‘However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love him–‘ 1 Cor 2:9
Do you ever have scripture versus pop in your head? This morning this verse caused some reflection. I had a couple bad days last week, feeling discouraged and defeated. I let the enemy’s lies lead me on a bread crumb trail that left me mentally despondent.
These were some of the lies – maybe they are familiar to you as well:
- You are wasting your time with this, give up.
- You are never going to change, give up.
- You are a failure with this, and that, give up.
- You are alone, give up.
Give up. I’ve been commended lately for the endurance displayed with the +2yrs of struggle against a broken and corrupt system. Something seemingly so simple has been nothing of the sort. It has pushed me to the edge many-a-day. Yet, I know behind the brave face, my faith has and is being tested more than most might think.
We have an enemy, and he is a liar at heart. His lies come with seeds of truth, as to make them palatable. He appeals to our failures and short comings, knowing we cannot deny our weaknesses. The truth is we are weak and we cannot change ourselves. We are not deserving of the Love of God, but that’s what makes grace amazing!
The verse above, ‘No eye has seen… the things God has prepared for those who love Him’ is not a reference to the hope of heaven. Nor is it a promise of temporary earthly blessing, prosperity or health. Paul is offering more than a little pep talk to hang in there for brighter days. He’s talking about the ‘hidden mystery’ of the coming of Christ if you read the previous verses. This is the root cause of our faith, the bedrock of eternal hope we can build our lives on –
The coming of Jesus Christ WAS up until Christ, and IS for all who have believed AFTER His coming, the most amazing, shocking and life altering news the world has known.
Israel didn’t see Christ coming. Nor did anyone fully comprehend the lengths God was going to go to both display and execute His love to us. It was a mystery, revealed during the time of Christ to His first disciples, and by the Holy Spirit unveiled in the gospel message to each generation.
When I’m defeated, I notice a common thread. I want to give up. This lack of hope refuses to think upon truth. I refuse to ‘see’ and ‘hear’ the reality that God has loved me perfectly in Christ. He has overlooked my transgressions (1 John 1:9), exchanged them for righteousness (Rom 3:22) and positioned me as an accepted, adopted member of His family (Eph 1:5). He is my Father, and I am now His son.
It’s the bedrock truths that the enemy wants to shake with the many earthly trials. He wants to distract our eyes from heaven, the source of our hope (Psalm 121:1), and dare us to find our value here on earth. He wants us to measure ourselves the the worth in our earthly victories. This is the antithesis of God’s Gospel to man:
“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare.” – Isa 55:2-3
God loves us, not on the basis of our human efforts (Eph 2:8). This is for many of us a continual struggle. We will all lose hope if we don’t remain convinced of this truth:
We are loved because God is a loving, amazing Father. He has proven this love in the coming, crucified death and resurrection of His Son Jesus. Our response? Believe it, embrace it, enjoy it, think upon in, share it, and let this grace transform us.
This is the hope that I want to rest in this week, and not the many trials, victories or failures in my journey through this life – Lord help me in my weakness! May the Lord encourage you as well to press on, and to look up.
(PS – this is for you boys)