The Journey

There is a new commercial out by the transportation company Lyft.  It says that “It’s not where you’re going that matters; it’s how you get there!”  I wonder about that…  It seems to me that both the journey and the destination are important, but for very different reasons.

The Journey

Man Standing At Beginning Of Winding Road — Image by © Images.com/Corbis

One of my dearest friends in the world is suffering right now and has been for an extended period of time.  He is stressed financially and at 65 years old has little hope of recovering, save a miracle.  His family is in conflict and can’t get along; The hurricanes of recent have messed with his house. His insurance it threatening to cancel and he just found out that his wife has breast cancer and she only gets 2 weeks of paid absence from work; not to mention that they have a $6k deductible on their health insurance.  He has asked me, “Can it get any worse?”  Yes, it can get worse, but it sure doesn’t feel like that is possible from his perspective right now.  Plenty of people have it worse off, but this is a very heavy load and it makes a person wonder about the efficacy of prayer and whether God really cares.

The Destination

On the other hand, if all we ever worried about was what goes on in this fallen world, then we would be very short-sighted, wouldn’t we?  Paul said it best when he said,

“If in this life only we have hope, we are of all creatures, most miserable!”

~ 1 Corinthians 15:19 ~

For many, the hope of eternity with God is all they have to justify the suffering in this life.  However most Americans, even in the worst situation, live like kings compared to the rest of the world. And if you are a Christian, you believe that God is preparing a place for us where we will be eternally happy, safe and secure.  Consider these great promises from the very lips of Jesus:

“In my Father’s house are many mansions … I go to prepare a place for you that where I am, there you may be also.”

~ John 14:2 ~

And the Apostle Paul assured us …

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard the things which God has prepared for those who love Him!”

~ 1 Corinthians 2:9 ~

This brings up a foundational question:  Do you love God?  We don’t need to waste our time asking whether He loves us, because He already told (and showed) us that was the case.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but has everlasting life.”

~ 1 John 3:16 ~

So why do we suffer?  Volumes have been written on this subject, but let’s consider a few answers and see if they satisfy our need to understand God’s ways:

  1. This world is fallen …
  2. We may need correction …
  3. We are being prepared for our future assignment …
  4. Suffering builds our faith …
  5. Others are watching how we react …
  6. Suffering may be the first necessary step to getting to success …
  7. The answer from God is either No or Not now …

Now look back on some of your sufferings and ask yourself if those thoughts help in any way?  If they don’t, then I would offer an additional thought to consider that we can only take in by faith:  If we knew what God knows, everything would make sense; therefore trust God!

Do you consider God trustworthy?  That is what it all boils down to … Is He as good as His Word?  Your answer to that particular question is the most important decision you will ever make.  God loves you and demonstrated that on the cross of Calvary.  That is a hard fact you can take to the bank.  Trust in God and in the end you will be glad for every step He has taken you on in your journey; no matter how rocky the road.  I can personally attest to God’s faithfulness in my life and hope you can too.

Scripture tells us that King David was a man after God’s own heart.  Here is what he was thinking as he went through some very troubling times in his life.  I pray it will help you as it has helped me when I had to look up to see bottom.

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

~ Psalm 23 (NIV) ~

 

 

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