A brand new life and everything to live for - this is what we have in Christ Jesus. What that involves is not only a brand new start on life, but the joy of living life as we were created to live it - in close, personal relationship with God our Father. Too many of us think of the "future" as way off in the "then", but in actuality, the "now" is the present of our future. We start living our future today - in Christ Jesus. We finish living our future some day - in Christ Jesus. Yet, our future is without end - so is there really a finish? Not according to what I see in scripture. For eternity begins now and lasts a whole lot longer than my limited mind can imagine. In the meantime, as we are living in our future today, God is keeping careful watch over us. This should give us the hope that nothing happens today which is not going to bring something pretty doggone awesome in our future - for our future is today.
What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole. I know how great this makes you feel, even though you have to put up with every kind of aggravation in the meantime. Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory. (I Peter 1:3-7 MSG)
Probably one of the most awe inspiring parts of the "future" is this concept of being healed and whole. Too many of us deal with things today in our physical bodies and even in the turmoil of our minds which indicates we are far from "whole" and definitely not "healed". I recognize wholeness and healing is finalized in our future state before the throne of God as we fall before him in perpetual worship. Yet, today's promise is the beginning of this healing and wholeness. In the time between today and total healing / wholeness, we have a whole lot of what appears to be "aggravation" we have to deal with. It is this "aggravation" God wants to help us with in our daily walk.
Aggravation is simply an increase in intensity, seriousness, or severity of whatever it is we are dealing with. In other words, as the intensity increases, we experience an increase in anxiety, emotional response, experiences we had not endured before. There is a "turning up of the heat" and we begin to sense the seriousness of the circumstances. According to our passage - all we have been provided in Christ Jesus for today and what we have promised in him for our future state makes all this intensity and seriousness worth it! It also means we don't walk through this intensity or seriousness of issues without him. We have him alongside and inside.
Some of us think today's issues are really little annoyances we can somehow get beyond if we just try hard enough. I don't know about you, but the harder I "try", the harder it gets to get beyond those things which cause me the intensity of aggravation I am experiencing. "Trying" is not "doing" - it is the state of venturing out, but it is in my own effort. The reason we have so much issue with getting beyond the intensity of the circumstances is that we cannot get beyond it by our own effort.
Our faith is what brings us out on the other side - not our efforts. This is almost contrary to human nature - because human nature wants to "do" in order to "get". In Christ's economy, our future state is today - we just have to "be" in that state in order to begin to realize the victory which overcomes today's aggravations and builds our faith as pure and holy. I don't know about you, but I am determined to live in the "future" now, not in the "then". Just sayin!
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