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First I’m Gonna Hit the Lottery

May 23, 2014

cashpileThe people in their teens and twenties amuse me at times. You know those ones that have ALL the answers to everything you’ve ever thought of and some questions you didn’t?

I recently had a young adult tell me how they have their financial future all laid out. This person had found a house they loved that was nearly twice as large as our home and they were going to be able to buy it in just a few years.

When I probed a bit on how they intended to do that, it started with, “well, first I’m going to hit the lottery … ” Amusingly, I think they were serious. As I’ve matured I’ve come to realize being a millionaire probably isn’t in my future. But I am learning to be content with what I do have: great kids, great friends, a good job, a roof over my head, and my health.

Philippians 4:12-13 — I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (ESV)

You see, even if I lost everything, but still had Jesus, it’s enough. It’s MORE than enough. This life is temporary, but eternity is a long, long time. So I’m more concerned with then than now. Living better now might be easier (now), but when I take my last breath here, none of what I have here on earth can change my circumstances.

Many people find themselves fighting, clawing, scratching to ‘get ahead’ in this life.  They spend thousands of hours and thousands of dollars trying to get a better house, a nicer car, a more handsome or prettier spouse.  They exercise more, work more, or simply play more.  They think if they can just get [fill in the blank] they’ll have made it.  And what is this elusive it?  Whatever their ‘it’ is, they think they’ll finally have peace in their heart they’ve really longed for and tried to fill with everything else.

James 4:13-14 — Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit” — yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. (ESV)

The reality is all we have in this life is fleeting — a vapor, as it says in the book of James — here today and gone tomorrow.  But that peace everyone tries to achieve through money, work, or relationships can only truly be found in Christ.

That’s why when Christians find their lives faced with the challenge of heartache, they can still have a peace that passes understanding.  They can keep assured this life is only a blink of an eye in the face of eternity.  The difficulties they find themselves is only for a season.  Whatever pains we face now will be rewarded with even greater joy that we can imagine in the next life.

“But I don’t want to suffer and endure here for something I’ll get there.  I want my happiness now.  It’s only fair.” — people everywhere, maybe even yourself

Yes, I’ve heard those whines and complaints.  Their perspective is misplaced.  God didn’t call us to be happy, but holy.  Holy His and wholly His.  Those grumblings are from a life set living for ourselves and not for Him.  When we live for self, we’ll never find true peace or happiness.  The hopes we have will be unsure because none of those are based on a surety.  But when we live with our heart set on Him and His purpose for our lives, we’ll find peace regardless of what circumstances we find ourselves in.  Our hope is set on Him and His word (which He cannot lie).  So His promises are the security in which our hope stands firm.

That does not mean we won’t have trials or grief or heartache.  But He’ll have us (eternally) and we’ll have Him (eternally) and remembering this life is just a temporary place will give us peace and strength to finish all of our days reflecting His love, mercy, and grace.

— Pastor Rick

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