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Life’s Illusions

Life’s Illusions
By Jonathan C. Brentner

If you have followed the news regarding Brett Kavanaugh Senate hearings, you likely feel the same frustrations I do. The false accusation of a woman, who has no proof whatsoever of her claims, could derail his confirmation to the Supreme Court.

It feels as though the wrong is winning and perhaps for a moment it is. However, Scripture tells me that any success that some may have in discrediting Kavanaugh is not the end of the story. God will have the final say in the matter.

My Asaph Moment

As my frustrations regarding the false accusation against Kavanaugh increased, I had an Asaph moment. The Lord brought to mind the words of Psalm 73:17, “Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discovered their end.”

Like many of us, Asaph struggled with the success of the wicked while the innocent around him suffered. He felt the same bitterness many of us feel at times (73:21). It’s easy to identify with his frustrations.

It was then Asaph discovered two life-changing truths. First, he saw that the success of the wicked was an illusion, temporary at best. In verse 27 he said, “For behold, those who are far from you shall perish; you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you.” The triumphs the wicked are but a fleeting vapor; God will call them to account for their behavior and their end will far, far less than desirable (to put it mildly).

Lest you think Asaph was self-righteous, look closely at the end of the Psalm. His hope was solely in the Lord, not himself. This is the second truth we learn from Asaph: he placed his future, his salvation fully in the hands of the Lord, not himself. “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portions forever” (v. 26). Asaph trusted God alone for all the outcomes of his life.

When we see or experience injustice, we must never forget that our hope rests solely in Jesus’ righteousness and His life-changing work within us. The key difference between true followers of Jesus and those who promote a false agenda is simply that the Lord has forgiven all our sins and given us the Holy Spirit to empower our walk with Jesus and draw us back to the Savior when we go astray.

Life’s Illusions

As thought about Asaph’s words, many popular illusions of our day came to my mind.

First, many people today believe they can sin without accountability. The words of Ecclesiastes 8:12 come to mind, “Though a sinner does evil a hundred times and prolongs his life, yet I know it will be well with those who fear God, because they fear before him.” Going by earthly evidence alone, it appears that there is scant accountability for sin or evil behavior. However, this is not God’s reality.

This is why we so desperately need our Savior. He shed His blood on the cross paying the debt for all our sins so we might live forever. If you have not put your trust in Him, please do so today. Do not fall for the illusion that your sins do not matter. We all need the Savior!!

The second illusion is that the Lord will never intervene in the world to deal harshly with wickedness. Many foolishly believe God is all about love and will never punish the evil agenda of our day. Although highly popular in our world, Scripture repeatedly and totally dispels this glaring misconception (see Psalm 37:1-20 and Rev. 6-19).

Furthermore, those who ignore the warnings in 2 Peter 3:3-7 do so to their peril. Although we do not know when, a time of great tribulation is coming to the earth.

Third, many today fall for the trap that this life is all that matters. Those under this illusion gamble that even if an afterlife exists, a loving God will not reject them.

Fourth, another popular lie today is that hell does not exist. Many professing Christians also fall for this illusion. However, Jesus warned repeatedly warned people of its existence. If He is truly God, and He certainly is, than He cannot be wrong about His warnings of judgment and punishment.

Fifth, it’s easy to fall into the mindset that waiting on the Lord is not worth it. As a result, we face the temptation to run ahead of Him and try to fix things on our own. Or, we give up on waiting altogether.

I know waiting on the Lord can be excruciatingly difficult. We wait for Him to take action against the wickedness done to children through abortion and sex trafficking. We wait for Him to show up in our lives to relieve our pain or deliver us from our affliction. We wait, wait, and we wait.

While the Bible does not promise that waiting will be easy, it does say the Lord will someday act on our behalf and it will be more than wonderful.

For example, we eagerly anticipate Jesus’ appearing when He will give us immortal and imperishable bodies (1 Cor. 15:51-55). This is the future hope of the Gospel! Furthermore, Revelation 20-22 tells us that our future with Jesus will be nothing less than spectacular and joyous as we forever enjoy the wonders of a new earth and the New Jerusalem.

We see in the joyous refrain of Isaiah 25:9 that our wait for the Lord will well worth the wait! Someday we will celebrate the end of all our waiting as our faith will be sight and will be rejoicing in the physical presence of our Savior.

Success

Scripture contradicts the world’s definition of success. Viewed through its lens, we see that the greatest tragedies in life are those who acquire wealth, fame, and power yet reject Jesus and His gracious offer of salvation.

Conversely, the true success stories are those who truly know Jesus as their Savior and regardless of their worldly success use the resources, talents, and abilities they have to faithfully serve Him.

Jesus summed up this paradox of life, the illusion that this life is all that matters, in Luke 9:24-25, “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?”

I do not know whether or not the Senate will vote in favor of Brett Kavanaugh. However, I do know that God is sovereign and in control.

I also know that at some point the Lord will intervene in this world and it will be far, far, far better for those trust and wait for Jesus than for those who succeed in carrying out “evil schemes” (Psalm 37:7-9).

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