Here’s a simple, but significant, lens through which life looks radically different than we often see it… will this matter 100 years from now? How we think, feel, speak, act, and react would be wonderfully different if we saw things in light of eternity, and remember that this short life is not all that there is. Our lives would create an everlasting ripple if we could look a century into our future to see the impact of our today. As we live by grace, in dependence upon the presence and power of Jesus, let us give less priority to the things that really don’t matter and more priority to the things that do.
He Is Preparing Us For A Place
Bad circumstances, bad people and bad news make me want it. The more I survey the landscape of the sinfulness and brokenness we are all a part of, I look forward to our eternal heavenly home that Jesus is preparing for us so we can be with Him forever. A place where there will be no more sorrow, suffering or sin. A place where bad things will be eliminated, good things will be perfected and the best things will be unveiled. Our citizenship is in heaven, and God has put a longing in us for our homeland. When it’s hard here, let’s take heart and remember: He is preparing a place for us, and preparing us for a place.
A Faith That Saves Is A Faith That Loves
Birds fly. Flowers bloom. Honey sweetens. Water dampens. Light illuminates. It’s automatic and appropriate that they do these things because that’s how they were made. This is their nature and design, and it is right to expect them to act in a certain way just as it is right to expect saving faith in Jesus to work itself out in love. It is normal. It is natural. When God’s grace remakes us into people of faith, the new love we have for God will burst forth in acts of love for others. We can’t help but love. We can’t stop loving. We will live this out imperfectly, but this is for sure: A faith that saves is a faith that loves.
What God Has Been Seeing All Along
Like a thousand-piece puzzle, your life often looks like a jumble of disjointed and disconnected fragments that don’t seem to fit together very well. But God is putting everything into place exactly where He wants it so you can be who you were made to be and do what you were made to do. He has a good reason for and a good result from everything He allows to come into your life. Someday all will make sense, all will be made right, and all will be made new when He completes the good work He has started in you. Take heart! When the last puzzle piece is put into place, you will see what God has been seeing all along.
Trust Vs. Mistrust
Faith in Jesus is followed by following Jesus in faith. Saving belief leads us to step off the throne, take off the crown, and let Jesus take over ruling our hearts and lives. We haven’t really put our faith in Jesus if we are indifferent to what He wants and resistant to what He says. That’s not trust. That’s a lack of trust. That’s mistrust. Real faith in Jesus makes us want to give up our sin and self-rule to follow His steps, His ways and His commands (although imperfectly executed) more fully over time. Why? Because we are confident that life His way is better than any other option, and that for eternal life He is the only option.
Shine His Light In Your Heart
Darkness isn’t just the time between dusk and dawn; it’s also any time you are facing the unknown. This is especially true of those seasons of suffering when the light at the end of your tunnel is nowhere to be seen. It is during those times that you must not give up hope. For even on those dark days when you can’t see what is up next, what step to take next or how anything good will come next, hope remains. Jesus is still there and Jesus still cares! Ask Him to give you the faith and inner strength that is needed to endure. And though the outer darkness may yet linger, the Son will rise and shine His light in your heart.
God Is In Control
One of the most exhausting things in all of life is trying to be in control of your life. Things simply will not always happen the way we want them to, and the more we try to force them to, the more worn out and weary we will become. But there is good news for frustrated control freaks like us: God rules and reigns over the cosmos for the good of His people. So… Step off the throne; that’s where He sits. Step away from the wheel; that’s His to turn. Step out in faith; that’s when His rest comes. Watch the frustration and exhaustion melt away when you operate by this truth: God is in control; we can stop trying to be.
Life Can Be Messy
Let’s be honest about something: oftentimes our lives are a mess. Busted. Bruised. Broken. Things don’t work out like we hoped they would no matter how hard we work at things. In times like these, let us not lose heart! This is our hope in Jesus: the best is yet to come. Let us believe it, expect it, anticipate it and await it to come true because Jesus said it’s true. Let us watch for the daily doses of His grace to appear when we need them. And let us regard the eternal pleasure of heaven with Him as something wonderful on the calendar that is certain to come at the appointed time. Because it is. Because it will.
He Never Said It Would Be Easy
Following Jesus means leaving some places, people, and pursuits behind to go wherever Jesus leads us, to do whatever Jesus says to us when we get there. It also means being faithful in the season, situation and spot He has already led us, to do whatever He brought us here to do. Sometimes this faith journey will require us to go to hard places, have hard conversations, do hard things, endure hard circumstances and deal with hard people. But Jesus will be with us every step of the way to make a way for us to take every step. Be encouraged! He never said it would be easy; He only said it would be worth it.
It Is Where Life Is Found
How much authority does the Bible have in your life? How is it shaping the way you see the world, the way you see polarizing issues, and the way you see yourself? How fully and frequently do you rely on it as the final say in how you live? The Bible isn’t an out-of-date, out-of-order, out-of-touch book with no real relevance for us today. It is God’s Word that still speaks today telling us what is good and bad, right and wrong, true and false, beautiful and ugly, necessary and frivolous, wise and foolish. God intends for us to seek it out and live it out as the ultimate authority for the Christian life. Indeed, it is where life is found.
God Has Written Our Stories
God has written our stories. We may not know how this chapter ends and the next one begins, but we trust that God knows exactly what He is doing in every scene of our lives. People aren’t always who they ought to be. Places aren’t always what we want them to be. Plot twists aren’t always what they seem to be. But God is writing a beautiful story for those who trust Jesus! We don’t know what comes with each new turn of the page, and it won’t always make sense to us, but it doesn’t have to. Because our faith is in the One who does know the happily-ever-after ending to our story. After all, He’s the One who wrote it.