The Long Haul

by | Feb 2, 2017 | Vital Men Devotions

We live in a society that promotes a ‘get it now’ mindset when it comes to satisfying our carnal desires.  Eat as much as you want at our 50’ buffet, Buy now – pay later, use this and the women will swarm around you like flies, do this and you will get rich with little effort, there are lots of promises to make us feel better.  When you just live life for each moment, you lose sight of any long term purpose you are serving with your life.  While it takes more discipline, foregoing short term pleasures for long term gains is more beneficial to both you and others.  That’s not to say you shouldn’t splurge on ice cream once in a while, but keeping a more distant perspective can help us make better choices now and avoid regrets down the road.  Simple life lessons that we often forget. 

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  James 1:2-3

It is much easier to run harder when you can see the finish line.  I had to help cover for a co-worker for a couple months, and I actually enjoyed the new variety, especially since I knew the extra workload was only for a set time.  I have been given additional responsibilities without an end time, and these quickly become much more tedious.  I am currently playing Mr. Mom for two young children while my wife is away for 2 weeks, and while the extra work is not always convenient, knowing it is only for a season is helpful.  As we were reminded this past week, even experiencing several cloudy, grey days in a row can lead us to start yearning for the sun again.  I often wondered how Moses and the Israelites kept going after wandering in the desert for the 33rd year of waiting on the promised land.  Maybe they held out hope because it was exactly that…a promised land.  They trusted God to fulfill his promise.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  2 Corinthians 12:9

Maybe it is human nature, but we always seem to want what we don’t have, while taking for granted what we do have.  We often overlook the blessings that our family, job, friends, etc. are in our lives.  At the same time, we selfishly long for a bigger or better house, car, bank account, family…and the list goes on.  We are dissatisfied and grumble with our current situation and what we have or have not, and may blame God after pleading with him and seeing no change, often when we are unwilling to change ourselves.  We lose sight of what is most important for the lesser things of this world and become blind and lost in the darkness, though there is a light.

In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.  John 1:4-5

So, where is your hope?  We can all be fooled into the mentality ‘If I only had x, my life would be better’ for so many times before we start to see the emptiness of these promises.  When we put our hope in things and how we feel and the status of our current situation, we are destined for discouragement, and lots of it.  When we look beyond our world of materialism and longing for what we don’t have, we encounter things that last.  Things like faith, hope, and love.  As the song states “my hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ love and righteousness.’   So, when you get discouraged, be reminded to look up, see beyond your current situation and put your hope in the One who has always been and will be forever. 

I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.  Psalm 121:1-2

Trusting in Christ,

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