A Beautiful Journey

“How awful that day will be! No other will be like it. It will be a time of trouble for Jacob, but he will be saved out of it. “ ‘In that day,’ declares the LORD Almighty, ‘I will break the yoke off their necks and will tear off their bonds; no longer will foreigners enslave them. Instead, they will serve the LORD their God and David their king, whom I will raise up for them.”

Jeremiah 30:7-9 NIV

The American dream embodies many beautiful things. Liberty, opportunity, and hard work are just a few of the values we associate with the "Land of the Free." In a fallen world, however, earthly prosperity often insulates us from reality. Some day soon what really matters will come into sharp focus, but this most precious gift will come through trial.

Scripture tells us that the last days of earth's history will be tumultuous ones, but why? Could not our Almighty Father snatch his own out of the world before things get dicey? In fact, isn't this what the majority of Evangelicals teach will happen through the doctrine of the secret rapture? Why do we believe God allows his beloved to endure the time of trouble? Scripture declares that we are to follow in Christ's footsteps and endure hardship for his sake. 

Is there value in the fellowship of Christ's sufferings? While we do not pay any penance through enduring trial, it does have a way of awakening us to what really matters. God's end goal for us involves complete freedom from suffering and pain in the realms of bliss, but this side of Heaven difficulty serves an essential purpose. 

Our hearts are more entangled in this world than we realize. Earth's final crisis will play a key role in purging us from lesser loves. We will not be perfect in all respects before Jesus comes to take us home, but our love for Jesus will be undivided. 

Perfection of character is a complete devotion to God, and this does not come without a struggle. But this struggle is not something to be feared, it is actually one which leads to sweet peace and rest. It is our love for self and this world that instigate our greatest pain. The circumstances which prompt us to relinquish our love of self may be difficult, but with each step toward Jesus our lives become characterized by deeper joy and peace. Ultimately the journey out of Babylon will be marked by hope, joy, and rest for all who embark upon it.

Still Seeking His Face,

Pastor Andrew

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