Some of you are discouraged with your lot in life. In fact, some of you are disappointed and even angry. Life as you know it, assaults your sense of fair play. Your dreams have been dashed, the things you worked so hard for have vanished and as far as you’re concerned, tomorrow does not look any better. A number of you have asked, “Where is God in all of this?” However, the real question is, where are you in relation to God?
To be honest, some of you have been rejecting Him all of your life, and He has had no room in it. That was your decision to make, and it is still a decision you can either change or keep. He can only go so far with you because He will not invade your will. If you told God to stay out of your life, why would you expect Him to override your wishes? He wants to be part of your life; in fact, He wants all of you. If you rejected God and any help He has sent along the way, which includes His people, you cannot blame Him with any intellectual integrity. It is hard to honestly expect the blessings of God when you have been cursing Him. While some things happened that were beyond your control, there were also others that were the result of choices you made. As the saying goes, “What we do today affects our tomorrow.” You have an opportunity to change your future by the decisions you make right now. One thing you can change is your eternal destiny. The Bible tells us, “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27, KJV). That means, you will meet the One you have been rejecting, and how you are judged will be based up upon your belief system and how you lived your life. Revelation tells us, “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works” (Revelation, 20:12, KJV). It also says, “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15, KJV). Jesus said, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that Light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than Light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:16-19, KJV). Truthfully, until you have peace with God through Jesus Christ, you will never have peace, neither will you have the real blessings of God. You may still change the way you think, and surrender your life to Jesus and change your eternal destiny. You can still decide whether you will spend eternity in heaven or in the lake of fire. Either way, you are not home yet.
Others of you consider yourselves Christians, yet your lifestyle says otherwise. This is not to judge or condemn you, but to get you think about where you really are in relation to God. As it is written in 2Corinthians 13:5, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates” (2 Corinthians 13:5, KJV)? It is also stated in 1Corinthians 11:31-32, “For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world” (KJV). The problem lies with you wanting to have things your way, and expecting the Lord to bless you even if you live contrary to His will. Perhaps some of the difficulties you face (not all) are the result of the Father trying to reach out to you by way of chastisement. He may be allowing you to “have it your way,” so you can come to an end of yourself and turn back to Him. Some of the most miserable people on the planet are those who have one foot in the world and one foot in the Kingdom. The difficulty you face also is trying to make this world your permanent home. That is to say, you live as if the only thing that matters is your lifestyle that conforms to the world standards. In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus said, “That which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection” (Luke 8:14, KJV). Instead of judging success by God’s standards, you judge it by the world standards. Consequently, you base your decisions and choices by those values. Unfortunately, until you live in the manner that is pleasing to God, you will fail to produce fruit and will not experience the joy He intended you to have. Keep in mind that everything on this planet will eventually burn. You are not home yet.
There are those of you who are distracted with the things of the world. You love the Lord, but you are not producing as much fruit for the Kingdom as you could be. For example, some have allowed your selves to be drawn into such things as politics and the debates that go along with it. In the midst of the political hype, you have lost sight of the fact that your citizenship is in heaven, not on earth. It is good be aware of what is going on in the world, but without God’s perspective you will not have an accurate account of what is really happening. The media is only going to show what it wants you to see. As believers, your concern should be with the Kingdom of God. Whether the government lines up with your view or not, should never affect your faith in the Lord. Unfortunately, the debates and political conjecture have a way luring people into unproductive thinking, coupled with negative emotional responses. In some cases, even fear creeps in with all the “what ifs.” Whether you are a political junkie, or an outrageous sports fan, remember the things of the world are temporary. We are all called to look at the things above, not beneath. You are not home yet.
Finally, there are those of you who are right where you are supposed to be, but it still does not look good to you. When Jesus was hanging on the Cross, it did not look good then either. Hebrews 12:1-2 says, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith; Who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (KJV). Jesus hung on the Cross for you because of God’s great love; therefore, you must remember He loves you and has your best interest at heart. The circumstances in which you find yourselves can be very discouraging; however, this is a time to encourage yourself in the Lord, and not take council with your fears. God rewards those who patiently endure onto the end. Let 1Peter 1:3-9 encourage you: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls” (KJV). Remember, you are not home yet!
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