Tuesday, August 5, 2014

They Did Me Wrong

We all want life to be good and happy.  We all want life to be “fair”. Nobody likes it when life is unfair to them. We even ask God, “ Why did that have to happen to me”?

But God wants us at a place where we are above the situations that surround us. He wants us at a place that when life is unfair to us, we can be okay with it….we rise above it. He wants us to see the bigger picture – which is, in essence, that situation doesn’t control us or His purpose for us. First, He wants us to react with Christ-likeness and second, He’s still gonna get done what He needs to whether we react properly or not. But when we do react properly, we receive a benefit. We become stronger and more able to handle the next challenge (and there will be another challenge right around the corner). We make those irritating situations matter by giving them space in our mind…over and over….year after year. It consumes us until it becomes bigger than God. Yep, bigger than God himself (in our minds) because we’ve rationalized that God can’t (or won’t) help us. The problem has pushed God out of the picture.

Sometimes those circumstances are in our lives to give us opportunities to see if we’ve learned the lesson, “Can I let this roll off of my back or am I gonna let this stick me straight through the heart”? Every time we don’t learn the lesson, it’s like getting up off of the operating table before the surgeon has a chance to perform surgery. The tumor lives on and continues to grow – becoming even tougher and more complicated to remove later on.

God wants us to be able to drop off the things that we consider unfair – times when we were done wrong. He already knows it was unfair, but you are blessed and grow in Christ-likeness when you “let it go”.  Just put it away – don’t keep reliving it. The Bible never teaches that life should be fair. Consider this: Was it fair that Jesus was persecuted, treated wrong and nailed to a cross?

"Why Can't They See" - Wayne Tolbert

Who Wants A Happy Life?

Everyone wants to be happy. Whatever happiness is for you - you want that for your life...and you spend you entire life trying to get it. Two things to point out: 1) Your life is much longer than your years here on earth, and 2) God’s ultimate goal for your life on earth is not happiness, but character development. Once you grasp these two things, life becomes simpler.

God made you for a purpose - for something here on this earth and for something beyond this earth. Life on this earth is just a prelude....a dress rehearsal for the real show. God needs us to grow up spiritually and become like Christ because that's what we're gonna need after this life on earth is done. Becoming like Christ doesn't mean losing who you are and becoming a mindless clone carrying around a bible. Christ-likeness means transforming and building your character (love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control), not changing your personality.
 
Anytime you forget that building character and becoming more like Christ is one of God’s purposes for your life, you'll get frustrated by your circumstances. You’ll wonder, "Why is this happening to me? Why am I having such a difficult time? I didn't expect it to go like this". One answer is that life can be difficult - that's part of what helps us grow. Therefore, being happy should not be the goal. If it is, you will fail....all the time.

Remember, earth is not Heaven. If you keep heaven at the forefront of your thinking, it'll make this life easier to live. Life on earth compared to life in Heaven is kinda like comparing a droplet of water to an ocean. To us, eighty years feels like a long time, but really, it's just a drop of water - a spray of mist in the air that disappears momentarily. Many of us are trying to have our perfect "heaven" here on earth. But, there will be pain living on this earth - it's unavoidable. We have to realize that the perfection of life and "happiness" (we're continually seeking) will come on the other side of this life here on earth.