When all is said and done, and when the history of our lives is complete, what measure shall be used for unveiling a man or woman of greatness?
The barometer will simply be the fact of the Eternal Father’s pleasure in finding the trusting surrender of a person’s life to His measureless grace. It is this trusting surrender that compels a person to begin the initial trek of turning his or her life over to God’s cleansing forgiveness. It is this abandonment to confidence in God that beckons us to enter a lifestyle of yielding our wishes, desires, and plans to the mysterious, yet perfect, will of God. And it is in the willful casting of ourselves upon His greatness that permits us to enter into the arena of hope in which we may witness the hand of God’s deliverance.
Even if we were to reside in plush palaces and have at our disposal all kinds of conveniences, as well as the means to accomplish all that we could wish according to our limited understanding, we must agree (if we are to pursue true wisdom, success and significance) with ancient and powerful declarations that God is good, God is great, and that His creation is ultimately His sovereign domain.
“For God alone my soul waits in silence; from Him comes my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken” (Psalm 62:1-2 ESV).
What tempests have rocked your world in the past? And what lurks just beneath the horizon that will spring upon you in the days to come, relentless and ruthless, prepared to steal your joy, your sense of security, and perhaps every last shred of dignity? Unless your confidence is only in God, you are not prepared. Maybe you have great insurance. Maybe your job is stable and steady. Hopefully, your health is all that you could wish and you’ve never felt better.
But don’t be fooled by calm waters and steady seas. There are massive leviathans of trouble and tragedy lurking beneath serene scenes that are ready and waiting to upset the precariously crafted lives we lead, and to do so without the benefit of any forewarning. Yet … for someone whose life is held tight in the grip of El Shaddai (God Almighty), the comfort and security that spill out of the knowledge that He is in control, robs the robbers of joy their spoil. Our trust in God binds the burglars of hope and peace when they creep into our lives invisibly or jump out at us with the suddenness of unexpected death.
“For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken” (Psalm 62:5-6 ESV).
When we shed our garments of flesh, and we leave this earth without all the material things we thought that we needed, what will be our vindication that life was worth the living? What will be our reward? What will bring us the satisfaction that every grief, every hardship and every hurt was worth what we have endured? It will be the smile of our Father as He receives to Himself all those who have found the forgiveness that only Jesus’ sacrifice can secure. It will be the knowledge that our trusting in Him for eternal life and holiness was an acceptable offering to Him and that His name was truly exalted somehow through our lives.
“Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah” (Psalm 62:8 ESV).
The lives that will in the end be proven to have been empty of meaning and will have somehow squandered what promise that had been instilled in their beginnings, are those that are built on the faulty foundations of human wisdom, are riddled with yieldings to the compulsions of physical cravings, and are “sheltered” by the “house-of-cards” presumption of human pride.
“Those of low estate are but a breath; those of high estate are a delusion; in the balances they go up; they are together lighter than a breath. Put no trust in extortion; set no vain hopes on robbery; if riches increase, set not your heart on them” (Psalm 62:9-10 ESV).
But tragedy is not the final destination that God has in mind for you. Whatever griefs are given access to you and whatever pain is permitted to approach you, God’s plan is to produce a precious pearl of eternal value that could never have been realized without them. God doesn’t make light of sorrow, nor does He handle our pain with calloused coldness, but He WOULD have us lift our eyes to an eternal hope and not be defeated by a temporary trouble. Our hurt says God is nowhere or that He doesn’t care, but we need to set aside such cracked lenses and let the testimony of His promises heal our sight. Our hope in Christ says God is here and will lead us right, rewarding our faith in Him with the everlasting treasure of His presence.
“Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this: that power belongs to God, and that to You, O Lord, belongs steadfast love. For You will render to a man according to his work.” (Psalm 62:11-12 ESV).
Pastor Thom Mollohan leads Pathway Community Church and may be reached for comments or questions by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.