Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Blessings to Come

Watching the godless prosper—while I meanwhile struggle in this life—challenges my faith.

My hope is in Christ. He is my treasure. I no longer live for myself, but for Him, and as I pursue Christ and submit my will to His, I do not always encounter prosperity and blessing. If anything, my life is marked by great suffering and pain.

When my eyes drift from Christ hope increasingly gives way to hopelessness. My non-believing friends encounter increased blessing in this life, while I encounter increased heartbreak.

Today the Lord brought me to Malachi 3:14-4:2. It deeply blessed my heart:

“You have said, ‘It is futile to serve God. What do we gain by carrying out his requirements and going about like mourners before the LORD Almighty? 15 But now we call the arrogant blessed. Certainly evildoers prosper, and even when they put God to the test, they get away with it.’”

16 Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honored his name.

17 “On the day when I act,” says the LORD Almighty, “they will be my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son who serves him. 18 And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.

41“Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and the day that is coming will set them on fire,” says the LORD Almighty. “Not a root or a branch will be left to them. 2 But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves.

To follow Christ is to suffer. It is to deny yourself, carry your cross and follow Him. Our suffering, however, is not in vain. Hebrews 11:6 promises He rewards those who earnestly seek Him. Our treasure is not in this world, and our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. Let us hope in the glory to be revealed. Let us cling to God’s promises, and let us fix our eyes on Christ. Let us continue to count the things of this life as rubbish compared to His surpassing greatness.

Praying we may rejoice inasmuch as we participate in the sufferings of Christ, that we may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed,

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