Yesterday in Sunday School we talked about the brevity and uncertainty of life; in other words life is short and we don’t know how it is going to turn out. At least we don’t know the specifics of how this life on earth will unfold. James advises us on that:
“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit’; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.’ But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.” (James 4:13-16)
We cannot know how life here on earth will turn out, but we can and should know what our eternity will be, but even in that there is uncertainty. The Apostle John reminds us of that:
“Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” (1 John 3:2)
So we do not yet know what we will be like in our eternal bodies, but once Christ is revealed we will know because we are going to be like Him. That is our spiritual hope; a hope that is described but not seen. The Apostle Paul teaches a hope seen is not hope:
“Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.” (Romans 8:23-25)
This is the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives; persevering in this present state while we await for that which is unseen. That almost seems illogical to our logical minds. Oswald Chambers addresses that while addressing 1 John 3:2:
Certainty is the mark of the common-sense life: gracious uncertainty is the mark of the spiritual life. To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, we do not know what a day may bring forth. This is generally said with a sigh of sadness, it should be rather an expression of breathless expectation. We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God. Immediately we abandon to God, and do the duty that lies nearest, He packs our life with surprises all the time. When we become advocates of a creed, something dies; we do not believe God, we only believe our belief about Him.
We like life to be certain. As a military man, I like to have a plan and adjust fire along the way. This is not the spiritual life. The life of a Christian can be both difficult and delightful. It is in the difficult times in life, as long as I am in God’s will, that I can delight in the Lord. The Corinthian church faced this and the Apostle Paul sent them this reminder:
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.” (2 Corinthians 4:7-10)
Your workaday week is just beginning. Many uncertainties are before you. You may not even know how you’re going to get through this week with all that you are facing.
Does that knowledge bring a reply in a sigh of sadness or an expression of breathless expectation?
Are you believing in God or your belief about God? There is a difference you know?
I pray this week you discover that truth and that your hope makes you certain in your uncertainty.
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Copyright © 2013 David Jeffers