No, I haven't been subscribing to the Joel Osteen blog, nor have I recently finished reading 'The Prayer of Jabez'. Instead, God told me (read: 'I've been reading my Bible', not, 'I just spent 90 minutes in heaven') to lift up my head, refocus my eyes, and enlarge my vision to try and take in the splendour of God's sovereign tapestry.
This is not a post about breaking through to the 'blessed life'. This is a post about the gospel, and how that gospel informs those seasons when I feel as though I'm wading waist deep in excrement.
I am convinced that many Christians, myself included, have spent far too much of their life with myopic vision. We've short-sightedly struggled through the hard days, hurtful comments, stressful circumstances, and threatening environments, without ever lifting our eyes to take in the grandeur of God's great design.
This is a post, as much for my sake as yours, to say, "Christian, enlarge your vision."
Refocus your eyes to discern the unseen things of glory. Tune your ears to hear the silent whispers of a God who says, "I'm not finished yet, the story isn't over." When the filth of this life fills your vision, and the stench of the corrupt clings to your clothes, when death's shadow casts its chilling tendrils over your soul - Christian, enlarge your vision.
2 Corinthians 4:15-18 (ESV)
For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
For all the Biblical warnings that this life is little more than a vapour, or a flower that only blooms in the cool light of a low morning sun, I invest an awful lot in the here-and-now! My spiritual short-sightedness is consumed with temporal needs, temporal losses, temporal pleasures, and temporal tortures.
Christian, enlarge your vision. 'Now' is not 'all'; there is more.
When the mist of my life burns away, and the 'sun of righteousness rises with healing in his wings' (Malachi 4:2), we will see that God's vision for life was far grander, far more comprehensive than we could ever imagine in our brief existence here on this corrupted earth. And what is 'everything' to us now, will be simply the Shadowlands to eternity; vague pointers to realities yet unseen.
This is where Paul exhorts us to fix our vision; on an eternal, unseen certainty.
So Christian, enlarge your vision.
"Though You Slay Me" by Shane & Shane (featuring John Piper)