2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NLT) That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.
The week of “what next” is what I would call it. Just one thing after another, nothing terminal. My life has felt as though I am being pecked to death by a brace of ducks attacking feet. One annoyance after another. Sick children topped the list. One trip to the doctor will now turn to two. Missed work going on day three and wondering if it is piling up on me. My left eye is twitching so now I am wondering if I have pink eye, too. Schedules interrupted. Routines broken. I think I need to disinfect my entire house all over again. Do I have bleach? Wait work. I need to focus on work. Will I get caught up today? What about the house? Why isn’t it selling? Man, I hope the new one is not under contract. Wait! What am I doing? Inconvenience. I would call my life inconvenient today. What about you? Are things going as planned? Minor illnesses plaguing the roost? Work got you down? Housework piling up? Schedule hectic. Routine ruthless. All these things lead to distraction. Deadly distractions if we do not see things from a higher view and broader perspective.
We must never ever consider for a moment giving up but always strive to press on. We are called to something greater and much higher than the ordinary things in life that tend to hold us back. Our emotions get entangled in the inconveniences and soon our faith is strained and hope bogged down in the temporary rather than fixed on the eternal. It happens to us all. We are all human but called to a supernatural life much greater than ourselves. Greater is He who is in me than he that is in the world. (I John 4:4) It is this mindset that allows us to fix our eyes on the things we cannot see rather than becoming consumed with all that is around us. “For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9) It is time to take it up a notch. To look beyond all the inconveniences that exist in our ordinary existence to reach for the extraordinary life God planned for us.
Our present troubles are small. They won’t last long. Our trouble is only temporary even though some days it feels as though you just can’t seem to catch a break. Remember Job, first it was everything he loved and all of his livelihood and then his life. Did he know that God wouldn’t allow the enemy to kill him? I am sure as the boils rose and broke on his skin, death seemed like a relief. God had other plans. He planned to prosper and bless Job giving him double for his trouble. What about you? Do you feel as though you and Job have a thing or two in common? If so, rejoice! Rather than looking at the situation, celebrate the season that is coming. I know, I know. It’s hard sometimes to see the forest for the trees. But God wants to take you wider, longer, higher and deeper than ever before so that His Love can wrap around every single part of your life. (Ephesians 3:18-20) It is in the Presence of God that we can see above the pain, heartache, suffering of this season into the next one that is coming. It is called faith. It is the very thing that produces hope that never leads to disappointment. While you are simply looking for a way out, God has more in store for you than you might ask or think.
Hebrews 11:1 (NLT) Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.
If you can see it, do it, or think it – you really do not need faith to secure it. Faith is the reality of things that we hope for and the evidence of things that we cannot see. When the life does not add up to the Promises of God – it is important that we live in the realm of hope. The life of faith is ever changing the more we pursue the Lord. Faith is illogical. It requires God’s Spirit to hold on to because there is no tangible evidence otherwise. Hope in us must become so weighty it resembles a mighty anchor or we will waver and drift away. (Hebrews 6:19) I have come to live for the word “impossible”. When someone deems that nothing more can be done or attempts to seal my destiny with a word life “forever”, they step outside their realm of authority into God’s Place in my life. He does not take this lightly and time after time changes the situation immediately. Trouble is most people cannot exist without options or escape routes. They will follow Jesus until it me going places our feet cannot touch, or jumping out of the boat to walk on water. Comfort and compromise take the place of inconvenience. We want immediate gratification so many times God’s Timing is just not acceptable to us. It is in those moments of decision when we choose to stick it out and wait to see what God is doing that we experience double portions, complete healings, supernatural turnaround and more.
Hebrews 11:13-16 (NLT) All these people died still believing what God had promised them. They did not receive what was promised, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed it. They agreed that they were foreigners and nomads here on earth. Obviously people who say such things are looking forward to a country they can call their own. If they had longed for the country they came from, they could have gone back. But they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
Just like you, there are things in my life that do not add up to what God has promised me in His Word and confirmed in my spirit. I am waiting. I don’t like to wait. In fact, it is a joke among those who know me. Yet, God consistently gives me opportunities to wait. When I have waited and watched beyond my expected wait time, rather than abandoning my post, I now begin digging a little deeper and try to look past what I can see. I have learned that in my waiting that the Lord is always active. But what if, like the “foreigners and nomads” wandering the earth, waiting and watching for the Messiah, I had died before He came. Would I have been faithful? Would I have strived to live a holy life? Would I have been called “righteous”? They did not receive the promise in their lifetime, yet seeing it in the distance still welcomed it. I want that to be me today. No longer bothered by the inconveniences in my life but to be focused and settled on the Kingdom that is coming that lives in me now.
I Peter 1:14-17 (NLT) So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.” And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time here as “temporary residents.”
Many times people become so engrossed in making this life better, we lose sight of that which is coming that is far greater than this life we live. We want God to satisfy our fleshly desires, fill our bank accounts, tame our rowdy children, give us promotions and increase along with a nice house and fancy car yet none of that will add a moment or measure to our life of worth. Those things are dying with this planet. We must live as God’s Obedient Children right now. Before we see Him, just because we know Him and love Him. We must be holy, set apart and consecrated to the Lord which means constantly and consistently laying our life down for others in every way possible. We must live humbly. We are to live respectfully. We are to live honestly. We are temporary residents and must live faithful to the Kingdom to which we belong. My response to life should not be based on my circumstances but solely on my residence in God’s Kingdom and responsibility as a Child of the King.
I Peter 2:13-17 (NLT) For the Lord’s sake, submit to all human authority—whether the king as head of state, or the officials he has appointed. For the king has sent them to punish those who do wrong and to honor those who do right. It is God’s will that your honorable lives should silence those ignorant people who make foolish accusations against you. For you are free, yet you are God’s slaves, so don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil. Respect everyone, and love the family of believers. Fear God, and respect the king.
There is no sense of entitlement in the Kingdom of God and so we cannot adopt one here. The world owes us nothing. As a member of the Body of Christ, I do owe the world something. Love. Romans 13:8 says, “Own nothing to anyone except your obligation to love one another.” We are to submit to ALL human authority even if you did not choose it or vote for it. It is God’s Will for us to live honorable lives that silence ignorant people. Here’s a hint – there are no soapboxes in Heaven. You do not have to prove a point. Discredit the devil. Or prove God right. You are called to love everyone. If your words brutalize another, they are not from God. We can love others to Jesus without offending them, verbally assaulting them or even convincing them of hell. We must use our attitude and actions to convince other people that God’s Love is great and His Grace even greater so they will see Him and love Him like we do.
James 1:2-4 (NLT) Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
We will always have trouble. There will be trials in our life to produce faith that is so precious. Endurance is the thing that allows our faith to grow into the capacity needed to have secure hope that can live for forever rather than fixed on today. The process is lengthy. Some days overwhelming. But for those who do not give up and carry the term “temporary resident” though life is inconvenient, it will always be worth it. Nothing is wasted as God’s Word Promises. He works every detail in our life for our good. (Romans 8:28) He perfects that which concerns me. (Psalm 138:8) He has a plan far greater than my own containing a future and hope even though I want it right now. (Jeremiah 29:11) What does He want in return? Just for me to believe. If I choose to live this life as though I really do believe in God, His Son, His Spirit and His Kingdom, this inconvenient life will lead to an everlasting forever. The Lord desires to make us perfect and complete needing nothing. Fully satisfied and completely fulfilled. Who doesn’t want that? Everyone does. Who is willing to wait for it? Not as many. Those who endure to the end will be saved. Will it be you? Will it be me? I intend to make it so.
John 20:29 (NLT) Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are