Can we, as Christians, live in the present? Today, I ask myself this very question.
When I look at the causes of my suffering, I realize that because of the flesh I am affected by sin. I do consider my flesh dead to sin because when I look around there is no remedy or way to escape the sufferings I experience in my flesh.
The more I believe that I can get a handle on earthly things, the more I suffer. The more I say to myself that I now have control over things, the more the Lord proves me wrong.
The more life I earthly decrease, the more I spiritually mature. This isn’t a joke. Reality can hurt. Yet, reality is necessary so that we do not lose the perspective that Jesus wants us to hold as far as this earthly life is concerned.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
I don’t want trouble. I do not want trouble. Yet, Jesus said that in this world I will have trouble. He also said to breathe because He has overcome the world. This victory started in the past and continues into eternity.
It’s a great feeling that even though the world may be smacking me down left and right, that Jesus has overpowered the world and is bringing it to repentance one soul at a time.
It hurts to suffer. Jesus suffered the most, even to death. Until we taste the true nature of this world, we won’t grow up to yearn for Jesus, the soul satisfier.
If I was to list the many things that are troubling me at this moment, you’d say that it’s nothing compared to what you are enduring. Yet, our lists keep on increasing day after day.
The Bible and many works of our brothers and sisters have many words of encouragement. But for those words to make sense to us, we have to be found in situations where they’ll be found to be very much fitting to us.
So what did Jesus do in his present days? What did Jesus do in the days of his suffering? What did Jesus do in the days that he was found a body that can suffer? He looked to the time he would be sitting on the right-hand side of his God, his Father, on the throne.
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4)
Many of us seek to go through life denying the reality of life altogether. For us, Christians, it’s not easy and also not recommended for us to do that. Jesus commands us to life in the truth, not in the ignorance. Our joy is not of this world.
For as much as I would like my joy to be of this world, the reality is that my joy is of the world to come. My joy is of Jesus. And Jesus is coming. I rejoice already, because the Spirit of Jesus lives in me.