If we desire a truthful connection to God and to our surroundings, there will be for us a quite comfortable sense of genuine greatness: the pleasure of filling precisely the role God had in mind for us, within the larger scheme of His great creation.
It is enough that God gives us the help we need today; today’s storehouse doesn’t have to be stocked with everything we might need tomorrow. Tomorrow’s needs will be provided when the time comes, and faith is willing to leave that in God’s hands.
Nothing will keep us away from God more than failing to forgive those who have wronged us. Jesus said, “If you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” It is only the merciful who will receive mercy.
Even when we see the importance of seeking God, we often don’t see the importance of our motives in seeking Him. Yet this must be carefully considered. Why do we seek God? God’s blessings must be seen as furthering His purposes, not our own agenda.
Just as hardship builds character, it is also true that hardship demonstrates character that has already been built. And one of life’s most refreshing experiences is to see someone show unexpected dignity and strength in the face of pain.
Christ did not die to prevent us from being hurt, but to “release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” So we can drink any cup that life sets before us. Life has higher goals that the mere avoidance of pain.
The sorrow of the world is deadly because it indulges in self-justification. It fuels resentment and resistance to God. Like Cain, the self-pitying soul feels no genuine remorse for evil. He merely whines, “My punishment is greater than I can bear!”
The change we need is more radical than we can yet undergo; we must be willing to wait for our perfection in Christ. In the meantime, being a “new creation” in Christ requires that we accept, however painfully to our pride, what grace really means.
Love, obedience, and worship are powerful concepts — but we must be careful. Given our tendency to focus on some things to the exclusion of others that are equally important, we need to be warned against cutting any of these off from the others.
To those who are willing to come to Him in His Son, ready to trust Him and obey His word, God is willing to grant as much of Himself as can be granted to us right now in our frailty. But we desire more. And much more will be possible, in His time.