Driving from the gym in the drizzle and the euphoric post-workout high, I was granted an epiphany. Why are we so downtrodden and haggard all the time? We as Christians have been given so much, yet we appreciate it all so little!
A verse that has been on my heart lately has been 1 Corinthians 4:7, which says “What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?” Now, I realize this does not perfectly tie in to what I posed as question earlier, but allow me to explain myself. First of all, we’ve been given everything we have in this life, so the burden is not ours to provide for our own needs. I think this speaks to God’s omniscience as He knows all our needs even before we speak them to Him. This also speaks to His willingness to do good for us.
This last assertion clashes violently with the broken and tarnished image I have of my Maker. Through the Ten Commandments and the life of Christ, we have every example of who God is, yet I choose to adamantly disbelieve Him at His word. What I have described is subversion and rebellion. Now that I have revealed a bit of my inner-hellion, I resume my original and intended train of thought.
Once we have come to recognize that our provision is God’s, a joyful task that He carries out for His children without fail, we then encounter another quote from Paul in Philippians 4:13 where He asserts the old adage “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” I think there is a significant implication that I overlook from the interplay of these two verses. Not only does God willingly provide all that we have, but in such a way that we are capable of doing anything when we follow His will. I could go into a tirade to the key of John Piper here, but I don’t have Don’t Waste Your Life with me, nor do I have the patience to see where that would lead. To quote Anchorman A-NY-THIN-G! Through Christ, God has granted us the ability to carry out His will no matter the task, regardless of the circumstances.
I see the dreariness of the day and this seems far-fetched and hopelessly optimistic religious rhetoric. At the heart level, all that is within me screams out with vocal chords on the brink of tearing, acknowledging and longing for this fulfillment. Faith is not a feeling, but I feel, I sense, I perceive (what have you), that this cannot be a lie. God has so much more in store for my life. He has so much greater planned for our relationship, yet I am content playing in my tiny, grungy sandbox. Wake, o you sleeper!
I have now reached a fever pitch within me. I wasn’t sure I was going here, but I cannot help but culminating this with the victory that we see through all of this. John 16:33 illustrates through Christ’s own words the victory and assurance we have in all of this. In our weakness, doubt and rebellion, Christ proclaims to the disciples, “I have told you these things so that in me you may find peace. You will face trouble in this world but take heart, for I have overcome the world.” I don’t know about you, but this completely wrecks my worldview. We have the strength in Christ to do all things, because it’s already been done. Your cares, troubles, worries, burdens and afflictions all have been conquered at Calvary. All you who are bent, broken and weary, lift your eyes! We have a Savior who knows your pain and overcame it two millennia ago! All we need to do is come to Him and He will open our blurry eyes to the victory He accomplished on our behalf. He wants this desperately for us, yet He allows for our free will, so that it is our choice to come to Him. Though He is never far, in a sense, He in His infinite wisdom gives you a choice. What will I choose today? Will I choose to rejoice in my Savior and Sustenance, or will I simply wallow in my own miserable existence that is apart from Him? Gracious Father, may it be the former. Amen.