Then I thought of Romans 8:28--which is a verse thrown around a lot and because of that I believe we've become immune to it. We hear it and say, oh yea, I know that. But do we really know it? I mean not in our heads, but in our hearts? There's a huge difference between head knowledge and heart knowledge. I once heard the greatest distance to travel is between the head and the heart. And I've found that to be true many times in my life.
So Romans 8:28:
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28, NIV emphasis added)
So first we must grasp that He works in and through ALL THINGS. That means through success and failure; hard core training and injury rehab; feast and famine; rain and drought... I guess ALL things means ALL THINGS.
And then as my mom has kindly reminded me over the years of the second part of the verse: Nat, it says He works for the good of those who LOVE HIM and who have BEEN CALLED. Do you love Him? Yes. Have you been called? Yes. Therefore, this verse applies to YOU!
Then thinking of Philippians 4:13 (another verse thrown around so much that few know the context behind it). Paul writes from prison talking about "being content in any and every situation" because of the One who gives Him strength to overcome His earthly circumstances in order to gain the Prize (Phil 3:14).
I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:11-13, NIV emphasis added)
So it's because of hope and faith in Jesus that we can rise above our earthly setbacks whatever they are--family woes, financial difficulty, job uncertainty, addictions, injury, failure... I need to remind myself more of this Truth: my current struggles are temporary. They too shall pass in due time. I have a greater inheritance awaiting me than anything I can or will experience here on earth.
We persevere in this life for the glory to come. Our character goes through a massive overhaul here so we’re prepared for our eternal Home. Although it’s a hard verse to stomach and harder still to live out in the midst of setbacks, it’s true and provides perspective for today. Paul writes:
…we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. (Romans 5:3-4, NIV emphasis added)
We work, play, train, coach—whatever you may do in confidence of a greater life to come when literally ALL THINGS WILL BE MADE NEW. Life is a race. It’s not a sprint. It’s a marathon. We must persevere and endure in order to claim the Prize that awaits us.
…We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves… (Colossians 9-13, NIV emphasis added)
Be blessed friend,