If Christ lives within us, we experience true success and contentment in life

Published 8:13 am Friday, February 11, 2022

From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: As a high school student, I have dreams to play professional basketball. I’m fast but small, and I’m out to prove I can do it. My youth pastor told me to claim Philippians 2:13 and I’ll be successful because Jesus Christ will give me what it takes. My grandma told me not to trust in myself but to claim Matthew 5:8 instead, and told me to search it out. Why would she tell me that? — D.H.

Dear D.H.: Matthew 5:8 is a wonderful passage from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, and it tells us how to live for Him in this world. More important than doing what we want, is to do what God wants, and He wants us to live life with pure hearts, and He will strengthen us to obey Him. This is what it means to be conformed to the image of His Son. If Christ lives within us, we experience true success and contentment in life. Many times, He will give us the desires of our heart, but the important thing is that our desires become His because He will bless the desires that bring glory to Him.
What does this mean? Jesus had a humble heart. If He abides in us, pride will never dominate our lives. Jesus had a loving heart. If He dwells within us, we will learn to follow Him obediently. But even more, Jesus’ one desire was to do His Father’s will.
We may say, “That’s a big order!” Yes, and it would be impossible if we had to measure up to His desires by our own strength. Paul recognized that he could never do the right things by his own strength and striving and wrote, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). May we always strive to live according to the Lord’s desire for us, because His plan for us is best.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

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