Tuesday, October 11, 2011

31 Days of Joy: Future Joy



“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Corinthians 4:16-17, NIV).
  
This was a verse that I clung to last fall when I had my bad crash.  There were many days that I would lie completely still in bed, too tired to even roll over.  Due to lack of proper blood flow to my brain I could not think clearly.  I did not understand what was going on, but I knew that my body was failing me.  It was a confusing and scary time.
  
On many days I could not see or think clearly enough to read my Bible, but I could remember 2 Corinthians 4:17, a verse that I had committed to memory a few years before.  I would say it over and over in my head, not understanding the suffering I was going through, but trusting that God promised one day it would all be worth it, trusting that my future reward in Heaven would be greater if I was faithful in the very difficult and confusing present.
  
In August of last year, just two weeks before my crash, I was asked to write a guest post for (in)courage.  I chose to write about 2 Corinthians 4:16-17 because it had been an encouragement to me in the past.  Little did I know that those two verses would have such a tremendous impact on my life in the months yet to come.  By the time my post was published in October I had been clinging to 2 Corinthians 4:16-17 daily for two months.  Those verses gave me hope and joy in the midst of weakness and uncertainty.
  
There is purpose to our present sufferings, and we do not suffer in vain.  If you are a believer, you have great joy awaiting you in Heaven.  I like what Joni Earekson Tada says in When God Weeps:
It’s not merely that Heaven will be more wonderful in spite of our anguish; it will be more wonderful because of it.  Suffering serves us.  A faithful response to affliction accrues a weight of glory.  A bounteous reward.  God has every intention of rewarding your endurance… 
…Whatever suffering you are going through this minute, your reaction to it affects the eternity you will enjoy.  Heaven will be more heavenly to the degree that you have followed Christ on earth. "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us" (Romans 8:18).
Knowing of the joy that awaits in Heaven gives me great comfort in my trials today.  One day it will all be worth it.  Persevering and remaining faithful to the Lord now will bring me greater joy in the future.
  
Dear sister in Christ, remain faithful in the trials you face today.  The joy awaiting you in Heaven is worth suffering faithfully for!

Photo Credit: Leia Speia

8 comments:

janie said...

Rachel, thank you for this timely post on Future Joy.  It reminded me to look past my circumstances knowing that God's reward is so much greater than relief of temporary suffering.

Kristen said...

Very encouraging to me today!  Thanks Rachel!

Rachel Lundy said...

Thanks for letting me know, Kristen.  I'm thankful that it encouraged you.

Rachel Lundy said...

You're welcome, Janie.  I'm glad it encouraged you.  The promise of Heaven is what keeps me going some days.  One day this will all be more than worth it!

Richella said...

I've just spent a good bit of time reading several of your posts.  Wow!  I'm so glad you linked to the "Best of 31 Days" party!  Reading about your joy even in the face of your chronic illness really encouraged and challenged me.  

II Corinthians 4 is one of my favorite chapters in the entire Bible.  The ministry I work with is named for verse 16--"Renovare'" is the Latin word for "to renew," which is the word used in that verse.  We are being renewed day by day!  Thank God for his work in us.

I'm so glad to meet you!

Melanie said...

This is beautiful! Thank you so much for linking up so I could read it. Wow, you have really taken something that could have caused bitterness and used it to show God's glory and strength! Praise God! That is wonderful!

Love this..."Knowing of the joy that awaits in Heaven gives me great comfort in my trials today. One day it will all be worth it. Persevering and remaining faithful to the Lord now will bring me greater joy in the future."

Beautiful reminder to my heart.

Many blessings in 2012,
Melanie

Rachel Lundy said...

Thanks so much for coming by, Richella.  It is nice to meet you.  The ministry you work with sounds really neat.  I pray that God will use you will bless many lives through your work there.

Rachel Lundy said...

Thanks so much for coming by, Melanie!  

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