July 10, 2013
Romans 8:18; II Corinthians 4:17, 18
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
A child dies, and the parents are devastated. The mother keeps asking, “Why did God take him? He was so young! It isn’t fair! He had his whole life to live! Why?”
A father of four teenage children is stricken with a malignant brain tumor and, after treatment which often leaves him incapacitated for days, he is given the news, “I’m sorry, we have done all we can do. It is just a matter of time now, three months at the most.”
A fifteen year old girl who was very close to her grandmother is now upset with God. After a long illness, the older woman passes away. And the girl angrily spews, “She was so good to me – and to everybody else! I prayed she would be healed! So why didn’t God hear me? Why didn’t He heal her?”
A single mother of two was laid off a year ago from a good job that provided adequate pay and benefits. She has been surviving on unemployment benefits and food stamps, but the benefits are about to run out. She and her two children have had to move back into her parents home and all she has found is part time work. She sometimes silently screams at God, “Why are you doing this to me? What did I ever do to deserve this?”
Have you ever been in similar situations? What are you going through now? Have others sounded off to you concerning what seems so unfair in their lives? Is there a perspective from God’s Word that will help us understand what is happening when the hardships of life come?
First, I recommend reading the blog from March 8th, What’s God’s Purpose For Me? based on Romans 8:28 and 29. In a nutshell, He is using trials and testings – to mold us, to grow us, to perfect us, to bring us more and more into the image of His Son Jesus Christ – which is God’s ultimate purpose for all Christians.
But there’s another idea that will help us face the troubles of life. I call it The L — O — N — G View! The problem is that we try to make sense of it all considering only the 70 or 80 years – or shorter, or longer – that God allots for this phase of life. Yes, I said, this phase of life! For if we believe the Bible, how long is the life God has given to Christians? He has given us eternal life! Twenty six times in the New Testament that phrase is used, and I John 5:11-13 is a good summary:
And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is
in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of
God does not have life. These things have I written to you who believe in the
name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life….
So why don’t we take into consideration all of life – eternal life – when we try to make sense out of life? Here are two scriptures that shed light on the issue, one from Romans 8:18 and the other from II Corinthians 4:17 and 18:
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be
compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
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.
Paul was here taking The L — O — N — G View! Consider what he went through in his life. He gave a partial listing of his hardships – comparing himself to false apostles – in II Corinthians 11:23 through 27:
Are they ministers of Christ?…I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes
above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. From the Jews five
times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods;
once was I stoned; three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have been
in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils
of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in
the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness
and toil, in sleeplessnes often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold
And Paul says that is nothing?!!! Not compared to what he had coming in heaven! You see, in whatever way we seem to come short here – in this phase of life – it will be more than compensated for in eternity!
Paul looked back on all the suffering through which he had gone – and, remember, he had his head cut off when he was in his 60’s in a Roman prison – and he can now say, “It was nothing! Look what I have now!”
Are you going through hard times now? Take The L — O — N — G View! In whatever you seem to come up short here, in this life, you will be more than paid back in full in eternity!