Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” – John 12:23-28
There have been times when I “hated my life in this world,” because it wasn’t the positive experience that I had hoped it would be. I am not exactly sure what is at work in me that leads me to these valleys of discouragement, but I can begin to lose hope and develop an unhealthy cynicism concerning ministry, and I consider myself a pretty upbeat guy!
Thinking back, I may have convinced myself that I wanted more from this life, that life could somehow be better. Of course this meant that rather than “hating” this life, I “loved” it and wanted from it what it could never give me, which is true contentment. There are, however, common everyday joys for the one who finds contentment in Christ.
Most of us have had the pleasure of knowing “saints” who endured with grace the many trials God had allowed into their personal lives. Such people regularly testified to their hope in Christ alone and their joy in the promise of finally attaining their reward. These brothers and sisters in Christ learned that there comes a time for each of us when we must let go of “this” in order to gain “that.” Lord, no matter the circumstances, help us to always be “letting go.”
Between us and heaven or hell there is only life, which is the frailest thing in the world. – Blaise Pascal