Sometimes, we’re given a choice. We can help someone or not help someone. We see someone get injured, and we can help or not help. For us now, the outcome doesn’t look to be different. We think someone else can help. Or we think the situation is helpless altogether.
Esther was in the same predicament. Haman was planning to get rid of the Jews. Esther was warned by Mordecai and told her husband, the King, the plan and saved the Jews just in time.
Mordecai told Esther, “Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14b) to encourage her that her role as Queen was God-ordained.
While we don’t necessarily run across situations like this every day (or perhaps in our own lifetime), situations we face may be happening because they’re God-ordained.
So, Esther was given the choice, and the decisions she had to make led to two completely different outcomes. The same for us, sometimes. We’re between two worlds - which path will you choose when the time comes?
Have you ever had a time in your life when everything was not going well?
Most of us have. Bad thing happens after bad thing, or things at work keep going wrong. Sometimes you feel like giving up.
“Why?” you may ask.
Habakkuk 3:17-18 gives a perfect example, and of course Job gives a bigger example. Let’s look, however, at the Habakkuk passage:
“Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls—Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.”
The Jewish society was very agrarian. Many farmers relied on external factors for their job to be done as needed. They needed to produce food. They sometimes needed to take care of the sheep. They needed rain to produce crops, but if none of that went well, they still had God.
In today’s society, what we do for a living sometimes becomes our identity. However, when you make that your identity, and things go wrong, you think it’s you that’s going wrong.
However, as Christians, our identity’s in Christ. Our rejoicing should be in God, not in our work. Our salvation comes from God, not from ourselves.
Therefore, even if everything goes wrong in our work or in our personal life, that’s not our identity. It’s Christ who gives us our meaning. Your identity is in Christ, and Christ didn’t die for trash.
I was with one of my children at the hospital Sunday. When we were there, there was a boy crying for his father.
This made me realize a Spiritual point: While his father doesn't know what he wants but comforts him, our Heavenly Father knows what we want and comforts us.
Let us hold onto the truth of I Peter 5:7, allowing it to guide our hearts and minds: "casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you." With each burden we surrender, we open ourselves to experiencing our Heavenly Father’s love for us.
2 Corinthians 4:15-18: “For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
Are things around us going wrong? Do we get weaker and older?
Yes, to all above. How can we be encouraged, then?
Those weaknesses and frailties are only temporary. There’s a whole new side we can’t physically see. Through the trials and temptations that we go through and pass here on earth, we’re being built up Spiritually for the life ahead that we will have in Heaven, if we’re truly God’s child.
What we see now will be wiped away, but the eternal Kingdom is forever.
Indeed, the passage in 2 Corinthians 4:15-18 offers encouragement and perspective in the midst of challenges and the passing nature of our physical existence. Let's explore these ideas:
In conclusion, the passage in 2 Corinthians 4:15-18 reminds us that even when things around us may be going wrong and we experience the effects of aging and weakness, we can find encouragement in the eternal perspective provided by our faith. These temporary challenges serve a purpose in our spiritual growth and transformation. We are being built up for the future life we will have in the eternal Kingdom of God.
Psalm 9:1-2: “I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works. I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High.”
When was the last time that you sat down to pray, and you didn’t ask Him for something? You just praised Him?
God does love it when we talk to Him about our situations, but He loves a grateful heart. Thanking Him for what He’s already done is a great thing to do, no conditions, no requests, just thanking Him.
Expressing gratitude to God is a powerful act of worship that can bring joy, peace, and perspective to our lives. It reminds us of the many blessings we have received and helps us cultivate contentment and trust in God's provision.
When we thank God for His goodness, we shift our focus from our problems and needs to His faithfulness and love. We acknowledge His sovereignty over our lives and recognize that every good gift comes from Him. Gratitude also helps us cultivate a heart of generosity and compassion toward others, as we become more aware of the ways God has blessed us.
So the next time you pray, take a moment to thank God for all the blessings in your life. Consider keeping a gratitude journal or listing out your blessings to remind yourself of His goodness throughout the day. And remember, no matter what circumstances you may be facing, there is always something to be grateful for.