“Therefore let no one boast in men. For all things are yours: whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or the world or life or death, or things present of things to come—all are yours. And you are Christ’s and Christ is God’s.” (I Corinthians 3:21-23)
When we sin to get something or sin if we do not get it, this is a clear indication that we are looking to a false idol — something that we think will bring us happiness. This is a definition that struck me as an effective diagnostic tool to evaluate our actions. It helps to clarify that “sin” includes attitudes like envy, anger, frustration, bitterness, lack of joy and thankfulness, which are all founded on belief.
When confronted with painful and seemingly hopeless circumstances cradled in the emotions of fear, helplessness, and despair, the promises of God seem pat, distant, or even a cruel form of mockery. While we know that it is blasphemous to say it, we are tempted to connect our suffering with the conclusion that God is distant, unfair, or mean-spirited.
At just this point, God reminds us that faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the confidence in things unseen (Hebrews 11). In the same chapter, we are reminded that the faith that pleases God is connected to our view of His goodness (vs. 6). We have to choose between what God has said about Himself and the poignancy of our feelings. To choose our feelings is to choose despair. Choosing God brings hope, but not without perseverance. The ruts of our feelings and experience run deep. We need the daily if not moment by moment reassurance of the truth of this passage in 1 Corinthians.
If we have ALL in Christ, we will have no lack and therefore no need to pine for what we do not have or to harbor disappointment for not receiving the same. Let us encourage one another daily so that we may be strengthened in our perseverance and rest in the source of all hope.