God’s Eternal Principles – Part 3
Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve been talking about God’s eternal goals for us, and how that helps to lift our vision, keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, and stand strong in the face of adversity. Today I want to finish by considering what that looks like in our daily lives.
God allows difficulties into our lives, and the scripture has a lot to say about how we should respond.
- Galatians 6:9 – NIV – “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
When we’re faced with a difficult situation, our first inclination often is to sit down and quit. What is coming against us can look like an overwhelming mountain that we can’t climb. Sometimes we’re just plain weary and feel as though we can’t go on.
What Paul is saying is that we do have a choice in how we respond to the situation. The unique gift that God has given humanity is our free will…our ability to choose and act upon those choices. Here Paul is encouraging us to not give up because better times are coming.
Another scripture speaks to this:
- Philippians 3:12-13 – “…I press on to take hold of that for which I was even taken hold of by Christ Jesus. Brothers and sisters, I do not regard myself as having taken hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
What is Paul saying here? It would seem that he’s reminding us we’ve been called out by God for a purpose. It’s important to remember this as we face our own difficult situations. He says that we need to cast off what lies behind us, and “press on”. This term means literally to lean into or to stretch towards.” It implies intentional action; something we do on purpose. We strive to keep moving ahead when everything is trying to stop us.
So, how do we walk this out in our everyday life? What does it look like in practical terms?
- Keep your eyes on the goal and put one foot in front of the other. Jesus is our model.
- Hebrews 12:2 – Berean Standard Bible – “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Jesus is our example of how to live. He knew what was ahead of Him, but He continued to walk very intentionally towards the Cross. Jesus was aware of what was on the other side of the Cross, and keeping His focus there enabled Him to endure all that faced Him.
Jesus knew His ultimate goal would be to sit at the right hand of God, and to rule an everlasting Kingdom. What is the ultimate goal set before US? The answer is partially found in the next scripture.
- II Corinthians 4:17 – Amplified Bible – For our momentary, light distress (this passing trouble) is producing for us an eternal weight of glory (a fullness beyond all measure (surpassing all comparisons, a transcendent splendor and an endless blessedness)!”
Remember the description of the Holy City in Revelation 21? Remember that God is molding you into someone who will rule and reign with Jesus? THAT is your eternal, ultimate goal. Keep your eyes there!
- Do the next thing!
Sometimes it’s that simple! What is the next thing on your To Do list for today? Do that! Thinking too far ahead when we’re in a difficult situation most often causes fear and anxiety that we don’t need to carry. Just do the next thing that’s in front of you. Many times, that’s all you can do…take the next step.
- Obey what you’ve already heard.
Remember that one of those eternal purposes was for us to learn obedience? God usually does not repeat what He’s already told us until we’ve taken some action on it. Don’t doubt in the darkness what you’ve heard in the Light! When you’ve heard God speak to you on something, and then the situation doesn’t seem to be working out as you expected, make a choice to not question what you heard. God doesn’t change His instructions to us just because our situation changes or becomes more difficult.
- Choose not to be a victim when faced with hardship or adversity.
- Daniel 11:32 – “…but the people who know their God will display strength and take action!”
Daniel is describing here a situation of persecution and hardship that we have never yet faced. Antichrist is in power, and those who love God are being pursued and executed. Yet in the midst of this is a word that shows us the response that God wants us to have. Make a choice to know your God! Remember eternal goal #1? Hear God’s voice more clearly. Be intentional about that, and you will be able to display strength and take action in the face of the direst circumstances.
Difficult things will come into all of our lives. In the Scriptures Peter tells us that these fiery trials are common to man. What’s really important is the response we have to them. God is at work even when it doesn’t seem clear to us exactly what He’s doing!!
As always, your thoughts and comments are welcome here, or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org