I enjoyed and appreciated this article. It’s very well written and deserves wide readership. GOD IS (NOT) MY BUDDY – Nov. 22nd <<< A DEVOTED LIFE
Love Awakens is a short but very powerful post. This is where it all starts and where it ends, too.
Over the last month, I’ve been taking some time to recharge, but it’s been more than that. Actually, it’s been more of a reset. I’ve had to take some time away in order to reset my priorities, and to regain a proper perspective. In what way, you may be asking, and the truth is in almost every way. Somehow I let my priorities get out of whack, and I didn’t even realize how out of whack they really were at first. I hate admitting this but it is what it is. Sometimes it’s not the “what” that gets you in trouble, but the “why.”
I don’t know about you, but if there’s a way I can get into trouble, I’m going to. I can only imagine where I’d be if I was intentional about getting into trouble, and it’s only by the grace of God that I’ve never gotten what I fully deserve. What’s so frustrating for me is that I have a rare talent in that even when I’m trying to do the right thing, I can still mess up. I can’t remember where I saw it, or maybe I heard it….but it goes something like this, “It’s not enough to say or do the right thing, you’ve got to say and do it for the right reason.” And, that’s even if you get the right result, or even a good result.
On a good day, I can maybe hit two out of three, or even three out of five, but as sure as I’m writing this, I’m going to miss something somewhere. Now in case, you’re wondering where I’m going with this, it’s here, and I mean this in the kindest way: what I just said about me is equally true for you. Nobody gets it right each and every time. Even the highest, most professional of people, miss one every now and then.
And like them, when I miss as I sometimes do, grace is there to bridge the gap… No amount of human effort or skill can build a perfect bridge, can close every gap….I don’t know much, but I know that….and I also know the one who can.
BE WILLING TO CHANGE
If you’re not moving closer to your dream, you may not be tenacious enough in your pursuit of it. And the key to greater tenacity is not necessarily working harder at the same things, but being willing to change. Change what? (1) Your thinking. Are you convinced you can’t succeed? Do you describe yourself and what you’re doing in negative terms? Are you afraid to get started because conditions aren’t favorable? Do you stop trying to move forward when you don’t have the resources you need? If so, you need to change your mindset, to break the cycle of negative thinking. (2) Your perspective. Do you have a short-term mindset? Are you expecting success in days, weeks, or months? The greater your assignment, the longer it’s likely to take. So recalibrate your expectations and create a more reasonable timetable for yourself; otherwise, you’ll live in frustration and defeat. That’s not God’s will for you. Paul’s desire was “that I may finish my race with joy” (Ac 20:24 NKJV). God wants you to experience joy in the pursuit of your goal. (3) Your ways. How are things going in your personal life and in your home life? Are you ready to deal with the habits and hang-ups that stand between you and success? What can you do today that will bring you closer to your dream-no matter how small the progress? Author and publisher Robert Collier says, “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.”
Sometimes we lose perspective, but before we deal with people we should try to regain it. This is a good way to do it. 🙂
Many years ago a senior executive of the then Standard Oil Company made a wrong decision that cost the company more than $2 million. John D. Rockefeller was then running the firm. On the day the news leaked out most of the executives of the company were finding various ingenious ways of avoiding Mr. Rockefeller, lest his wrath descend on their heads.
There was one exception, however; he was Edward T. Bedford, a partner in the company. Bedford was scheduled to see Rockefeller that day and he kept the appointment, even though he was prepared to listen to a long harangue against the man who made the error in judgment.
When he entered the office the powerful head of the gigantic Standard Oil empire was bent over his desk busily writing with a pencil on a pad of paper. Bedford stood silently, not wishing to interrupt. After a few minutes Rockefeller looked up.
“Oh, it’s you, Bedford,” he said calmly. “I suppose you’ve heard about our loss?”
Bedford said that he had.
“I’ve been thinking it over,” Rockefeller said, “and before I ask the man in to discuss the matter, I’ve been making some notes.”
Bedford later told the story this way:
“Across the top of the page was written, ‘Points in favor of Mr. _______.’ There followed a long list of the man’s virtues, including a brief description of how he had helped the company make the right decision on three separate occasions that had earned many times the cost of his recent error.
“I never forgot that lesson. In later years, whenever I was tempted to rip into anyone, I forced myself first to sit down and thoughtfully compile as long a list of good points as I possibly could. Invariably, by the time I finished my inventory, I would see the matter in its true perspective and keep my temper under control. There is no telling how many times this habit has prevented me from committing one of the costliest mistakes any executive can make — losing his temper.
“I commend it to anyone who must deal with people.”
Bits & Pieces
, September 15, 1994, pp. 11-13.
Often what we lack in life is a proper perspective toward the trials, struggles, and obstacles that come to us in living our lives in this world. It’s not the problems we face that are the issue for most of us. It’s how we face them, our attitude toward them, and our ability to look beyond them. The problem for most of us is that we have poor vision; we don’t see very well. As people who have poor eyesight go to the eye doctor and get glasses and find their vision much improved by the lens they look through, so does our when we look at things with a heavenly perspective.
Affliction and Glory
“For our light affliction which is but for a moment worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2Co_4:17)
These words supply us with a reason why we should not faint under trials nor be overwhelmed by misfortunes. They teach us to look at the trials of time in the light of eternity. They affirm that the present buffetings of the Christian exercise a beneficent effect on the inner man. If these truths were firmly grasped by faith they would mitigate much of the bitterness of our sorrows.
“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” This verse sets forth a striking and glorious antithesis, as it contrasts our future state with our present. Here there is “affliction,” there “glory.” Here there is a “light affliction,” there a “might of glory.” In our affliction there is both levity and brevity; it is a light affliction, and it is but for a moment; in our future glory there is solidity and eternity! To discover the preciousness of this contrast let us consider, separately, each member, but in the inverse order of mention.
1. “A far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” It is a significant thing that the Hebrew word for “glory”-kabod-also means “weight.” When weight is added to the value of gold or precious stones this increases their worth. Heaven’s happiness cannot be told out in the words of earth; figurative expressions are best calculated to convey some imperfect views to us. Here in our text one term is piled up on top of another. That which awaits the believer is “glory,” and when we say that a thing is glorious we have reached the limits of human language to express that which is excellent and perfect. But the “glory” awaiting us is weighted, yea it is “far more exceeding” weighty than anything terrestrial and temporal; its value defies computation; its transcendent excellency is beyond verbal description. Moreover, this wondrous glory awaiting us is not evanescent and temporal, but Divine and eternal; for “eternal” it could not be unless it were Divine. The great and blessed God is going to give us that which is worthy of Himself, yea that which is like Himself-infinite and everlasting.
2. “Our light affliction, which is but for a moment.”
(1) “Affliction” is the common lot of human existence; “Man is born unto trouble as the sparks fly upward”
(Job_5:7) This is part of the entail of sin. It is not meet that a fallen creature should be perfectly happy in his sins. Nor are the children of God exempted; “Through much tribulation we must enter into the kingdom of God” (Act_14:22).
By a hard and rugged road does God lead us to glory and immortality.
(2) Our affliction is “light.” Afflictions are not light in themselves for ofttimes they are heavy and grievous; but they are light comparatively! They are light when compared with what we really deserve. They are light when compared with the sufferings of the Lord Jesus. But perhaps their real lightness is best seen by comparing them with the weight of glory which is awaiting us. As said the same apostle in another place, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us”
(3) “Which is but for a moment. Should our afflictions continue throughout a whole lifetime, and that life be equal in duration to Methuselah’s, yet is it momentary if compared with the eternity which is before us. At most our affliction is but for this present life, which is as a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Oh that God would enable us to examine our trials in their true perspective.
3. Note now the connection between the two. Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, “worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” The present is influencing the future. It is not for us to reason and philosophize about this, but to take God at His Word and believe it. Experience, feelings, observation of others, may seem to deny this fact. Ofttimes afflictions appear only to sour us and make us more rebellious and discontented. But let it be remembered that afflictions are not sent by God for the purpose of purifying the flesh: they are designed for the benefit of the “new man.” Moreover, afflictions help to prepare us for the glory hereafter. Affliction draws away our heart from the love of the world; it makes us long more for the time when we shall be translated from this scene of sin and sorrow; it will enable us to appreciate (by way of contrast) the things which God had prepared for them that love Him.
Here then is what faith is invited to do: to place in one scale the present affliction, in the other, the eternal glory. Are they worthy to be compared? No, indeed. One second of glory will more than counterbalance a whole lifetime of suffering. What are years of toil, of sickness, of battling against poverty, of persecution, yea, of a martyr’s death, when weighed over against the pleasures at God’s right hand, which are for evermore! One breath of Paradise will extinguish all the adverse winds of earth. One day in the Father’s House will more than counterbalance the years we have spent in this dreary wilderness. May God grant unto us that faith which will enable us to anticipatively lay hold of the future and live in the present enjoyment of it.