A Perfect Life
I think we have all heard the message that the Lord will bless us once we come to him. Once we surrender, give it all to him, and obey him. Somehow, in our minds we think, everything will be made right. We paint this beautiful picture of a life without tears, struggles, pain, even worldly blessings. A perfect house, a perfect job, a perfect family, and a perfect life. Then when go through the storm, we cry out to him asking, “Why are you doing this to me? I thought you were going to bless me? Where are you?” From here, our mind can often travel to, “I am lost. He doesn’t love me. I am worthless.” These thoughts can even lead to us turning away our faith from him.
We often miss the bigger picture. We have been lied to by the biggest deceiver. Jesus never promised a perfect life with no hardships , no troubles, no sorrow. Jesus never promised a wealthy paying job with a big ole’ mansion on this earth. He offers something greater. You see, we all face troubles, struggles, pain, suffering. A big wallet doesn’t make those issues go away. Often times, we see the wealthiest people are often the most unhappy.
So if He doesn’t promise these grand things, what’s the point? You see, He does promise blessings but they are not the blessings we often think about. Jesus always talks about spiritual things. His concern is not if you sit in the highest seat, what label is on your clothing, how big or even how small your house is, or your social status. He is concerned about your soul.
But He does give something the world can not: understand during our times of struggle, turmoil, and sorrow. This is what He offers. His word is true and in His mouth holds no lies, so you can trust in Him.
Comfort. He is our comforter. He provides comfort during our hard times.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ. (2 Corinthians 1:3-5)
Hope. When the times look so bleak, He gives us hope in things we can not see.
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)
Faith. A faith that His promises are true. A faith that is tested even to a point we think we may break but it gets us through. I’ve included just one piece of Hebrews 1, but the whole chapter talks about faith….
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. (Hebrews 11: 1-3)
Love. We learn to true love by His ultimate sacrifice. While we were still dead in sin, He was nailed to the cross for all the wrongs we have done. He said you’re worth it. An unfailing love.
By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. (1 John 3:16)
A true friend. A friend that has seen us at our highest and lowest but still loves us for who we are. Many of us have had those friends that we hold so dearly to our lives. They have failed us at times. Then we have had friends that showed their true colors leaving us feeling deceived. Even if you’ve never known a true friend, you can. You will never know a greater friend than Jesus.
This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. (John 15: 12-13)
Peace. A peace that is brought to us in the biggest storm even when our world is falling apart. A peace that the world can not give us.
….and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7)
Light in the darkness. I know as a kid, I was scared of the dark. The darkness can be scary especially to children. But as we get older, our darkness can be those dark times in our life…. One of our homeschool lessons, I took my girls into a closet and turned off the lights. At first, you could only see the darkness. As our eyes adjusted, we began to see this little sliver of light coming from around the closet door. We tried to snuff out the light using duct tape around the door, rolling up clothing around the bottom of the door. But what was so eye opening, no matter how much we tried to snuff out the light, even the smallest amount of light could still be seen peaking into the darkness… He provides a light when we are on a dark path.
Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path. (Psalms 119:105)
This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:5)
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16)
Strength. There comes a point in all our lives when our knees hit the ground. We feel weak, broken, and shattered to pieces. If we look up, He can renew us.
And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
Security. In times of fear, we can put our faith, hope in the Lord.
Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ (Isaiah 41:10)
Never alone. No matter how lonely you may, He is there with you.
Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)
Forgiveness. We have all made mistakes. We all have regrets but He gives us mercy, grace and forgiveness even while knowing our deepest darkest secrets.
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.
In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.
So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.