Book of John
“Life is hard but God is good” is a statement I heard many years ago that rings true of life’s journey. Jesus warned us that:
“…In this world you will have tribulation. But take heart, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
The beauty and strength in Jesus’ perspective is that He knew the depth of sufficiency and power that would be provided through Him to overcome the world. It also means that Jesus followers have to know that their approach to overcoming tribulation will be different from the worlds approach. And we need to know what we’re fighting for.
In the movie Cinderella Man, the history making boxer (Jim Braddock) who is experiencing an incredible comeback after loosing everything is asked to explain his sudden success. His response resonates a new-found purpose that was birthed through his tribulation:
“This time around I know what I’m fighting for.”
Do you know what you’re fighting for in life? Knowing begins with discovering God and His purpose for your life. Jesus lived to please God. He accomplished the work that He was sent to accomplish on earth amidst great tribulation. He knew what He was fighting for, to bring the light of salvation to the world. We see His determination and focus through the prophet Isaiah;
“But the Lord God helps Me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame.” (Isaiah 50:7)
God has a good plan for your life and it takes a fierce focus on Him to discover and fulfill it against the tribulations of living in this world. Know what you’re fighting for. How you spend eternity is weighing in the balance.
“…But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)
Desires come from the heart. They seem to be shaped from a combination of experiences, purpose, talent and inspiration from the world we live in and shaped by influencers that grab our heart. Described as “to wish or long for; crave, covet; to ask for; request,” desires can lead us in many directions.
King David prayed in the Book of Psalms for God to teach him to live wisely by making him aware of the brevity of life on earth.
“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12)
Living a life focused on God Desires can save us from wasting a ton of time chasing after the wrong desires. Pursuing a desire that does not align with God’s best for our lives prevents us from experiencing and fulfilling our highest purpose in this life. In the end we want to be able to proclaim as Jesus did to His Father in heaven when His end was near in the Book of John:
“I glorified You on earth, having accomplished the work that You gave Me to do.” (John 17:4)
How can we know that our desires are God desires? We can begin by following His instruction to delight ourselves in Him, to give great joy or pleasure in desiring to know Him and learning about all His ways. When we decide to shape our lives around this encouragement God promises to give us desires that lead us toward accomplishing the deepest desires of our heart and His. This is the joy of purpose living!
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4)