An entry from EDIFIED, written more than ten years ago, but so relevant to our situation today; applying these truths has brought peace in problems and God’s grace in trouble.
“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you.” Psalm 143:8
While in a difficult situation recently, someone asked me how I could be so cheerful. The answer is a Scripture-based phrase that I often use to give myself perspective: “God is moving history to a conclusion and is taking us with Him!” Whatever the present event, it is part of God’s plan to finish history and move us into eternity. He is in control; I can trust Him.
This perspective is found throughout Scripture. Colossians 3:2-4 expresses it well: “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” This gives us the wider, God-focused perspective.
“For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” We can leave behind our old culturally-based, performance-oriented, comfort-focused value system. Instead we can choose to rest in the security we have in Christ.
“When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” He WILL appear, and He WILL bring us with Him, and He WILL give us a place in His glory—we can focus on this long-term truth rather than our short-term accomplishments or failures!
This understanding gives us a wide and long view of what’s happening. This view can change our goal from being comfortable and safe, to joining God in what He’s doing, to embracing the adventures He’s prepared for us.
If, from a human perspective, my whole life collapses around me (illness, accident, loss, poverty, persecution, injustice, war), I can look at it within the bigger picture of God’s glory, greatness and grace, knowing that He is doing something significant through it; therefore, I can praise and trust Him in it. My favorite verse sums it up: “My soul finds rest in God alone” (Ps. 62:1).
This is a huge shift from “normal” human thinking. And we can cooperate with God in making this shift by internalizing Scripture, then putting it into practice in little every day events. Disappointments, delays, little hurts and small losses then all become opportunities to offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving (Ps. 50:23) and honor God.
In giving thanks, we affirm that God is good, that God is in control, that God is at work using each irritation to expose my sin, to transform me, to give me opportunity to be a light to those around me, to give Him glory before the unseen hosts. Truly, knowing Jesus is enough for joy, period! Let’s join Him today in living in this truth!