Every now and again I find myself in a wrestling match. It’s a tension between knowing His promises but not seeing the reality of them. I came across this verse, and it brought some peace to me: "But we are different, because our citizenship is in heaven. And from there we eagerly await the coming of the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ" (Philippians 3:20).
We are citizens of heaven. We are being made into the likeness of our holy God more and more every day. While the transformation is not complete, we do see glimpses of Kingdom life.. We read His promises and see His provision in greater and greater ways.
Yet here we are on the earth. We see people get hurt, enslaved, killed. We see our homeland assaulted by terrorism. We see our leaders argue and assault each others’ hearts. This is not our home. It's growing more and more hostile here. I'm not sure it's worse than times long ago, but it seems worse to me...perhaps because I've transferred my citizenship to heaven... perhaps because my measuring stick is Christ. My grid is the Kingdom. My focus is becoming the permanent instead of the temporal.
And when it isn't...that's when I fall into the wrestling match. I do those things which I don't want to do. I agree with unfavorable thoughts and my focus gets shifted to something of lesser worth. I overreact to my circumstances;I get frustrated with myself and the way I respond to it all;I fall out of rhythm in my dance with God; my faith weakens. "Why so downcast oh my soul? Trust in God" is the psalm that passes through my mind.
And so I focus in on the scriptures, and I turn on the worship music. I begin to remember that I know God is good and God is present. God is sovereign. He is faithful. He is just. He is peace, and He is love. And He has promised salvation to those who trust in Him. His word doesn't return void but accomplishes what it was meant to. I remember that my life is in His. And I am comforted and my focus realigned.
Sometimes I need my brothers and sisters to redirect my thoughts. In a place of prayer and ministry, I am refreshed and renewed. I get back on track and regain my steadiness. Encouragement from fellow believers is essential to my walk. I need them.
If you find yourself caught in this tension, take heart.
While the world may be wasting away, we who are in Christ can wholeheartedly trust the One who is faithful and true to save, heal, and deliver us from the clutches of evil.
One day we will walk in unhindered freedom. One day we will walk where the streets are gold and the lion lays down with the lamb. One day we will have every tear wiped away. One day there will be perfect peace and joy and love, and we will live in harmony.
That is our hope.
That is what helps us endure the wait.
Word of the Day:
But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior.
Lord, help us trust in and wait for Your return to bring us to our true home with You. Help us to run our race here with courage. Give us a steadfast spirit. Give us eyes to see You in everything. We need You and love You. Amen.
Author: Kerri Barfield