Weather report from heaven: Sunny and bright with an abundance of light, and lots of singing and rejoicing.
Scripture- “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”- 2 Corinthians 4:7
Insight: As we continue our series on Understanding The Times, today let’s consider in more detail the great hope we have as Christians because of the sufficiency, strength and power of Jesus Christ and the eternal nature of God’s Kingdom. The bottom line is we have a treasure inside of us, as the scripture above from 2 Corinthians 4:7 alludes to, that gives us great strength and hope.Because of this abiding relationship with Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit we can thrive irrespective of our external circumstances. A perfect example of this was the Apostle Paul who we studied earlier in the week who was so focused on his relationship with Christ that his external circumstances hardly mattered at all. It was what allowed him to see a Roman Prison as we would view a Mediterranean Resort. As long as Christ was being glorified, and the gospel was being preached, Paul didn’t care what was happening around him or to him. It was what allowed him to pen remarkable lines in the New Testament such as Philippians 1:21 where he says “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” That is what surrendering to your physical self looks like and it should be all of our goals as followers of Christ. However, we realize Paul was chosen by God for a unique purpose and in a unique way because of his previous persecution of Christians, which led to his Damascus Road experience, where once he saw Jesus he was temporarily blinded from seeing anything else. Paul was God’s chosen vessel to spread the Gospel and to write most of the New Testament, but he needed to be totally stripped of his belief in anything other than Jesus for his life’s purpose.
So how does this in any way relate to us some 2,000 years later? God still uses the remnant to save the city. In other words, He uses those who have abandoned their own plans to instead live for His glory. According to Rick Warren, “God loves voids. He loves it when people come to the truthful place of admitting everything they thought could satisfy them, ultimately let them down. That emptiness leaves space for God’s beauty to rush in to do the unexpected and the magical.” We are living in tough times right now, and as we have been discussing, people are filled with anxiety and fear at the evil that is encroaching all around us. We have our backs up against the wall in many cases through no fault of our own. Jobs are being lost, schools are no longer putting our kids first, political power grabs are leading to a loss of personal freedoms, reputations are being cancelled because of a media driven censorship unlike anything the world has ever witnessed before. The list of problems is overwhelming at times, until we remember we are not in control. Ever! But God is in control and God is using all things for His purposes and His glory. But Rick Warren states it is all for a greater good when he says “God uses adversity to lead us into service. It is His way, because He knows that the human heart is incapable of voluntarily entering into situations that take us beyond our comfort zone. He takes us to tough places to drive us deeper into the soil of His grace.” Sound familiar? The pain along the way is worth the destination of us being bathed in His amazing grace that is the only thing that can ever truly satisfy.
Prayer: Father God, thank you that Your grace is sufficient for us and truly the only thing that can ever satisfy. We are grateful for everyday and everything You give us. In Jesus’ mighty name we pray. Amen!