All Aboard the S.S. Whine and Worry
For all who are found in Christ–all born again believers in Jesus: If you are feeling overwhelmed by life and the pressures of daily living, I have some encouraging words for you tonight. As Americans we are in general a spoiled and complaining people. We complain. We whine. We worry. But the pressures and stress we face are real and unrelenting. We waste the night worrying about the next day and we spend our days griping and complaining about how nothing is going our way. Seriously, I wonder just how many hours we waste complaining to our friends, family, bosses, and pastors about how upset we are about everything. I would say the number would be staggering and startling! There are some days in which I whine, worry, and complain for probably a total of five hours. What a waste! I am without a doubt sick and tired of being sick and tired about everything in my life. I complain about people ignoring me. I whine about not getting recognition. No opportunities here. Lack of spiritual fruit there. I find myself questioning and whining like a little baby about how God has just simply made a mistake in calling me. Oh, us humans–we are just so predictable. Same song, different beat. This song was sung by Moses so many years ago, so my performance of the same song is nothing new under the sun. I worry about my family. I whine about my family. I worry about my family. Yeah, I’d say four out of the five hours of whining and worrying have something to do with my family. That is exactly what happens when my thoughts are nothing but carnal. And there is great danger here. Carnal thinking leads to carnal living. Likewise, spiritual thinking leads to spiritual living.
Response: Think about the Goal of Your Salvation
For those of you who have boarded the S.S. Whine and Worry with me, I pray these words might redirect your focus. For just one moment tonight, lose sight of the temporal and sit in thoughtful wonder of the eternal (Col. 3:1-2; cf. Matt. 16:23). Think heavenly thoughts tonight even as you live in this earthly abode. I fear too many of us have this attitude of “Boy this life is horrible…I sure can’t wait for heaven!” I have news for you: this doesn’t count as thinking eternal thoughts. I mean it kinda does, but you are missing the point and goal of salvation. The goal of your salvation, whiny Christian, is to be conformed to the image of Christ, who is the perfect image of God (Rom. 8:29; 2 Cor. 4:4; Col. 1:15; Heb. 1:3). This conformity or redemption of the imago Dei (image of God) which was distorted after the Fall, is progressive. So, in your daily dealings, know that the goal of that day is to be more greatly conformed to the image of Christ. Indeed, you were saved for this reason. Sanctification is the word, folks. And it is grand. For while we are considered and counted as righteous (Rom. 4:5), this holiness is not complete, but we are gradually being conformed into perfect holiness. The full expression of the image of God is distorted now, but for the redeemed, it is beginning to be restored to what it was in the Garden, and what it was ultimately in Jesus. So, while this has been a mini-sermon directed at myself, I pray that this will help you as well in your daily battles against sin and Satan–no matter the form. One exhortation: do not complain or whine or worry tomorrow as you have today. Instead, seek conformity. Pray for conformity. Desire conformity. Conformity to Jesus, the perfect image bearer of God. And may the glory of this image which is being daily restored shine more brightly each day for all to see (2 Cor. 3:18; Matt. 5:14-16).
Joy in the “Already, But Not Yet”
Paul is so certain and confident in the grace of God and work of Christ that he considers all believers to have already been predestined, called, justified, and glorified (Rom. 8:30). Already, but not yet. Walk in the confidence found only in Christ Jesus. Boast only in him crucified (Gal. 6:14) and may this empower you to live radically for his glory at work, home, and/or school today, tomorrow, and for days to come. If there is something in particular that you worry about or whine about on a daily basis, mention what the issue is in a comment along with your name and I will be glad to pray for you. And be sure to shoot me any questions you have on how you can better keep your focus on things of God in a culture that is counter-theos.
For we now begin to bear the image of Christ, and we are daily being transformed into it more and more; but that image depends upon spiritual regeneration. But then [at the time of the resurrection] it will be restored to fullness, in our body as well as our soul; what has now begun will be brought to completion, and we will obtain in reality what as yet we are only hoping for. – John Calvin
For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. – Romans 8:29-30
Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. – Matthew 6:25-34
Song of Worship: Highpoint Church – Christ Forever