In that country, a man saddled his own broncs and fought his own battles, and the measure of his manhood was that he did what needed to be done, and did it well, and without shirking.”
–Louis L’Amour (Killoe)
“Each one’s work will become obvious, for the day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire; the fire will test the quality of each one’s work.”
–1 Corinthians 3:13 (HCSB)
I just wonder how many times in my life I have reflected on Psalm 23. It is one of those special verses that the Holy Spirit inspired David to pen. We wonder, stew, and fret over things here on earth, many of which we have no control over, but listen,
“And I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.”
That one verse gives us hope. See one of the problems we have here is that we have a limited perspective, and we then let life overwhelm us. We tend to look at a little portion of life instead of looking at it as a whole.
When things seem to go haywire, we can trust in the faithfulness of God. “It is not a belief in your faith or belief itself that is important. No, hold on to the faithfulness of God; have faith in Him, be certain of Him, for you will never master and conquer life in this world until, in spite of everything, you do hold on in that way.” (Lloyd-Jones) Be absolutely certain of the Lord Jesus Christ, of who He is in your life.
Whether we like it or not, life itself has a way of forcing us, sooner or later, to consider what lies beyond it. Life is transitory and temporary; it is full of uncertaintly and of accidents. “If we live for this life only and to rely upon it, or anything in it, is deliberately to court disappointment.” (Lloyd-Jones) Therefore, life in this world should be viewed truly in the light of the next world. This life offers us no real or final security, that comes only through trusting in the faithfulness of God.
Look around and see what the world thinks is important. Look at the billboards as you travel; look at what the commercials on television try to sell. Live with gusto, buy this, you’ll look glamorous in this, put on this deodorant or this scent and the girls won’t be able to resist you and on and on and on.
Sin is subtly luring us away and then we are seeing more and more than sin is being thrust at us. We are made to want to live life to the fullest, at least according to the standard of the world. The problem is that we think of life in the body rather than the life of the soul. The world is transitory, but the soul moves on into eternity. It is the inner life that matters. What was it that Jesus said, “Don’t fear those that can harm the body…”? (Matthew 10:28)
What is the purpose of this life if not to prepare us for the next one? If you want calmness in your soul feed it, and look at this life in view of eternity. Lloyd-Jones writes, “Life in this world can only be truly lived and mastered as we have a right view of that next world.”
What is your view then of the next world? Do you think of it much? Does it draw you? There is joy set before us. Death leads us to our Father’s house. There, we will have security, peace, rest for the soul. It will be our permanent residence for all of eternity. Start now, then to protect and nurture and discipline your soul for it is the one thing that really matters.