Coffee Talk: Is it Worth it?
Hey y'all! Welcome back to coffee talk!
Today I want to discuss a tough question. A question that I believe every single person who has ever come to know Jesus has wrestled with. If you're real with yourself, you like anyone else face doubts, uncertainties, and other frustrations as the world screams at you to be of it and hold onto it. It's a wrestling match because knowing Jesus, truly and deeply, experiencing the deeper joy, requires letting go of the world.
Oh what a challenge!
So here's the big question: Is it worth saying yes to Jesus and letting go of the world?
If you read Psalm 73, you'll find a faithful guy named Asaph who is really wrestling with this question.
He essentially says, "God I know you love me and all. BUT I'm frustrated with all the goodness the wicked seem to have. All these people who don't care about You prospering. What's up with that, God?"
Asaph is real about this. He openly declares His struggle with this. He points out that the wicked are always carefree and they increase in wealth. It doesn't make sense to Him, it feels unfair.
Ever feel this way? Faithfully following God but see all those around you who don't fear God seemingly doing pretty well? I'm with ya.
But Asaph continues. Verse 17 of Psalm 73 is a pretty hinging verse.
In verse 17 you see him having His devotions, getting real with God but then there's the hinge: "When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me. I was discouraged. Until I entered the sanctuary of God, then I understood the final destiny."
What he realizes here is eternity -- he realizes that our life is like a mist, a breath, and we are a dot on an eternal line on both directions.
Asaph is saying here, God gave me the perspective to get to see it this way. The prosperity those of the world seem to be enjoying so fully today, that's only for today. But we are eternal.
In the last verse, we see the transformation: "But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge, I will tell about Your deeds!" (Psalm 73:28)
It's as if in so many words he's saying, "Thank you, God! You let me see bigger than just the here and now. You took off my physical glasses and put on my spiritual glasses. You let me see that we are eternal beings in a physical body. And our knees are going to bow later to Jesus Christ."
This is the transformation we are invited to take, too. We stand here struggling to understand the momentary prosperity of those who don't fear God. But if we get really real with God, sharing with Him our hearts, He will take our physical/human/earthly glasses off and change our perspective as He puts our spiritual glasses on so that we may see that if we have Jesus on, we will be good for eternity. If we don't, we won't.
When we let go of the world and put on Christ, we gain something no amount of money/popularity/education/parties/etc. could even attempt to offer. Try as we may, we cannot live a perfect life. BUT, when we choose Jesus, we get credit for His perfectly lived life.
Romans 10:13 reads "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
When a person does that, there's an exchange. We give God our sin, He paid for it on a cross, dying the death we should have died, and Christ gives us His perfectly lived life so that we can appear instantaneously righteous in the eyes of God. When we are in Christ, when we choose Him over the world, God looks at us and He sees Jesus.
By ourselves, yeah, we're broken. But we get credit for His life, Jesus covers us, clothing us in His righteousness so that we may be right with the Father. Oh yeah, and it's for eternity.
I don't know about you, but that seems way bigger + better than some few years of prosperity on this earth that we so often tend to envy in others.
So let's come back to the question: Is there life in living for God now? Or is it a joke to give up everything this world has to offer and live for Him now?
In Exodus 34:14, there's a word that's used about God that baffles me. It says,
"Do not worship any other God. For the Lord is a jealous God."
Jealous. Isn't that kind of bizarre? To use that as a word to describe God. What does that mean?
In this context, it does not mean envying the well-being of someone else like in the way we generally hear it used. Here's what it means: if you think about a groom on his wedding night, with his family and friends, and he gets to have his bride. Everyone knows it and it's the happiest night of his life. If something, anything, poses a threat to that relationship and intimacy with his bride, that groom is jealous for his bride. He has fought, he has pursued, he has sacrificed, and that bride is HIS. And anything that would pose a threat to that will be eliminated, because that groom is jealous.
And that is what is true about the nature of God. In Exodus, we are told that God is a jealous God. So if we know that He is a jealous God, how does that fit with the question that we are exploring today?
If we look at it in this light, it's unreasonable to think that because the world looks more fun now, we should put God off til later.
God is a jealous God. It's unreasonable to claim that He would want LATER to have a relationship.
Think about marriage. What if you applied the same principle to marriage? What if a woman turned to her husband saying something like, "Hey, you know, we've been married awhile now. It's been nice and I know you love me and all. But my single girlfriends are having a blast going out to the bars meeting new men, look so stylish in all their expensive clothing from their big corporate job they have so much time for. So I think I'm going to try that out for a bit - it looks prosperous and fun and they are committed to a marriage and seem to be doing great! So I'll get my act together and come back into this in a few years, cool?"
No. It's bogus. It's ridiculous. It doesn't work in a marriage. A marriage isn't just a commitment, it's also a covenant. It's the same with God. In accepting Jesus, we are given Jesus as our mediator by entering into a sacred relationship and covenant with God. So as charming and prosperous life without God may seem, it's deceptive. It's empty. It's unsatisfying.
But in Christ, we have been given eternity. We are not our own, we are bought at a price that is too high for us to pay. A price that the world in all it's glamor and riches is indebted to.
Jesus Christ, when He was on earth, said a few things. In John 7:37-38, "Anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Anyone who believes in me, streams of living water will flow from within Him (and by that He means the Holy Spirit)."
He's not saying come later, He's saying come now.
There will be many things I don't understand, there are many doubts I face each day - I often feel like the queen of doubt, wondering if it's all worth it. I've made idols of all other things - money, family, fitness, looks, success, etc. But they all break down. and I've looked around and said, "Gosh, why is it that this other woman who does not fear God seems to be doing better than I? Why is she more successful/popular/smarter/graceful/etc.?"
But then the Lord hands me spiritual glasses, and reminds me of eternity -- of that lasting intimacy and true satisfaction.
Although I may not have it all figured out, that I may doubt often, I can still tell you this:
There is a satisfaction in the Lord Jesus Christ and in relationship with Him that you won't find in anything else.
IT. IS. WORTH. IT.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!
Photos by Kelly Halsch