Yesterday was a hard day. It was the kind of day that would normally discourage me and cause me to wallow in self-pity for more than a few days. The good news was as I was preparing for the event that made my day hard, a Pharrell Williams song started playing in my head. Now, that’s not unusual, because Pharrell’s song “There’s Something Special” has been a song my kids and I have been listening to and singing since we heard it in Despicable Me 3.
But this time, it was different. This time, as I heard the words, I heard them as if the Lord was singing them back to me. I started singing along and felt the Lord draw close to my heart as I sang the song:
There’s something special on the other side of this moment
And it’s about what you and I decide
And it’s important for you to remember we did this together
And finally, they’ll know the story of our lives
It was more than just a song. It was an invitation to remember that no matter how bad the day got, no matter what went wrong or right with yesterday, my reward wasn’t what happened yesterday, but what waited for me “on the other side of this moment.” As I sang and received from the Lord, I could sense He wanted me to know there was a reward for treasuring Him in that moment, not the outcome.
We weren’t promised ease in this life. We were promised joy and trouble. William Barclay wrote, “Jesus promised his disciples three things—that they would be completely fearless, absurdly happy, and in constant trouble.” How do those things go together? How is one absurdly happy and in constant trouble?
Much of it, I believe, is done by keeping our eyes on the reward that awaits us for perseverance, faithfulness, and loving well. This reward may be found to some degree in this age, but it is fully realized in the age to come. There is an eternal reward that is stored up for us that is so easy to lose sight of right now, but it’s real and designed to encourage us when things are difficult.
Friends, regardless of what you’re going through, “there’s something special on the other side of this moment.” We need to remember that even the trials and difficulties we encounter here are forming something is us…something that can receive a reward greater than we can contemplate. Don’t forget the eternal things that are being stored up for you, right now, in this moment, based on your obedience.
It will strengthen you to follow Jesus.
[Editor’s Note: This is a 23-Day Series exploring different aspects of God’s nature and personality, using Tozer’s “The Knowledge of the Holy” as a discussion starter. You can read the introduction of the series here.]
Sometimes when you start talking about God and His nature it starts to sound more like a Sci-Fi story than the God that you’ve always thought you knew. This is certainly the case as Tozer begins to dissect God’s relationship with time. Instead of being someone who experiences time like we do, Tozer declares God stands outside of time. This doesn’t just make Him timeless or ageless, but alien to time. One of my favorite quotes from this chapter is this: “God dwells in eternity but time dwells in God.” This allows God to exist as the same God at every point in history. God is unbound by time.
According to Tozer, this should have two results in our life: It should cause us to seek refuge in Him and cry out to Him for Him to teach us His perspective of life on Earth. Finally, Tozer points out that the image of God inside of humanity longs for eternity, yet our fallen nature rages against the shortness of life. These two opposite desires meet resolution in the saving message of Jesus, who frees us to join God in eternity.
This chapter was an absolute thrill for me. I all too often forget how conscious I am of the day I live in, the constraints of time and scheduling, and the perspective of other time-bound humans. Reading about God’s eternal nature reminded me again how God is like the ultimate historian, who understands more from a big picture perspective than we do. He values heart attitudes and actions that are eternally good, not just the ones that are pronounced good by our ever shifting cultures.
Instead of causing us to believe that we have all the time in the world and there is no rush, the message of God’s eternal nature causes Moses to cry out to God for help to use his days wisely. “Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom,” (Psalm 90:12). When we see how limited our lives are compared to God’s eternal nature, it provokes in us a desire to use the limited time we have wisely. It frees us from the rat race and the trappings of our short-sighted cultures.
This message is so necessary in the body of Christ today! So often we are so bound by what is culturally appropriate, even though our culture has only existed a short time. Instead, we can be freed to serve a God who has eternal values that He backs up with eternal rewards. Giving your life to serve and witness to a remote village with little fanfare will make you neither rich nor famous. It can look like a waste of a life. But when we understand that we serve a God intent on drawing as many people as He can to His son Jesus and He rewards those who serve the least with places of honor in the age to come, then we can look at that life and call it wisdom. We can gladly surrender ourselves because we serve a God who isn’t bound by our shortness of life. And that is freedom.
My encouragement for you today is to take some time thinking about God and His eternal nature. And as you do, pray the prayer of Moses: “God, teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.”
That’s my take. Please share with us yours in the comment section!
It’s not to late for you to join in with us. You can catch up in the posts below:
The Knowledge of the Holy Series
Day 7: The Eternity of God
Day 8: God’s Infinitude
Day 9: The Immutability of God
Day 10: The Divine Omniscience
Day 11: The Wisdom of God
Day 12: The Omnipotence of God
Day 13: The Divine Transcendence
Day 14: God’s Omnipresence
Day 15: The Faithfulness of God
Day 16: The Goodness of God
Day 17: The Justice of God
Day 18: The Mercy of God
Day 19: The Grace of God
Day 20: The Love of God
Day 21: The Holiness of God
Day 22: The Sovereignty of God
Day 23: The Open Secret
Lately there’s been plenty of chances to be discouraged about things going on around me. So I thought I would share a few things that have kept me pursuing Jesus in the midst of disappointment.
First, there’s Paul:
I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?’
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:50-58)
And then…there’s Rita:
The encouragement from Jesus to me that I’m passing on to you is to be faithful and fulfill your calling in the midst of all the obstacles. God is faithful and the struggle for the age to come is worth the price paid here.