The good life.
What comes to mind when you hear these words? What do you picture?
Maybe vacations, or smiles, or putting your feet up and taking a nap, or tons of money. I think of waking up each morning with a smile and loving words from others. Or maybe you’re also practical, and you think of the good life as being a place without any pain. No sickness, no death, no suffering. I also wish this was so.
Unfortunately, this good life we wish for is just a scam. We hurt each other, we say hurtful words, we die. Sin affects each and every decision, person, and moment in our lives.
And sometimes, if we’re not careful, we can hang our hope on those sin filled things. It just hurts you in the long run.
Sometimes I wish, and I’m sure you do too, that we could live a life without any thing hindering us. We could live “the good life”. Sometimes we even ask God “why” when things happen to us that aren’t part of our personal definition of the good life. God needs to conform to our definition right? Wrong.
He never promised us that He will deliver us to our personal definition of the good life. Rather he has promised that he will use all his tools at his disposal to complete the work of redemption that he has begun in our hearts and lives.
Paul Tripp’s quote really pinpoints it here. Maybe our definition of the good life isn’t really as good as we think. After all, God says that everything except him and his Word is going to pass away. Most of the things I named on that list up there are material and one day will be gone. Then what will our definition of the good life be?
The real definition of the good life is very simple. It’s so simple, in fact, that we often miss it. The good life is our Christian walk that God is using to sanctify us! Each and every day we are being sanctified to be conformed to the image of Christ, whether we like it or not. Suffering is one of God’s amazing tools that he uses to sanctify us. It may not feel good on the front end, but later you will be amazed at what God has done in your life because of that trial.
Say you come in from playing in the dirt. You have a thick layer of dirt on your body. Then you go back outside, and you don’t come in until dark. Your mom first chastises you for being in the dirt, and then tells you to get in the bath tub. Is that dirt going to come right off, or are you going to have to scrub it? When you scrub it, it might sting a little, right?
Same way with our sanctification. It’s necessary if we are going to live the good life, but it hurts sometimes (okay, well, maybe it hurts a lot of the time). But we know it’s for our good and for God’s glory, so it’s all worth it.
One day we will stand before the throne and all will be right. No more sin or death will plague us!
The real good life brings real results. Will you choose the good life that seems good for a while, but perishes, or will you choose the real good life that results in becoming like Christ? It may hurt for a little while, but it will be worth it in the end. Choose to be joyful in the good life!