Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. - Colossians 3:1-3
We live in an age of instant gratification. With one tap we can find the answer to virtually any question. With one click we can have anything we desire delivered to our doorstep. We get frustrated when our computer takes longer than 5 seconds to load our web browser. We’ve been trained to avoid waiting at all costs, and when we are forced to wait, it can almost be unbearable. And what do we do with the things in life that make us wait? Slow phone: replace it. Slow computer: restart it. Slow line: find a different one or leave.
But what do we do when life with God gets tough, when we can’t feel His presence or when we feel He is making us wait? That’s when we experience a crisis of patience, trust, and faith. And it’s in these moments that the Lord desires to retrain our hearts most deeply.
Have you ever had a season where God has made you wait? Or a prayer the Lord has allowed to go unanswered? Maybe you’ve walked through heartbreaking life events that caused you to question God’s goodness. Whatever your “lowest point” was, how did you respond? For me, it was a response of distrust. I still believed that God was present and that He saw my pain, but after months that turned into years of prayer, a lie took root in my heart that He didn’t care. I began to believe that my prayers had no power over my situation.
But I was allowing my response to be based off of my perception of God’s activity, not off of the Truth of God’s activity. I was impatient and quick to lessen my relationship with God because He wasn’t giving me the results I was wanting. When all I heard was silence, I was deaf to the many ways the Lord was speaking redemption into other areas of my life. Truthfully, I was treating God like a slow cell phone, and if you had taken one look at my spiritual life, you would have thought I’d thrown Him away.
It wasn’t until I took my eyes off of myself that I was able to see the goodness of Christ that had been there all along. That’s where the Lord desires our eyes to remain: firmly fixed on His goodness and character that never change. When life gets hard and faith is more of a challenge, we are called to seek and remember God’s character that never changes.
We see in Colossians that we are to “think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.” Further, the author of Psalm 77 writes, “I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago” (Psalm 77:11). It’s with that same heart that we should seek to have hearts of remembrance and reverence towards God’s past and present goodness in our lives. For we know that our God is greater than our circumstance. We know that He is present and faithful to stand alongside us in our suffering.
In the moments we are tempted to call into question God’s goodness, we must walk in the opposite spirit. We must fight to see God’s goodness, to remember the ways He has displayed His power and love, and then we must cling to that hope which is our foundation. May we not be so quick to treat God like a slow cell phone, just waiting for Him to hurry up already. But, rather, may we have patience and eyes to see His goodness in all things, and at all times.
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe. - Hebrews 12:28
1. What area of your life is just flat-out tough right now? What questions do you find yourself asking of God? How do you feel like your heart and faith have responded to His answers or silence?
2. I would like to encourage you to make a physical list of some ways in the last year God has displayed His goodness in your life. This can be a multitude of things: specific answered prayers, new friendships, doors being opened or closed, life-giving conversations, removal of temptations, etc. Sit at the feet of Jesus in reverence and awe of His goodness and faithfulness.
Father, You are good even when I don’t see it. You have been faithful and kind and loving towards me from the very beginning. Thank You for the grace You have shown me, and forgive me for the times I forget the many ways You have redeemed my life. I pray, God, that You would give me eyes to see Your goodness, even when life is tough and You are hard to see. I pray that You would fix my eyes on things of Heaven, not things of earth. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.
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