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Saturday, December 29, 2007

A Better Country

In this life we are called to be set apart as Christians. We are to be consecrated to the Lord which means that we are to be used for His good purposes. Yet we have huge obstacles on our hands if we want to do this thing and be victorious. Our flesh gets in the way. Our desires war within us. The enemy is hard after us as he preys upon us...hoping to destroy us. The world wants us to "love it" and all it has to offer which is so fleeting and temporary. There are so many distractions. One more thing that I want to throw in the mix of things that can get us off track is circumstances. The following passage has been rising in my soul for the last several days and the Lord calls me to not focus on my circumstances but to focus on a "better country". To believe Him even if things don't pan out in the here and now. How do I focus on a "better country"? By setting my heart and mind on His word. By seeking to know Him. In the last couple of years I have had a huge battle to believe God for so many things. To believe Him for my marriage, to believe Him when He says that He will provide all of my needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus. I have had to believe that He is not done with me and that He has a purpose for me. I could go on and on listing things for you that I have been challenged with, but you have your own list. Oh let me let you take a look at the verses before I finish...oops.

Hebrews 11:13-16
13
All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. 14People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

Listen, circumstances and trials will continue to beat on your door as long as you live here we have to face the facts on that one. The trials have been allowed and God wants to use them to so that our faith, which is of greater worth than gold, may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

1 Peter 1:6-8
6
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,

Even when trials don't seem to let up, and you feel like the weight of life and all of its anxieties are about to do you in...please keep believing until your faith becomes sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7
We live by faith, not by sight.

Go read Hebrews 11...I love it every time. Then, get back to the verses that I listed earlier...Hebrews 11:13-16
13
All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.
THEY were STILL living by faith when they died...even though they did not receive the things promised. Their gaze was on the author and perfecter of their faith. He is the same now as He was then and He will help us as we seek Him. These people who lived by faith were far from perfect, just like us. The thing that set them apart was a choice to focus on what was eternal instead of what was temporal. We have the same choice. We can constantly focus on how we feel or what we see or we can bring all of that to His feet continually and focus on Him.

I can not tell you all of the horrible decisions I would have already made if I didn't have this hope. I am not sure how things will turn out...but one thing is for sure...I want to die by faith. No matter what the world or even the church says about me...I want God to say: "this one...she lived by faith." I know you feel the same.

So why do we still thirst for things of this world? Why do we feel so lonely and empty sometimes? Why don't we feel satisfied? I was reading this verse this morning:

5 comments:

Little Steps Of Faith said...

Loved this(but is it done?):)

Its very encouraging for me at this time girl:)
I wish I was in devotional mode, but my head just can't get thoughts together right now.
I think I am on a brain sabatical LOL:)
Thank you for your words:)
Love you girl:)

Ang

Bev Brandon said...

oh my goodness...
my friends and i were just talking about this today after my friend's funeral who died from an unexpected illness and she died believing God..
so we walked away from this service today saying all we have is this moment and we want to live for another world not for this world...loved your post jenny hope...so touching tonight through my tears of sorrow for my friend's family, especially her husband...why are we empyt? we haven't found our rest in our good God...we want something more than what He provides...imagine that, wanting more than the love of Christ...He is enough! I'm so moved by my God this night...thank you for your awesome words to my heart

Tam said...

Life is a constant faith journey. I've heard said several times by my atheist friends that Christianity is a crutch - for the weak at heart that don't want to think for themselves. Uuuhhh - I think not! It takes much more strength of character and faith to follow hard after God than it does to follow after my own sinful desires and things of this world. And when you're really seeking after Him you're that much more aware and in tune to the things in your life that are less appealing in His eyes that need to be worked on. To follow requires Faith. Lord, increase mine so that I might follow even harder!

He Knows My Name said...

me too jenny. what i want to do and feel i don't and what i don't want to do and feel i do. beth says ask the Lord to change my want too. that has been my prayer since i first heard her say it. LORD CHANGE MY WANT TOO. this life is hard. i'm glad he has used situations to draw me to Him.

i want Him to find me faithful too.

God Bless you real big

~janel

jennyhope said...

Tam, I am so with you on everything you said. The easiest thing to do would be to forfeit things for the pleasure of here and now. The hard thing is to be obedient. The Lord has been speaking to me so much about obedience bringing blessing. It is so easy to buy lies of have it your way now. I was reading the verse again about sincere believers being led astray. I believe that for sure. It is a daily battle. =)
Also, Janel you have no idea how many times I have to ask Jesus to change me and change my heart because I know it isnt in line.