The Commercial Appeal

Ssinners saved by God’s grace

- Billy Graham Columnist

Q: My life’s a continual failure. Why do some live the good life and others live one step behind? Can there be no joy for the down-and-outers?

– D.W.

A: We’ll never be free from discourage­ment and despondenc­y until we know and walk with the very source of joy – found in Christ Jesus the Lord. Most of us seek shortcuts to happiness. We search for the gold nuggets of spiritual satisfacti­on on the surface instead of in the depths where they are found in abundance. Many of us are like the man who had a junkyard, laboring hard and long, buying and selling the old salvage he gathered from the back alleys of the city. But one day he discovered that his junkyard was located on an oil field. He hired a drilling crew, and soon the black gold flowed abundantly from the bosom of the earth. His junkyard was transforme­d into a veritable mine of wealth which knew no limits.

People often settle for just scratching around on the surface of life, picking up salvage in the form of gadgets, gold, and gimmicks. Because they ignore the challenge, they remain spiritual paupers. They forget that what happens within them is more important than what happens to them. They build no inner fortificat­ions and fall prey to the enemy, being filled with resentment­s and depressed by disillusio­nment.

More important than living happily as the world defines, is to live holy, as God commands. This doesn’t mean that we will live perfect lives, for we are sinners saved by God’s grace, but He expects His followers to live righteousl­y. Another way to say it is that we should live “wholly” for Christ, putting Him at the very center of our lives, for this is the secret to true happiness. The Bible tells us that people can celebrate with great joy when they hear God’s words and understand them (Nehemiah 8:12).

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