit rock bottom. He was in the deepest pit of his life and saw no way out. He had no joy in his life at that moment, and fear crushed his soul and his desire to live.

George began to wonder if life was really wonderful. The enemy began to fill his head with lies, through a variety of means. One of those means, was when Mr. Potter told George that he was "worth more dead than alive", due to the value of his life insurance policy, which prompted George to wrestle with his thoughts about life and death.

The holidays are often a time of year when some people experience this same heightened level of discouragement with life. When our holidays, or our life, do not meet up to our desired expectations, we begin to see ourselves, and our lives, as flawed and broken. We listen to lies of the enemy, and wrestle with thoughts of unworthiness.

In fact, we may even feel a little like George Bailey, and wonder if life is really all it is cut out to be. We may find ourselves wondering if it really is a wonderful life, considering all our circumstances that are less than wonderful.

So how can we remember that life is a gift, despite life? How do we embrace the gift of life, and be thankful for it, when we get bitten by the bug of discouragement? How do we find joy, in the midst of heartache, fear and disappointment?

If you ask me, the answer can be found in one verse in the Bible. One verse that justifies and solidifies everything in Gods Word and clearly explains why Christmas is a time to remember to celebrate life. That verse is found in John 3:16.

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

This verse reminds us that we are celebrating because of Gods gifts. The gifts of earthly life, our Saviors life, and the promise of eternal life with Him. It is a three-in-one gift.

If you have been struggling with situations in your life which make life seem less than wonderful, remember the three-in-one gift of life that we are celebrating this season.

Through Christ, we can begin to believe that things will work out to Gods glory, that He really is in charge of everything. We will learn to walk by faith, and not by sight. And we can begin to embrace the truth that God wants us to have a happy ending too, just like 'ol George Bailey.

During this movie clip above, God told Clarence that George is "getting ready to throw away Gods greatest gift - LIFE" - so they spring into action to help George see just how priceless, and wonderful, life really is.

If you are struggling today with situations in your life, try to begin focusing on why life is wonderful, instead of all the things that would fall in the 'not-so-wonderful' category.  Ask God for a fresh does of spiritual encouragement, and to heal your heart if you are weighed down by discouragement.  Pray for a glimpse of His intervention in your life and a new perspective on the situations you are dealing with.  And then, wait in patient expectation that God hears your prayers, and believe that He will take action on your behalf.

George had an angel to help him see that life is wonderful, and thankfully, we have a Savior.  Sometimes it takes looking at life from our Savior's perspective, to remember that it is really is a wonderful life after all. 

(Email subscribers may need to visit my blog to view the movie clip.

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