I love the story of Queen Esther in the Bible. All the circumstances in her life led up to her ultimately being used by God to save an entire nation. While the circumstances and results in our own lives may be significantly less dramatic, the same principle holds true for us. Everything we have ever experienced has prepared us for the moment in which we now live. Beyond that, everything we are going through right now is conditioning us for future moments in our life. Nothing is ever wasted. Every experience has a purpose. This should significantly alter how we react to trial and hardship.
Once we recognize that present pain is little more than preparation for a bigger future, our perspective should change from one of despair to determination. We cannot say why we are going through what we are today. It could be no more than the result of sin in our world. Evil exists and will continue to inflict its damage until Christ returns. As a result, we are often affected by the collateral damage caused by the sinful decisions of others or ourselves. Suffering is never pleasant, but understanding that the light afflictions of today are working an eternal glory should give us strength to endure them (2 Corinthians 4:17).
It is our duty to be prepared to handle the trials when they appear, knowing that we are being sharpened and hardened for a future purpose. Life is never only about the moment in which you find yourself. It’s about that moment and every one that will follow it. Everything in our life is the result of the tiny building blocks that are constructed with every decision we make. A seemingly small choice today will either manifest itself by reaping great future blessings or wreaking great future havoc. No decision lives in isolation. Every choice we make has eternal significance and impact.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the problems of the day. Our trials and frustrations are personal and thus can feel like the entire world is weighing on our shoulders. In those times, we must widen our perspective. Life is not about us, nor is it our mission to make certain we are always happy and comfortable. Our purpose for living is to glorify God and to demonstrate His love to everyone with whom we come into contact. Along the way, things may get messy and painful. Our only hope to endure it all is to keep our eyes focused solely on Jesus.
What is it you are going through today? Are you looking at it only from the perspective of how it affects you right now, or are you looking to Jesus and asking how He might use your current situation to bring Him glory in the future? Your response to that question will profoundly impact the way you live. Stop looking at your current situation and focus on learning everything you can from it. Everything we’ve ever done has prepared us for this moment. May we live it well.