Summary: As the Potter molds the clay, God prepares His people for eternity. He uses events and pressures in our life toward that end. This is the last in a series examining 3 things that God is always doing.
Why? Understanding Life Events III
1 John 3:2 “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” This morning I want to talk about your future. I’m not just referring to what’s going to happen next week or even next year. I’m talking about a future God has in mind for you that will go on billions and billions of years (if you could measure it that way) and yet it will still continue on after that. You are now being shaped into something that will last forever and ever.
C. S. Lewis once said, “It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations.”
You have a destiny and it matters more than anything else what that destiny is. Every human being is moving toward a fixed state of being—a condition of incredible horror or of inconceivable glory. “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him" (1 Cor. 2:9). The Holy Spirit gives us glimpses of all this; but in this life we see through a glass darkly; we see it but we don’t see it fully. What will you be in that eternal future? That is the question that’s being answered as you live out this life.
During the last couple of weeks, we have been establishing a frame of reference—a world view—a way of looking at life. The Bible says, “The steps of a good man are ordered of the Lord....” But I’ve had some experiences that left me looking back and asking, “What was that all about? Couldn’t we have just skipped that?” I can handle it all much better if I can see a little rhyme and meaning in what’s happening. So we ask the question: What is God doing in my life? What is God always doing? We have found two answers to that question:
(1) God is always bringing people to moral choice. Of course, that includes me. We saw in the life of Naboth a couple of weeks ago how God orchestrated events that required people to choose good or evil. Not only did Naboth have to make some moral choices, but so did Ahab and Jezebel, and so did the nobles and elders of Naboth’s town. God is always bringing people to moral choice.
(2) God is always revealing Himself to people. He arranges circumstances so that people can have an opportunity to get to know Him. He orchestrates events so that you can know Him better. Last week we looked at the life of a Syrian General named Naaman to illustrate this reality. Namaan had it made except for a terminal illness called leprosy. Through a series of providential events, Namaan not only got healed; but he also got to know the Lord.
Today we explore one other answer to the question: What is God always doing? We will see that (3) God is always preparing His people for eternity.
If we will look at life through the window of these three activities of God, we will see that life is filled with meaning and purpose. We are not mere victims of chance and happenchance. We are moving toward an awesome destiny in God. He arranges our lives to prepare us for that.
Romans 8:16-18. “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of
God, 17 and if children, then heirs -- heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Or you could translate it “into” us. God’s going to fill us as vessels of honor with His glory forever and ever.
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
In the Greek language, if you want to emphasize something in a sentence, you put it at the beginning. The first Greek word in verse 18 is “logizomai.” The KJV translates it “recon.” “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Sometimes “logizomai” is translated “conclude.” In accounting you add up the numbers and conclude a bottom line, profit or loss. In logic you evaluate the facts and draw a conclusion. The root word for “logizomai” can mean “to take an inventory.” I’m taking a little time with this word because I want you to see something about what Paul is saying in Romans 8:18. When he inventories life’s events, he draws an important conclusion. There is a connection between the here and now and the glory God has in store for our future. “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” That perspective fortifies us for the difficulties we encounter in life. If it’s all meaningless and disconnected with eternity, then I want to avoid any and all discomfort. Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we shall die. But I don’t do that if I have Paul’s perspective. I endured hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. I trust God to work all things together for my good.