Sunday, January 27, 2013
The Lord put in my heart to share a word that would encourage us all in a season of difficult times and hardships. One of the ways to overcome heavy circumstances is to shift our emotions, i.e. how we see and feel about what’s going on in our lives.
In 2 Corinthians 4:17 Paul writes “…. our light affliction, which is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory…”
Wow… Have you ever thought the things that are against you, are actually working for you? Probably not! It’s much easier to focus on our present reality and forget the spiritual reality we were created for.
But Paul, focusing on the assurance of this future, glorious reality, goes on to say: “Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. ( 2 Corinthians 5:9)
If we make this scripture our “plumb line”, it’s going to mess up how we typically live each day. Our entire day would be structured with one primary purpose: To please the Lord.
For real, how many of us stop and think at different times throughout the day how the Lord would feel about what we’re doing or saying? Sometimes it’s hard enough just to get through the day, and there’s no awareness of the Lord being right there with us.
In the world, we strive to live well, focusing on making money…moving ahead ….making a name for ourselves….striving to be accepted and successful in the eyes of others.
But our “plumb line scripture” turns this all around. Instead of gaining status in the here and now, we must change our focus to gain our heavenly inheritance. Our priority shifts from living well to living to die well! Isn’t that contrary to how the world thinks! Again, it simply means living each day, no matter where we are, in a way that pleases the Lord.
If we love someone, we want to please them. Ah-ha! Jesus said “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”
When we purpose to live in agreement with God’s Word, we will find ourselves walking in opposition to much of the world system. Some of your friends won’t want to be around you anymore. Obedience brings reward, but the reward comes because we made it through the fire of opposition, testing, and trials. When we realize some of our most miserable circumstances are actually opportunities to gain spiritual ground, it shifts how we feel and act! The key is when we keep our focus on the promise of what lies ahead; it enables us to see hard times in a new light.
This same thought is also expressed in 1 John 3:2,3
“Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
Again, it is that hope of being transformed in His Glory that we are living here to achieve there. Whatever storm or hard time you may be going through, take heart in knowing it is working to purify you….
Be exhorted and encouraged …the best is yet to come!
Additional reading: Proverbs 17:3, Malachi 3:3, 1 Peter 1:7, Rev 3:18