“If our child is very sick, we want to believe that grace means that God will heal the child. If we have just been laid off from a job and have no financial cushion, we want to believe that grace means we will be hired tomorrow by an even more stable company, and that the old company will apologize for its egregious mistake with a huge severance package. But that is not the promise. God does not promise that earthly life in His kingdom will be easier than life in our own kingdom… We will experience hardships. We will not be spared the difficulties of life.” pg. 142.
The above quote is from a book I am reading called Running Scared by Ed Welch. In the book, he is focused on fear, anxiety and the God who gives rest in the midst of this troublesome life. This particular chapter is unpacking the grace that God will give us during our earthly life. But often times the grace that we receive and the grace we are looking for are worlds apart. Often times, the grace that God gives is in the demotion, or the foreclosure, or even the loss of someone we loved.
If we are indeed new creations in Christ Jesus, then we have a new citizenship. If we have a new citizenship, then we have a permanent home, and with that we have a king over the kingdom that we have been brought into. The kingdom we are born into is a never ending kingdom where there is no death, no pain, no sin! This kingdom embodies freedom, victory, beauty, and eternal joy. The kingdom is God’s and He Himself the treasure of the kingdom.
If this is true, and it is according to God’s revelation to us, then nothing in this world has the last say. Then grace looks totally different. Grace may be removing us from this world. Grace may be ridding our hearts of lustful love of this world. Grace may be ripping earthly provision from our grips so that we can experience more of this future kingdom more fully in this life. Seeking to have the best life you can right now is essentially saying, “God, your kingdom is good and all, but I want the best of what you got right now, in this perishing world.” That is foolishness.
The notion that God’s grace is only measured based on how much he gives us here on this earth is a terrible measuring stick of grace. We need new measuring sticks. Sticks that can see in to the future and see that the death of God’s Son was the death of death. The ultimate grace! No other grace is sweeter that the grace of being given eternal life when eternal death is deserved.
We need to begin to view life through the lens of God’s kingdom and not ours. God’s kingdom lasts forever and God is the sovereign King over His kingdom, which is reign partially right now in the hearts of believers only to be fully revealed in the end. When this is not just something we talk about, and become something we truly believe, then we will be able to see all things work together for good, for God’s glory.
Until we see with those kinds of eyes, God will forever be on the defense stand in your own head, and you will be the jury, deliberating on whether or not God is good because He has allowed suffering in your temporary and fleeting life. God is the ultimate reality and there is no jury that can bring any case against Him. Put God on the throne in your life, ask Him to give you eyes to see His kingdom today, then thank Him for your future glory with Him and ask Him for strength and long-suffering in this life to bring Him glory in all things.
“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Luke 12:32
THE KINGDOM IS YOURS! THIS IS UNEXPECTED GRACE!