2019-07-23 And Then This Happened.

“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you
do not know what a day may bring.”
Proverbs 27:1

A man I know well was injured recently. I haven’t spoken to him, but I do know his world has been rattled. It wasn’t his fault, but he is the one bearing the cost of another person’s carelessness. He could have been killed.

We go about our days will little thought of how brief our life is. Oh, sure, we have high school graduations and weddings that might stop us in our tracks with the realization of how quickly life goes by. Then, we have the occasional funeral. Sometimes, we have an injury, like my friend. Overall, however, we give little thought to all this. One day is the same as the next. We struggle with life, hoping things will get a little better tomorrow.

These big events often stop the show for us. They rattle us to the core. Why is that so? I suppose it’s because our focus is on things that do not satisfy – in the long run.

“Put not your trust in princes,
in a son of man, in whom there is no
salvation.
When his breath departs, he returns to the
earth;
on that very day his plans perish.”
Psalm 146:3-4

“yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring.
What is your life? For you are a mist that appears
for a little time and then vanishes.”
James 4:14

I know men who have paid a great deal of money to put their name on the side of a building. That’s said to be a legacy, stuff we leave for others in the hopes they will remember us after we’re gone. It also serves to prove to others, while we are still alive, that we are successful enough that we can afford this kind of extravagance. As time goes on, fewer and fewer people know who the person was whose name is on the building or bridge. In fact, it takes a lot of money or a very special person to be known after just a couple generations.

Most of us never make it to that type of recognition. We’re just trying to get by. We struggle in our own strength under the weight of the cares of this world. We look forward to “that day” in the future, whether it be graduation, a new home, a family, better job, grandchildren, or retirement. Yet, those days come and go, don’t they?

We forget that we are eternal beings. Time is fleeting only because it is scarce. Eternity, by definition, has no limit and, therefore, no scarcity. It is something we will never run out of because we all will exist forever and ever and ever. Intuitively, we know this (Ecclesiastes 3:11) yet we choose to ignore it. We also know for certainty that God created us, and we are accountable to him (Romans 1:19-20). Unfortunately, we don’t think that’s good enough, so we stray. We all know the ramifications of that, but we choose to go our own way knowing full well we will pay dearly.

Is it any wonder that life seems so meaningless at times? We were created to honor and thank God, yet we deliberately thumb our nose at him as we go our own way – or so we would like to think. But there will be a day, for all of us, in which we will give an account – to God himself – for our actions (Romans 14:12, 2 Corinthians 5:10). We all know this. That’s why big reminders are often life-changing events. Some go deep into depression. Others buy a Corvette and exchange their wife for a new girlfriend. Others busy themselves so they don’t have to think about it. Others find some type of faith. Some of us, thankfully, find Jesus.

“And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name
under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
Acts 4:12

Listen, I don’t want anyone to think that true Christians don’t have bad days or don’t follow Jesus as they know they should. We, also, get caught up in the cares of this world and are rattled by the same thing that rattles the others. Christians have hope, whether they fully realize it or not, that their eternal life is glorious. Every human has an eternal home. Most will spend it in the lake of fire. Few will spend it in a place far different than where we are now.

Revelation 21:1-4 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

The things that happen on this earth are certainly important. However, nothing here is meant to take our attention from that which is most important – Jesus. In fact, everything that happens here, whether good or evil, points to Jesus. Properly understood, through the power of the Holy Spirit, we will find reason to rejoice in all things.

Philippians 4:4-9 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Please pray for my friend.

Father, I ask that you encourage people to seek what they need in the face of Jesus. Stir your people, Lord. Amen.

Copyright © 2019 Scott Powers

Photo by Mark Boss on Unsplash

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