It’s not hard to tell that there is a lot wrong with the world. Sometimes, that makes it tough to live with the joy that the Bible tells us to live with.
We can easily forget what God has done for us, is currently doing, and what God has in store for us in the future.
The other day I was listening to an album by hip-hop artist J. Cole. One of the tracks was a skit in which he described the day that he got signed. He got the news via text message while driving in the car with his friends. He was so excited that he was finally going to get paid and be famous; a reward for his hard work. Moments later he got pulled over for driving with a suspended license in an unregistered and uninsured car that he had been driving for months.
Perfect timing, right?
He described that night in prison as the easiest time anyone could ever do. All he could think about was the new life he was about to live.
Although, to my knowledge, J. Cole doesn’t profess a relationship with Jesus, we can learn spiritual truths from that story.
Whatever we’re going through right now, whatever pain or trouble we endure in this world, we can take heart because of the HOPE we have in Jesus.
A few people in the Bible come to mind. First I am reminded of Job, whose troubles were much greater than a night in prison. Still he was quoted in Job 2:10 for saying “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” Job was well aware of the goodness of God. And for good reason as he was given back twice as much as he had lost.
Another man that comes to mind is Paul. He too suffered greatly, and his attitude is greatly admired. In Philippians 3:8 he says “What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.”
He describes knowing Christ as having a surpassing worth. The definition of surpassing is incomparable or outstanding.
All the things that the world considers “gains” are described as garbage compared to Christ.
People who collect garbage are thought of as second class citizens, scraping the bottom of society’s barrel. When I see someone who is collecting cans, I see them as unfortunate, and feel bad for them.
But even the “gains” of this world are being compared to garbage! We put a much bigger value on them than they really have. Our expectations of earthly wealth and success to satisfy, only leads us to disappointment.
Instead, let’s look ahead to the greater glory that awaits us.
If we were truly focused on Christ, and the hope we have in Him, we would be living happier than J. Cole in prison the night he got signed.
“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”
– 2 Corinthians 4:17