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Monday, January 16, 2012

What I have that some don't... Contentment Part 3

As I look at my life of late (okay, my whole life as a matter of fact), I realize I take a lot for granted. I am mostly confined to the house with my heel-nippers gallavanting about the place vying for my attention or intervention. I am plenty busy - more than I generally like to be - and try to keep a certain inner calm amongst all the rushing here and there and doing stuff that needs to be done. During my endless days and the depletion of my strength on a daily basis it is so easy after a few wearying days to feel the stirrings of discontentment in my soul. How would I handle these stresses, these longings for quiet, for solitude, for time to myself if I could not entrust these desires to my great burden-Bearer? I don't mean to brag or gloat or compare, but I do wonder how others weather the storms of life without an anchor for their souls such as I have!

If I stop for just a moment to remind myself just how blessed I am - per Ephesians 1 - my grumpiness and discontent is cut short. My spiritual blessings are so weighty, so full, so rich! For one who has revelled and basked in amazement at God's love and grace, it just can't be fitting to find myself complaining, snappy, bitter and self-absorbed.

What do I have that some don't? The list is extensive, but the two that stand out most in my mind are Hope and Purpose.

Hope is a blessing that is so easy to take for granted. Look up some references with the word hope and begin to be refreshed by all you can take in via God's Word.

1 Peter 1:3
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead...


Romans 8:23-25
Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Those are just a few to begin with!

Probably the biggest difference between me and one without hope - and without God in the world - is that I have such a glorious future that I can eagerly look forward to. I can bank my whole life in this world on the one that is to come. On the days when I'm not sure what I have to look forward to (other than the end of diaper days!) I cannot help but to remember that no matter how long and tiring my days may be, or how trying my circumstances, I can cling to Jesus in the wonderful hope of seeing Him face to face one day.

Heaven should inspire the greatest restless contentment possible within us. The knowing, the longing, the hope and future joy of being fully redeemed and glorified in the presence of God, unhindered in worship before Him - this should blast away the cobwebs of discontent that gather around our withering souls!

2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Do you ever feel jealous for those who know their days on earth are coming swiftly to an end? Please - I don't need any reminders that such jealousy is a sign of depression! (I've heard that many times and given it great consideration... but I still maintain that is is okay and spiritually healthy even, to have an outlook of joy for the life to come!) You may think it is ridiculous to think such a thing - to be jealous of the suffering of another (remember it is temporary suffering!). Perhaps it IS ridiculous - but what I mean to say is that each day we live, whether suffering in our flesh, our souls or not, we are each day one day closer to seeing Jesus face to face.

Sometimes my heart is restless - for heaven, for wholeness, for all wrongs to be made right. This is a REAL and true hope - this hope belongs only to those who are in Christ. This hope is secure - not a wishful thinking - but a confident, joyful knowledge and longing all wrapped into the same heart.

Priscilla Owens penned one of my favourite hymns:

Will your anchor hold in the storms of life,
When the clouds unfold their wings of strife?
When the strong tides lift, and the cables strain,
Will your anchor drift or firm remain?


It is safely moored, 'twill the storm withstand,
For 'tis well secured by the Savior's hand;
And the cables, passed from His heart to mine,
Can defy that blast, thro' strength divine.


It will firmly hold in the straits of fear,
When the breakers have told the reef is near;
Tho' the tempest rave and the wild winds blow,
Not an angry wave shall our bark o'erflow.


When our eyes behold thro' the gath'ring night
The city of gold, our harbor bright,
We shall anchor fast by the heav'nly shore,
With the storms all past forevermore.


We have an anchor that keeps the soul
Steadfast and sure while the billows roll,
Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
Grounded firm and deep in the Savior's love.


In the next segment I'll move onto the other blessing I have in Christ: that of Purpose.

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