It truly is the time to celebrate
It is time to celebrate. You may be thinking to yourself, “Yeah, right?”
I understand that the struggle is real. In fact it is all too real; the pain, the hurt, the heartbreak, the suffering, the lack, the depression, the loss and even the letdown. The good news, it is all temporal. The Bible supports this, “while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18 NASB). You obviously need to address your present condition, but your focus should be on where you are headed and not looking back.
There are three things you need to keep in mind while going through the struggle: God’s will, God’s way and God’s why.
Most people spend their entire lives asking and wondering this simple question, “What is God’s will for my life?” The Apostle Paul wrote in in his first letter to the Thessalonians, “in everything give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians5:18). Our human tendency is to concentrate on what you don’t have instead of being thankful for the things you possess. There is nothing wrong with petitioning God for what we need. James 4:2-3 actually teaches us, “We have not because we ask not.” However, we tend to treat our relationship with the Lord the same way we do most people. We only go to them for what they can give us and not appreciate them for their role in our life. If you are still breathing, it is evidence that God is still not done with you yet. We need to develop the attitude of the psalmist, “I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth” (Psalm 34).
Jesus instructed his disciples to pray this way in Matthew 6:10, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” We already discussed God’s will, which is to give thanks, but also said to pray, “On earth as it in Heaven.” In Heaven there is no sickness, no disease. There is no lack for the streets are made of gold. The singing is better in Heaven, the preaching is better in Heaven. The struggles of this life do not follow us to the next life. However Jesus said to pray that we experience Heaven on earth. Despite our circumstance, we can experience healing on earth, peace on earth, victory over sin on earth. Even in our darkest hour God can shine the light of his love upon us. “‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope,'” (Jeremiah 29:11).
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). First we need to know that God loves us so much that he gave his Son, Jesus Christ to die in our place. Once we receive that love and accept his Son, not only as Savior, but also Lord, then we are now in a position for God to use us to share that love with someone else. The reason we can have confidence in the healing power of God is not just based on our individual salvation, but rather that God wants us to exercise our authority as a believer to continue to influence those around us to experience his love. Remember our adversary should not be able to threaten us with Heaven. Heaven is the final destination, but God chooses to continue to use us to bring people to him.
In closing, God’s will is for us to be grateful during all times and in all things. His way is through Jesus Christ. Jesus came to give us life and that life more abundantly. His why is quite simply this — because he loves us.
(“From the Pulpit” is a weekly sermon provided by the clergy members of The Weirton Ministerial Association)