If you’re anything like me, you have struggled with fear over the future, especially fear over the eternal future. As a child, I was afraid of the coming of Christ. I would lie awake during late night thunderstorms, anxious, and terrified that Christ was returning! Even as a Christian adult, I have feared this event. It is like that country song with the lyrics, “Lord I want to go heaven, but I don’t want to go tonight!” That has been me, shamefully, and sometimes still is.
Lately, though, God is replacing the fear of the eternal future with expectant joy over it. I realize that part of my struggles to be satisfied in Christ alone, to derive my confidence and joy from Him and not others, is that I have not fully embraced the hope to which I have been called. He is calling me to live a Holy life, set-apart for His purposes, and though I have tried to do this, I have not always been successful.
I think the reason for my lack of success is that I have not completely “bought in” to the goodness of God. I can’t live a life of Holiness if I don’t fully embrace the eternal perspective. It is impossible to serve two masters! I will continue to live for my own flesh until I grasp God’s greatness.
I am beginning to “get it”, and I am setting out this summer to discover, dissect, and fully embrace the love Christ has for me. I want to derive my confidence from Jesus Christ. I want to receive my worth and value from Jesus Christ. I do not want my self-confidence to rest upon how people view me, even people who I highly respect. I do not want to feel a stinging pain when I don’t get the reaction from other people that I want, a reaction that my sinful flesh needs in order to feel affirmed and not rejected. This is an incorrect perspective and it is in fact, placing my pearls before swine- that is placing my value, a value that has been deemed priceless by the God of the Universe, into the hands of mere mortals who are, like me, tainted by sin.
We are called to edify and affirm one another, but not provide the price for our souls. No, that was already provided by Jesus Christ. He paid all. We cannot add to our value. What more is there to add? I am setting out this summer to explore how deep and how wide is the love of Christ and to base my hope and confidence upon this perfect love.