Thursday, September 1, 2016


We live on the crusty, cruddy surface on this blue planet called Earth. Things among its people are so often chaotic and beyond our control. We don't understand what is going on, why things are happening to us, what it all means, if anything.

It's because we are finite and can't see the big picture since we are too close to it, immersed in it. We can't step outside of the everyday, nitty-gritty frame of our existence so we take everything subjectively. We don't have the objective, eternal view of God which condenses time and space to view everything in the Eternal Now. 

Nevertheless, we do have some access to view that big picture through what God has revealed to us in the Scriptures.

We think our trials and adversities are monstrous, that we will never get through them, that they are too heavy to bear, that they may even be unjust and we are undeserving and our “tribulating” serves no purpose except to afflict us and cause us trouble and make our lives miserable. WRONG!

The Message paraphrase of the verses from 2 Corinthians 4:17, 18 put it pretty much in the real perspective, the view from above, where we are seated in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus even now.

17 “These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. 18 There's far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can't see now will last forever.”

We may be more familiar with the classic wording, “17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18 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.” 

I apply it to my present situation—you may focus on yours. I have deeply appreciated the prayers and words of empathy, virtually sympathy, compassion, and even pity for a particular on-going trial I've been going through which is seemingly unfair and undeserved. That may be true, but from the vantage point of a lifetime walk with the Lord, I have experienced His never failing dealings of love toward His children—all of which have purpose. 

I'm positive that the troublesome situation I'm in is not meaningless or happenstance. Neither is yours. Whatever else, perhaps for His many and varied purposes for each person involved in this one situation, I know that God is working on me and everyone separately in the framework of Romans 8:28. A fresh look at the familiar promise from The Message paraphrase is, 28That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.” 
I'm certain that I'm in the midst of “something good” that seems to look bad, and He is working on me through what is going on, teaching me how to act like an obedient child by trusting Him to bring everything to the conclusion He intentionally planned. Ultimately, God brings us all the way through our afflictions, troubles, adversities and hard knocks by shaping and chiseling and  polishing us further into the likeness of His Son Jesus Christ. That is His loving purpose in His dealings with all of His earthling children who are destined to live with Him in eternity.

To get the eternal perspective, let's look down from our present position in Christ who “raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6). Yes, in the midst of the negative whirlwind of a stressful adversity it might not feel good. Nevertheless, the Christian life of taking up our cross and following Him as He told us we must, is not about feeling good. It is about trusting God that He is “working with and in and through us for something good!”

From way up there, or way out there in space, or somewhere in the vast universe wherever God and the “heavenly places” are located, we are spiritually, positionally with Him in Christ now. He invites us to actualize and realize His view of what is happening to us as we walk around on the shallow crust of this small planet. It's not necessary to pity each other while we, all of us in fact, are going through tough situations.

Let's rather embrace joyfully whatever is our lot in life since we know we are being lovingly worked on into something good through our present circumstances! Let's not pity each other, but in empathy pray for one another that we will be malleable in God's hands. Let's watch and see and rejoice in how it all turns out for His glory!


Jennifer Botkin Phillips said...

Wonderfully written and just what I needed to read right now I my life! These spiritual concepts, and truths, are sometimes hard for me to grasp, but I stand on God's word knowing that He will work my trials for my good. Once again, Leona, you have such a way with words! I marvel at the way you pull them together and am blessed by reading them!

Maria said...

This is awesome! I am copying so many of your words in my journal. Thank you Leona. I'm praying for you.