Friday, April 9, 2010

An Encouraging Thought

Take a moment and think about your life. Do you like you life right now? Are you hoping for a change? Is there something that is missing? Think about what your life is like and how that compares to your dreams. I know for many of us, our lives are not quite where we would like them to be. We find our current life a little boring and we constantly complain that there is nothing to do. Sometimes we are just plain lonely. We see other people with all these friends or with a companion of the opposite sex and we become a little jealous. We perceive that our lives don’t measure up to theirs. Other times, we desire to have this amazing relationship with God but our lives lack the promised peace and hope which comes from a relationship with God. We get depressed and begin to doubt whether or not God has really saved us.

Regardless of how you feel about your life right now, you are in the right place. God has put you in this place so that you will see Him. For those who don’t know Jesus, God has put them into a place so that if they would only open their hearts and seek Him, they will find Him. For us who do know Jesus, we are in just the right place to be used by God. God has placed into our lives experiences, knowledge, and the salvation we need to make a difference. We might think it is a small and insignificant difference, but it will be the difference that God desires.

It is no secret that I love The Lord of the Rings. It has many themes woven into the story that apply to our lives as Christians. In the movie The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, there is one scene that I absolutely love because of the way it stirs my heart. The Fellowship has been forced to go through the mines of Moria. They come to a place where the tunnel splits and Gandalf does not know which way to go. The group sits to rest and think about their options. Gandalf and Frodo begin to talk about their task. Frodo confides in Gandalf and says, “I wish the Ring would never have come to me. I wish none of this would have happened.”

Gandalf replies, “So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to do is decide what to do with the time given to us. There are other forces at work in this world besides the one of evil. Bilbo was meant to find the Ring. In which case you also were meant to have it, and that is an encouraging thought.”

God chooses not only the places but also the times in which we live. He has privileged us to live not only in the greatest expansion of human population but also with the greatest opportunity for the spread of the gospel. We all have a mission in our lives. How we carry out this mission is our purpose. The truth is, often times this mission can feel overwhelming. There are so many people who have not even heard the name of Jesus, and millions more who have heard and have rejected Him. The sheer numbers make this mission seem impossible. There are the people whom we encounter everyday of our lives, and despite our efforts they do not seem to be changed. The lack of response makes this mission to seem pointless.

When you are feeling like that, I want to encourage you, just as Gandalf encouraged Frodo. God has placed you where you are, for a reason. There is a purpose to your life, right now, exactly where you are at. If you remain faithful to God, you will experience the purpose of God in your life. Yes, things will not go as you would like them to, but regardless of what happens God will use it to change lives, most likely yours.

The Apostle Paul wrote:

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them (Ephesians 2:8-10; NASB).

God has created us and then saved us, for a reason. Before we were born, God had a plan for our lives. As we are faithful to God, that purpose takes shape in our lives, and that is when we begin to experience the life God intends all people to live. The good life of God is discovered in living out our divine purpose.

I hope that you see your life right now as a privilege. God has created us and placed us here, during this time, so we can impact our corner of the world for Him. We are perfectly suited for this task, because He has created us for this. When we grasp this truth our lives will have meaning and hope. God is at work in the world, He wants us to join Him, and that is a very encouraging thought.