By Scott Hilgendorff / Cowboys of the Cross
When you’re chasing your gold buckle dreams, do you see God as a means to success or is glorifying Him your purpose?
The answer will tell you a lot about your relationship with Him and changing your focus could bring about success in an unexpected way. Even what the world measures as failure or loss can be success when it points others toward a saving faith in Jesus.
Whatever we do, win or lose, it’s going to bring God glory, even if we never fully see how the pieces fit together.
Ephesians 1:11-12 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.
There’s so much teaching out there that overlooks the what’s in the Bible about struggles and the purpose they serve or the presence of sin that causes the struggles to exist in the first place. A few verses out of context can give us the idea that God will give us our heart’s desire. The only way for that to be true is if our heart’s are focused on Him and His desires for us.
When we seek God, and it’s His plan we’re following, he WILL give us what we ask because it is what he wants for us to begin with.
A verse that often has people thinking God will make wishes come true, suddenly means that yes, of course God will give us what we seek when it’s Him and His glory that we’re seeking.
Matthew 7:7-8 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
If a person with a terminal cancer diagnosis demonstrates joy and perseverance and points out to others it’s because of his or her faith in God and understanding of the Bible, they can find themselves at peace with their situation. It doesn’t mean they don’t pray for and believe that God could miraculously heal them. Sometimes that’s part of His plan. I’ve seen a bull rider go from expecting to die from lung cancer to the spreading disease completely disappearing between specialist appointments to talk about how they might extend his time here. I’ve seen a barrel man’s kidneys fail and the poison build in his body to the point they were preparing to move him to hospice to die, but suddenly find them working again and home from the hospital a few days later. And I’ve listened at church to the story of a young man in the congregation who had a disease that slowly suffocated him to death, sharing until the very end his trust and love for God.
Romans 8:18 I Consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
Paul is teaching through this section about the security we have in our salvation and that no matter what we go through here or how hard it might be, God will use us to reveal Himself. When we understand our time here is short compared to eternity and when we understand that our eternal home in Heaven is perfect, no matter what we go through here, we can be encouraged by knowing it can help others find their way home too.
Our gold buckle dreams are worth pursuing in our time here when God is at the center of them and we know He’s using us to bring Him glory, but the rewards we might gain here pale in comparison to what is coming in Heaven.