For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first (1 Thes 4:16)
God always has a better plan. I have learned that I should not "plan ahead" when it comes to what the Lord has in store for me. He and I go through this each new trial together, with Him leading the way. I allow Him to guide my steps, calm my heart and hold my hand.
I once put my trust in a human whom I believed was a gift from God. I was wrong. Satan tried and tried to keep me in that nightmare, but God had his hand on me. It had been there for quite some time and he was not letting go! I believed that abuse and neglect were a natural part of the existence I deserved. The nightmare didn't end when I thought it would. Some six years later, I believe it is finally over (but I've thought that before).
Being raised in the belief that I was "guaranteed" heaven and that there was no "action" required on my part other than to do what the hierarchy of the church decreed, I was under the mistaken assumption that I was automatically "saved". Not so. I had all the knowledge, I knew all the right words, and I knew how to put them in perspective. What I didn't have was the humility to kneel before Christ and ask Him in. In that moment, my life changed. In that moment, I was lifted up into the mercy and grace afforded the family of God. Had I not experienced those devastating blows, I would never have realized God's plan for me. He still lifts me up. He picks me up off the floor as I sob in despair and wraps His arms around me, comforting me, telling me that it will be okay. Regardless of the outcome, HE will care for me, HE will provide for me, HE will comfort me and HE loves me!
We all think we know. We believe so therefore we are saved. May I remind you that Satan believes! Belief is not enough. Submission to His word, His commands and His laws are the beginning, the acceptance - full acceptance of Jesus Christ, is the ONLY way in. Through Him, and only through Him are we afforded the opportunity to spend eternity with God. We aren't guaranteed it by birth, or through the church we attend. It is a choice that we make and a promise we fulfill. It is through prayer and worship that we become closer, it is through the reading and study of His word that we come to know Him. It is through Christ's death and resurrection that we are offered the gift. There is no other way.
Today I KNOW where I will spend my eternity. I no longer "assume" that because of who I am or where and how I was raised that my name will be in the book of life. I KNOW it's there. Those of you who aren't sure, those of you who "think" you know...think again! I would rather lose all of my friends and family by standing up for God than to stand before God with my friends and family and be told I was not known to Him. What I lose here on earth will be made right before God. I just have to stand firm and be patient. God has my back!
Give yourself over to the will of God! Hit your knees and ask Jesus in! Be one who will rise on that glorious day when the trumpet sounds and spend eternity in heaven with Him!