But God Has Something Better for Us :: By Gene Lawley

Often, as we grow older, we reflect on our struggles over our lifespan of the three score years and ten or more (Psalm 90:10), or less, and fight back tears, perhaps regrets, wondering why.

You have heard, perhaps, that changing only one letter in our “disappointments” will make all the difference in the world. Change the first letter from “D” to “H” and you have “His-appointments.”

What a difference that makes!

If we are connected with God, that is.

Jesus said, in John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

And Paul wrote, in Romans 8:18, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”

Sometimes we hear 1 Corinthians 2:9 quoted and the next verse left out but the two go together:

“But as it is written, ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him,’ but God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.”

Wow! The deep things of God—I must read that again…and again.

It reminds me of 1 Corinthians 13:12, “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.”

Sometimes we get a pink slip with our paycheck, telling us that it is the last one we will be getting on that job. Devastation comes crashing in, and who would ever relish the thought of that happening? No one! Or some other calamity hits us in our mid-section like a sledge hammer. It certainly gets our attention, and that just might be what God had in mind. Romans 8:28-29 tells us this:

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.”

Remember those troubling words (perhaps) at the end of the quote above from 1 Corinthians 2:9-10, “For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.” God wants to dig out the selfish, self-centered clutter in our hearts that makes it impossible for Him to fill us with His own goodness and blessing. If we are full of ourselves, He cannot find any place for Himself.

There is an interesting phrase in the passage of 1 Peter 1:5-7, “if need be,” that provides some enlightenment of God’s purpose for the things believers go through to reach His goal for us:

“[We], who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time–in this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

In Matthew 5:3-10 are nine attitudes to have that will make us truly happy, according to Jesus. Together they seem to encapsulate the essence of practical spiritual life, as the teaching of Jesus does so magnificently. Two that I want to highlight here are the first and the fourth ones, in a somewhat paraphrased manner:

“The truly happy are those who realize their own spiritual poverty” and “The truly happy are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.” The one who comes to the end of himself and still senses emptiness is the one whose hungering and thirsting draws him to the only source who can provide that need. It seems to be the summation of our spiritual journey of our lifetime on this earth.

(Some time ago I posted a three-part article analyzing the B-attitudes. If you cannot locate them on Rapture Ready.com, send me a request by email, if you want copies.) [1]

Another summation of the journey is at Philippians 2:12-13, where it speaks of our part and of God’s part—our submission and His completion:

“…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”

In Philippians 3 Paul recounts his accomplishments before he met Christ and dismisses them as mere garbage compared to what he had found in the Lord and declares that his goal was “that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,  if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead” (Philippians 3:10-11).

He goes on to declare that he was “forgetting those things that were behind him and was pressing on toward that goal.” Typically, then, he says to other believers, this:

 Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. Nevertheless to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind”(Philippians 3:15-16).

Is this, then, that “searching the deep things of God” that is mentioned earlier in 1 Corinthians 2:10?

When we realize and appreciate the fact that this “time capsule” we are in was created with a beginning and an ending, the words of Psalm 90:2 beckon us with an assurance that God has better and more enduring things when we are with Him:

“Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.” And, coupled with 2 Corinthians 1:20, the package is unbeatable: “For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. “


[1] Search for article in Rapture Ready.com: https://www.raptureready.com/gene-lawley/

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