GONNA’ MAKE IT
“God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where rust destroys and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where thieves do not break in or steal;”
Matthew 6:19-20 (abridged)
Make the goal.
Make the deadline.
Accomplish the task.
Make enough money.
Be a success.
Attain the stuff.
Endure/put up with/get through The trial or difficulty simply with the goal of having it be over so you can get back to doing all of the above.
In our humanity and our society we are very much goal oriented as far as how we consider success. But we are also very much that way when it comes to trials or difficulties; just get to the end and have it be over with! We see the entire “goal” of difficulty to have it be over.
This seems to be very much magnified in our modern Western society where we are driven by comfort, accomplishment, acknowledgement and success. These things are the alter at which we worship and pay tribute to with our very lives.
How opposite we are of God in our viewpoint due to our finiteness.
Because you see God is all about the process. Backwards thinking huh? Or as one of my best friends would say “upside down Kingdom”.
EVERYTHING IS BACKWARDS
…we will stand amazed to see the topside of the tapestry and how God beautifully embroidered each circumstance into a pattern for our good and His glory.
Joni Eareckson Tada (quadriplegic for 50 years)
Anyone who has seen the hugely popular Stranger Things understands the concept of the “upside down”. A world in perfect mirror of ours only it is dark, decaying and full of monsters.
Of course in this Sci-Fi series the “good” world is our own natural one.
But in reality (not tv) we exist in the fallen world where there is death, evil, disasters and pain. It is hard to imagine the perfect Eden God created and what this world was meant to be. But having an awareness that Christ’s death ripped the veil and brought about the Kingdom age of the earth (the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and direct access to heaven in prayer) can change our perspectives of being in defeat, to coming into awareness that victory has already been won.
The enemy’s number one goal at its heart is really about destroying our victory and awareness of who we are in Him.
Ahhh but spiritual warfare is a lengthy topic for another day….. (But hold onto that knowledge!).
Are you downtrodden and disappointed right now? In deep suffering and trial? Is it bringing you poverty, loneliness, oppression, discrimination? Are you low on wealth, love, employment, friends, family, health and comfort?
Those are all super important and the basics in life, and yet they are still things and count as treasures on earth.
No, it doesn’t seem fair and before you think I pass judgment, I am also poor and suffering in many of those same things and have been for years.
“Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
ACCEPTING WHAT IS UNACCEPTABLE
“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Once we have an understanding and acceptance and even appreciation of God’s process (especially when it comes to our own situation) this doesn’t always mean that our attitudes or emotions at every given moment reflect this understanding.
It took many years but I did finally come to not regretting years of illness and the loss of so much life to something that was out of my control.
I came to appreciate all that God had done in me and through me and continues to do. That said, in the years since that understanding I have not always been happy about it, or always appreciated or not reverted to regret.
I have to admit right now being in the season where negativity has been over- running any kind of positivity and I really don’t like myself very much right now.
I have experienced the ebbs and flows that go on in my body, my mind, my emotions and my spirit for so many years that I feel like I can never find level footing as far as where I am in my life, or my spirituality or my own personality. This can be incredibly frustrating especially when I am very much aware of it and how it is affecting myself and others.
As is usual during the more negative times I am quite aware that there is very much a physical component to my outlook comprised of how my internal organs are functioning, my hormones, my toxicity levels and many other factors. But that does not mean I am not responsible to take control to the best of my ability my relationship with God in these times and with others.
Whether I feel like it or not it is in these times that I should all the more dig my feet in as hard as I can into Jesus and into the Word to counterbalance the chaos and negativity inside my mind my body.
What happens when I act out of obedience and do just that? What you’re reading right now is a fruit of what happens. God opens up a channel and I’m able to do the best I can with his help to write for him.
SEEING INSTEAD OF LOOKING
We know that as long as we have breath in life that God is not finished with us. When he is “done” (for reasons that are wrapped in the mystery of his will), we go home. So while we have life whether we be in the midst of trials and difficulties or if we are blessed enough to have things easy; we should never stop seeking, growing, learning, exploring all the things that God has for us in our hearts and souls.
Because that’s why we are here right now, for those things in ourselves and in others.
We’ve Got stuff to do. And if we don’t know what that stuff is right now, at least we know Who to go to to ask.
Knowing God is the beginning of knowing His will and getting to understand what He is up to. Because when we are going through horrible trials we lose our comforts and the very things that (we think) bring us stability (such as money, a steady job, a loving relationship or our health). When we lose our foundations our world is rocked and we have nothing to stand on.
But I think that is the point. When we lose our false foundations we truly do know where we are spiritually, how much faith is real and how much we do or don’t trust God. That is why we are told to consider it all joy when we have trials, because we know we have God’s loving attention and He is looking to building the gold inside us by removing the costume jewelry we have surrounded ourselves with.
“You can never learn that Christ is all you need, until Christ is all you have.”
~Corie Ten Boom
If you have not read Corie Ten Boom’s story I highly recommend it. She survived a German concentration camp and witnessed the murder of her family as well as countless others.
“”Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.”
We will all go through trials and difficulties. It’s not a maybe it’s a sure thing. The difference is how we choose to face them and Who we choose to face them with and what we allow Him to do in the midst.
One thing that is assured in Christ is that (hear this!) it’s not for nothing and it’s not pointless!!! Quite the opposite. Rather instead we have blessings that would have been unattainable otherwise. I don’t know about you but if I’m going to suffer I sure want to be looking for the treasure and not miss out. It doesn’t mean it’s easy, but it means I will continue to ebb and flow in this journey of life and go through the cycles of negativity only to bob my head free again and recognize the truths God keeps reminding me of and giving me a better understanding of as I work at running the race.