This world has one goal. It’s all about pleasure. We are to be independent and have the freedom we need to blossom like a beautiful flower, among other beautiful flowers.
An endless search for pleasure
We are all supposed to develop the amazing potential that lies within us, but God is often not in this picture. Instead, we have an “inner compass,” “inner voice,” and “inner strength” that will lead us to this pleasure. And, in all our individuality, we wish to be like gods wherever we go, making beautiful speeches, creating art, pushing the boundaries in sports, motivating and helping other people. And we may well be a beautiful flower beside flowers that have totally different morals than us. As long as we are all beautiful, we respect each other. And in social media, we can shine even more as wonderful people. We throw out “likes” and “love” with two light taps on the screen. As if we make the world a better place by doing so. This is the ideal that many strive for. But what is life really like?
It is exceedingly complicated. I have to balance friends and family, finances, health, work, etc. The weeks fly by. Deadlines loom up on all sides. My aunt calls and triple checks that I’m going to help in the garden. My boss reminds me that I have agreed to work overtime tomorrow, and my teacher talks to me about not doing my homework. I have to keep track of one thing and then another and another.
This world has become so hard to satisfy. Can’t I just relax a little more?
Do I really understand that this is life?
The truth is that I am here. This is reality; this is life. And there is no other option. Days come and days go. Do I really understand that this is my life? These days that come my way, either with dreary, gray rain, or angry hail, or even light, playful snowflakes.
I can feel that my circumstances keep tearing me to pieces, but God has planned them. He knows my limits well, He knows who I am, and His love for me is indescribably great. And He had a plan for me already before the foundation of the earth was made, an exact and detailed plan so that I could come nearer to Him. So that I can seek Him and get help. So that I can realize that I need help, that it doesn’t work to keep chasing this world’s pleasures and at the same time try to serve Him.
Jesus came to this world to do God’s will. Now we, as His followers, can do the same. (Hebrews 10:7)
And if we realized what is really possible in this reality it would not have crossed our minds to try to avoid the situations we are put in. If we could just get our eyes opened to see the heavenly powers that are at work around the world to mightily strengthen those who give themselves wholly to the Lord. Not to mention the rewards that await those who are faithful. Yes, then we would believe! Then we would be willing to suffer. Then the days would not be so hard. (John 20:29)
Everyday challenges become meaningful
But that is actually what reality is! As disciples of Jesus we have the same calling: to do God’s will and overcome sin. (1 Peter 2:21-24) Overcome the sin that came into mankind by the fall, the sin that tempts us to be grumpy when we feel stressed, to look down on others who are not as successful as we are. Or which deceives us with dreams of pleasure and greatness without dealing with the real problem: sin and the demands that dwell within us. And God has given us everything we need—He has set heaven in motion to let it succeed for us. He sent Jesus to show us the way. He has sent the Holy Spirit to guide and strengthen us. He has given us His Word, as a guide for our lives. We just have to believe in it, and make use of it.
Faith is action. It is to be obedient to God’s Word and His will, in all the trials that come up every day, obedient to judge the sin that dwells in me. And I believe that I, despite everything I’ve been and done, no longer need to give in to the sin that dwells in me! When life’s pressures come and things are difficult, when someone thinks I should have done a better job, when temptation comes, then I shall no longer be annoyed and complain! There is not much use in being “a beautiful flower” then. What does it help to look nice, to have a beautiful facade, if I don’t do God’s will? I need to be freed from sin!
When this becomes my greatest wish, then God is there to help me—He has promised this. 2 Chronicles 16:9, “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.”