(continued from last week’s series on 1 Kings 19)
What does this teach us about God’s ways with His people? God will make His people happy. God will satisfy the deepest desires of our hearts. And in His wisdom and grace, God may never let us see the greatest desires in our heart because He knows there is something greater than that which we desire. What’s greater? God Himself! What’s greater? A glimpse at the glorious face of Jesus in the gospel. His life, His death, His resurrection, and ascension into glory accomplished more for us than we could ever imagine! The gospel makes us whole and happy. The gospel satisfies our deepest longings. The gospel calms the stormiest of seas and brings peace where there is no peace. It makes dead things burst forth with new life. It saves us. Listen to Paul in 2 Cor. 3:18 and following, “Therefore, we all with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another…Therefore having gazed into the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ…we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self, is being renewed day by day. For this momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison…we do not lose heart.” This means that for the Christian, the best is always yet to come, always.
Some of you, all of you, I…a lot of times, lose heart. Don’t! God ruthlessly and lovingly will not let us settle for lesser pleasures (even if they are glorious in themselves and beautiful beyond all compare). He will fight (our hearts if need be) to give us what is best for us, Himself. God is saying to us through a megaphone from 1 Kings 19, “Don’t underestimate me. I won’t let your deepest desires come to pass, because I know that what you desire is not what you need right now, you need Me. I’m enough for you, Elijah. I’m enough for you, Moses. I’m enough for _____ (insert your name here). I’m the only treasure worth having and I’m the only treasure that can’t be taken away from you.”
A hymn called When Trials Come says it like this, “When trials come, no longer fear, for in the pain, our God draws near, to fire a faith worth more than gold, and there His faithfulness is told, and there His faithfulness is told.” The hymn IT IS WELL says it like this, “Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, Let this blest assurance control, That Christ has regarded my helpless estate, And hath shed His own blood for my soul. David crowder said it like this, “We are His portion and He is our prize, drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes, if His grace is an ocean we’re all sinking. And heaven meets earth in an unforeseen kiss, and my hearts turns wildly inside of my chest, and don’t have time to maintain these regrets when I think about the way He loves us.”
Psalm 119 says like this: 119:67, “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your Word.” 119:71, “It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn Your statutes.” 119:75, “I know O’ Lord that Your rules are Righteous, and that in faithfulness You have afflicted me.” Lastly 119:92, “If Your Word had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.”
Every single one of us faces this choice. We face our dashed hopes and ache and cry and mourn and ask why, maybe a thousand times in dark of the night. But in the end…don’t underestimate God, or His commitment to His glory and therefore our everlasting joy. He will graciously rip out of us the desires that He knows, though good, are not for us right now, and leave us limping on His grace with only Himself to show us that “His grace is sufficient for us, that His power is made perfect in weakness.” …not losing heart, we go on fixed on Him as our treasure. Both Elijah and Moses knew after the transfiguration that God had given them what their hearts had always desired by giving them a glance at Jesus. And you and I also, should learn that when our hopes are dashed, our hearts will find everything they ever wanted, if we look to Jesus too.
Praise God that can and does overcome hearts that are overcome, in the gospel.