“Perseverance is our supreme effort of refusing to believe that our hero is going to be conquered. Our greatest fear is not that we will be damned, but that somehow Jesus Christ will be defeated. Also, our fear is that the very things our Lord stood for— love, justice, forgiveness, and kindness among men— will not win out in the end and will represent an unattainable goal for us. . .If our hopes seem to be experiencing disappointment right now, it simply means that they are being purified.”
–Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, February 22
Dear God, this was an interesting read this morning. I was uninspired by the “verse of the day” from Bible Gateway, so I went to my back-up source for daily inspiration—My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. I normally just read the verse he has for today and go from there, but today I was moved by his own words. That’s what I’ve quoted above.
I don’t think I had thought before about the idea of being afraid of Jesus losing. The idea that, in the end, good loses to evil. Not on an earthly level. Good loses to evil all of the time in my daily life. No, I’m talking about the heavenly realm where one day there will be no more tears. Where God is in His Heaven and all is right with the world. Where there is a joyful peace that is indescribable. That’s what I’ve really put my hope in. And not only for me. I’ve put my hope in that for all of the victims of evil in this world. “Hold on, sex trafficking victim. I’ll do what I can now, but your day will come.” “Hold on, victim of genocide in Syria. Your day will come.”
There are really two things that are happening in Mr. Chambers’ words above. First, there is the part about Jesus and “good” losing, but then there is the second part about our hopes being purified. In this case, I think purified means “made realistic” or “made true.” Especially as Americans, we are often taught that we can hope for anything material—career, money, power, fame, etc. And while that is true, it is foolishness to hope for those things and combine it with the hope that we have for joy and peace. “If our hopes seems to be experiencing disappointment right now, it simply means that they are being purified.” That disappointment is the process of you separating our hope for the material from our hope for peaceful joy. Ultimately, our hope for peaceful joy will not be in the ego of watching who our children become or what we accomplish here on earth. Our hope for peaceful joy will be solely focused around how tied in we are to you and our expectation that, in the very end, Jesus wins, God is in His Heaven, and all is right with the world.
Father, thank you for purifying my heart. Thank you for guiding me through pain and being patient with me while I go through the agonizing death of my ego as it relates to my material accomplishments. My hope isn’t in my marriage, my kids, my job, my church, or my friends. My hope is simply in the fact that, in the end, you win. Help me to be faithful to that hope and whatever you want me to do as a part of your Kingdom.
In Jesus’ name I pray,