What kind of Jesus do you want? (2)
“But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.” (Acts 20:24)
Do you want the Vacation Planner Jesus, who’ll take you to a place where life is more pleasurable? He will be only your sovereign Savior King.
If you judge God’s goodness by the amount of suffering in your life, you will end up concluding that He is not good. If you judge God’s love by the degree to which your life is difficult, you will end up thinking that God does not love you. If you judge the faithfulness of God by how much disappointment and grief you have had to deal with, you will end up questioning His faithfulness. Here is the bottom line: You will suffer because your suffering is an essential part of Gods good plan for you.
The moments when life doesn’t seem to be working as it should, the moments when you are bitterly disappointed, the moments when you have experienced loss, or the moments when unexpected trials have entered your door are not indications of the failure of God’s plan. These moments do not depict that He has forgotten you. These moments do not reveal that He is unfaithful to His promises. They do not show you that God has favorites. These moments do not demonstrate that sometimes God doesn’t answer your prayers. Here’s what you and I need to understand and live in light of: These difficult moments of life are not the failure of God’s plan or in the way of God’s plan; these moments are part of His plan. They are placed in our lives as tools of His ongoing work of rescuing, transforming, and delivering grace. They are in our lives because the God we serve esteems holiness more than He esteems our temporal definition of happiness. He is not working to give us that temporary situational emotional high; he is working to produce something much better—eternal joy.
The reality is that God has little allegiance to my selfish little wish list. He has not signed on by His grace to deliver to me that catalog of things that I think will make me happy. He has not committed to meet everything I have christened as a need. He is not working to make my journey between the “already” and the “not yet” as easy as it could possibly be. God is never caught up short when one of his children is enduring difficulty, as if something strange were happening. No, walking with Jesus is not the grand vacation, a life free of responsibility and trial. Walking with Jesus is not like that because our right here, right now life with Him is not a destination (as a vacation would be). He is not Vacation Planner Jesus; he is our sovereign Savior King. Thus, this present life is meant by God to be a time of preparation for the final glorious destination that will be our eternal home. So our right-now life is not a paradise. Right now, God in grace is working to prepare us through the difficulties of life in this fallen world for what is guaranteed to each and every one of his children.
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