Friday, August 1, 2014

Not of this World

"His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire." 
 2 Peter 1:3-4

There is real hope for those who believe in Jesus Christ.  As the passage indicates above, he "has granted to us his precious and very great promises."  Not only does God give us promises, but the purpose of those promises is that we would be partakers of the divine nature.  In other words, we will become more and more like Jesus, and we will reign with Jesus for eternity.  There is no greater treasure, no greater reality, no greater hope.  

Peter expounds upon this in his earlier letter, saying, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you." (I Peter 1:3-4)  




And it is kept in heaven.  Our treasure, our great reward is unlike anything or anyone we've ever seen, and it's found in the person of Jesus Christ.  He is enough.  

That's why it's so aggravating to me when I forget this truth.  It's aggravating when I slowly forget that the life I'm living for is LATER.  Because as I easily forget, I start longing for things that are perishable, able to be defiled, and fade.  They constantly fail me.  

It's so easy to get caught up in a culture, wondering why is this thing so messed up?!  Why can't I just have an easy life and have the things that I want, be surrounded by the people that I love without challenges or struggles?!  Why is there injustice, pain, and suffering?  Why does it seem like things are getting worse, and not getting better?!  

I think it's a reminder that if we got all that we wanted, but we were without God, we would be eternally miserable.  Just imagine if you actually got everything you wanted.  Would you actually be satisfied?  I know that I wouldn't.  I know because there have been times where I have said, "if only I could have had..." and I got it!  

"If only could get a part in the play!"

"If only I could get a solo!" 

"If only I could make more friends!"

"If only I could have a girlfriend!"

"If only I could get married!"

"If only I had a little bit more money!"  

"If only I got the promotion!"

I'm sure there are things I'm unaware of that I still want.  But, even if I had them, I could still find a way to be discontent.  It's a reminder that I'm in need of the living God of all!  That He is the only one who can satisfy!  

"As a deer pants for flowing streams,
    so pants my soul for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God,
    for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?" -- Psalm 42:1-2

When the psalmist is desperate, he begs for God.  He's what our souls, our hearts were truly meant to be satisfied by.  And we will fully see Him and His glory in the life to come, not in this world.  It's a reminder that we aren't here to live it up.  As Peter says, we are exiles and aliens in a foreign land.  This is NOT our home.  Heaven is our home.  It's our citizenship.  It's the true land of freedom and opportunity, one where sin and death is vanquished, and the only just King is firmly established as our Leader and God.  

This is an exciting reality.  If we really are citizens of an eternal home, and this is merely for a time, it changes everything.  It re-orients our life's mission, because it changes our perspective that the good life isn't found here, but that the best is yet to come.  So I don't need a "bucket list," I don't need to freak out about all the things I haven't done before I'm 30, and I don't need to worry about the future.  Instead, I can invest myself in learning more about Jesus, I can give generously to building His Kingdom, I can give generously to those in need, and I can pour my life into others without wondering what's in it for me.  

If you're in Christ, take heart.  Life isn't found here, but in Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.  Run to Him, knowing that He has secured true life for eternity.  

In His Grace,