I spoke with a friend a couple of weeks ago, details changed to protect the innocent, who’s been trying very hard to get a job in a certain arena he’s very good at. I mean extremely good. The type of person where if I needed advice in the field, I’d turn to him for it. He’s been struggling with a couple oft he major players in the field who, despite his qualifications, are passing him over.
I voiced to him how it wasn’t right in my opinion, and he should be a shoo-in. When he responded, he was very calm and shook his head. “No, God is revealing my path to be another way.”
Those words struck me as something to aspire to. We all have problems in our lives, all face adversity, but it is part of God’s plan for us to strengthen our bond with Him, and to ensure we are serving His purpose.
His purpose might be revealed to us now, tomorrow, next week, next year, or in the next life, but it is there, and we are an active part in it. And it gives us cause to rejoice despite our present troubles. Sometimes our suffering and death can actually be a part of the purpose, and it sounds counterintuitive, but that’s something to rejoice in as well.
It says very clearly in Pslam 116:15: Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his faithful servants.” It doesn’t mean God’s taking some joy in seeing us in pain, but what it does mean is that God respects what we’re going through because he understands suffering and death better than anyone. He can rejoice because we are brought closer to Him. The Pslamist continues on how we are to respond to this in verse 117: “I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of the Lord.”
Our sacrifice is our duty. To be mistreated is to be expected. In John 15:18-20, Christ himself warned: “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master ‘ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also.”
We’re blessed because of any suffering we undertake in His name, and in His purpose. We should not fear such persecution, we should not be brought down by it, but instead we should act like the Pslamist and understand our duty. We are here to follow His path, not our own desires. But the end of verse 20 also gives us some hope, because it helps us to identify those who are brothers and sisters by seeing whether others keep His word. If we hold close to keeping His word and keeping that of our brothers and sisters in Him as well, we create a bond of loyalty that is greater than anything else in the world. It’s precious as His purpose.
His purpose is perfect, His purpose is worthy, it is all that matters in the scheme of eternity. Our temporary pains and ills will be something to laugh about in the final days. Trust in Him. God loves us, and will stand by us, and it’s reason to stand strong and proud.
And the best part is? His purpose cannot be thwarted. It cannot be undone. We cannot lose because we already have won.
On reflecting on my friend’s attitude, I want to strive to be more like him, content in knowing God will guide the way, no matter whether I understand it in this moment or in this lifetime. A peace in understanding that our purpose is right because it is His.