Counting it ALL Joy
The Apostle Paul writes, “You are looking at things as they are outwardly. If anyone is confident in himself that he is Christ’s, let him consider this again within himself, that just as he is Christ’s, so also are we.” (Verse 7) What in the world are you thinking? If we are in Christ we are not to look at things according to the way they appear but through the eyes of Christ! This is perhaps our biggest obstacle. We are carnal; we are men surrendered to earthly logic and we claim to have intelligence but are made fools by the Gospel.
“But I have cancer,” you say, “I have only so long to live.” “My finances are in ruin,” you say, “there is no way out of this hole I am in.” “My marriage is a disaster.” “My daughter is dead.” “My life is not what I expected.” Are we not carnal? We sometimes act as if our problem is a surprise to God. God knows our needs better than we do and foreknew them long before we were aware of them. Refuse to surrender to them. Refuse to give them power. Refuse to believe that God doesn’t care and that He isn’t already at work.
Listen; if I have truly surrendered to the Lord of Lords and King of Kings, I’m His. I’m no longer my own. I was purchased with the very blood of Christ and though I live, I live by faith in Him. I died. It’s over. Sin can’t stop me and this world can’t hurt me. The victory was won long ago and this sliver of time that I have been given this side of eternity is for a purpose that He has for me.
“But I have cancer,” you say. So what! I say as respectfully as possible, but so what if you have cancer! I HAVE CANCER! But, have you sought His face as to what you are to be doing about it and with it? We all have one thing in common—we are all terminal. It is when we get lulled into believing that we have a right to experience someone’s definition of happiness on this earth that we are most deceived. Who said you were promised 90 years, a great job, a wonderful marriage, beautiful children and a 401k?
These are things that the world promises; they are lies of false fulfillment; they are wells with no water; they are junk food that leaves you fat and hungry for more. We seek these ‘good’ things— earthly contentment, security, health and happiness over a hunger for truth and a thirst unsatisfied in anything other than Christ. In Him is joy unspeakable that supersedes circumstance; in Him is peace that surpasses appearance.
The surrendered believer is not defined by circumstance and refuses to accept labels that the victim embraces. It just doesn’t matter anymore; Christ is my king. Paul could sit rotting in a Roman jail never once mentioning the rats that gnawed his legs at night nor the feces laden stench that choked his dictation of the volumes of Scripture he created through the power of the Holy Spirit. Because, it – just – didn’t – matter!