Natalino, Samantha and Adrianna
I know how the story ends. That’s why I speak to you with such assurance on a most considerable matter. We all have the knowledge now of our eternal placement. The gift of knowing that our lives are en route into forever in light remains the utmost revelation from God; one in which He was pleased to directly disclose.
Having said that, of course, still, I possess no prophetic gift to know how your lives will unfurl here. I can only discern, from scripture, that you will strive and strain to some degree, at some points in your lives, at the very least. It’s with sureness; none of us; believers or not, are unfamiliar with this actuality. So, I write for the love I have for you.
Thus, the Word guides us in ways while we reside on earth. First, set your hope on the reality that any suffering you have right now pales to your place in eternity. The hard truth is, Christians often act least like Christians when we suffer. Please don’t let that be true about you. When we suffer it should shine most brightly that we are followers of Christ. You have been chosen, saved and redeemed and crave the Word so let it transform your approach here.
Let’s say, hypothetically, you find yourself in the midst of financial, circumstantial mishaps. Your car needs sudden, costly repair. You lose your job. Your wallet with a good amount of cash is lost. Your cat needs imminent surgery. It all happens within a couple of days. Then, you get a phone call from an attorney saying that you are the sole heir of a one billion dollar fortune due to the last wishes of a distant cousin. The only catch is, you can’t get the check for three weeks. Do you say, “Well, that’s a drag? Who cares, then? If I can’t even get my hands on it for three weeks. I can’t look forward to that? My hunch is, that is not how you would react. Your financial stresses would likely begin to dissipate and a peace would come over you, even if the furnace blows and the roof caves in the midst of waiting. Yet, we do profess to believe the promise God offers but often find no peace in it while we are here, though our future is determined.
Our character in faith is something that must be in focus and applied. Am I suggesting that you never weep? No! Jesus wept. We lose people we love. We lament over illness. Our hearts break. I don’t want you to misunderstand. The point I emphasize is that we can become despondent and forget our hope. With our devotion and minds, however, we can rise and the unbearable can become bearable after the tears.
You have your own peculiar temperament and that doesn’t change because you’ve been converted. We have certain things about ourselves unique to ourselves that we may have to work harder on than others. But they have their difficulties, too. We also need to watch our strong points. Those can lead us into soul trouble, as well. Peter had a great quality in his energy, right? His strong distinction also meant that he was quick to speak. Not one of us is able to say we have been born without weaknesses or even strengths that can outdo us. We all have dispositions with which we must contend. Peter had his own to work out and remember that Paul actually had to rebuke Peter in public. I chose an apostle to make my point. None of us are exempt from these matters of ourselves.
1 Peter 1:6-7 reads, “In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” I am so grateful that our Word is so real. Pop psychologists and even some pretty good false teachers in the name of our faith, are telling us that we should seek our constant happiness because we deserve it, you know. We’re able to live without struggle. It’s not true life. There is a definite purpose to our trials that ultimately will be proven to be more valuable than gold.
We have finite minds. That’s why even with the life that waits, the struggles we encounter now can still be overwhelming. So, steadily look toward Him. Seek an incredible nearness. Our struggles can be designed to make us more like Christ. Our human minds can have a hard time wrapping our arms around that doctrine when we are in the midst of suffering. The more continual your walk with the Lord, the less pain will be as a catalyst for spiritual depression.
The precious character of faith is eternal and everlasting. It links you to God. It trades hell in for heaven. The process God puts us through strengthens that faith. The trust element needs to be strengthened. That trust is exposed when your love for the Lord is in light even when the sun is not shining. We don’t like this but the evidence from scripture is that God put many of His ambassadors through great tests and trials. Joseph. Job. All of the Apostles. David. Abraham. And, on and on. We’ll know the deep reasons at another time but it is the way we endure trials that certifies our faith. Saving the worst of it for last, we may have to endure more, not less, than those of no faith. We are in the hands of our Father. Remind yourself that if you did not have Him, as an orphan, you could have less in the way of trials because He would not be intervening in your life; directing, correcting, testing and ultimately strengthening you for His glory. His ways are not our ways and we will be reveling in the reward of it all.
With All Love,