Articles

Articles

“Imperfection Perfected by Daniel Broyles”

Categories: Seeking God First

Recently, we have mourned for the great losses in Orlando and for a battle that has been waged overseas that is now on American soil.  What purpose did these acts serve?  What has been accomplished by this? We live in a world that is filled with all kinds of senseless acts and evil.  Not so long ago, we remember the Paris attacks, 9/11 and the Twin Towers, the Oklahoma City bombing, and the standoff in Waco, TX.  There is a lot of evil that has occurred in the last couple of decades, and this list is not even complete.  Maybe these events didn’t affect you directly.  What if it was something a little closer to home?  Maybe it was the sudden loss of a family member or the terminal illness of one close to you?  Maybe it was the loss of a child’s life or a child making the wrong decisions that affected the rest of their lives?  Perhaps, no matter how hard you try, your career and/or finances keep failing and to no fault of your own?  There are myriads of examples to show the evil in this world.  When these events happen in our life we begin to ask, “Why? Why ME? Why not…? What has happened?!”

Living in a world filled with all of this evil and suffering, we see the flaws and imperfections of it.  Though we may never know all the reasons, we do know that that is the long term result of sin and Satan’s influence.  He is named as the “ruler of this world” in John 12:31, and the world lies somewhat within his power of influence (I John 5:19).  Satan is busy at work in the world sowing evil and watching as people fall prey to his traps.  The world is imperfect, and as people, we are imperfect having sinned and fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23).    He is seeking and hunting to find our weaknesses that will cause us to forsake the Lord; for some it may be discouragement from tragedy upon tragedy, for some it may be pride in their own accomplishments in comparison to others, for some if may be the false sense of comfort resulting in apathy, and for others it may be the loneliness or despair with which Satan isolates us.   The trouble and conflict in the world happen due to Satan’s influences, the decisions of those around us, and when we are drawn away by our own lusts (James 1:14).   

With all of this tragedy and sadness that is beyond repair, it can cause us to despair.  We ask, “What can I do?”  First of all, we are given the solution, and the answer in Christ Jesus.  As an example, He did not sin (1 Peter 2:22), and though I will fall, I can look to His example of how to handle the challenges of life and the mountains of adversity.  Secondly, God listens to the prayers of His children and helps them. What a great gift to be able to talk directly to our Heavenly Father.  Psalm 55:22 says, “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never permit the righteous to be moved.”  What a great relief to think about giving my burden to someone else, someone who wants to carry it for me!  Paul tells us to pray without ceasing, and to let all worries and cares be known to God (1Thessalonians 5:14, Philippians 4:6).  God is in control (Isaiah 41:10); God loves His children (John 3:16), and God will do what is best for us if we seek Him (Luke 11:9-13).  We must pray to God, submit to His will, and know that His ways are best.  As one author put it, “If God says ‘no,’ to something in your best interest, do you really want it for yourself anyway?”

While we are in the world, we are not OF the world (John 17:16).  Sometimes, we need to change our perspective.  Instead of focusing on what I don’t have, what I want, or where I think I should be, we should focus on others.  The greatest human ever to walk this earth lived a life of service in spite of the power He wielded which He could have used to profit for Himself.   Jesus knew He would have to die for us because of our sin, but He still served the people while He lived on earth.  He healed the sick, pleaded with those who were hard-hearted, and washed His disciples feet (even Judas who would betray Him) to show us that we need to be more focused on serving others (Mark 10:45).  “Each of you should not only look to your own interests, but the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:4)  Again, in Romans 15:1, Paul tells the Christians that the strong should hold up those who are weaker.  The truth of the matter is that each of us is facing our own challenges, fighting our own battles, and mourning our losses. 

With a world that is filled with so much evil and disappointment, we have not been abandoned, and we are not alone.   We have been given the words of Jesus and His disciples to make a difference (2 Timothy 3:17).  The hope we have is not in this world (1 John 2:17).  Our hope comes from knowing there is something better waiting for us in Paradise (Luke 23:43).  In Heaven, there are no tears and no sorrows (Revelation 21).  The tragedies of this world will pass away.  What a great hope to think that these imperfections are only temporary!  As imperfect people living in an imperfect world, let us all strive for the perfection waiting for us.