I remember as a young adult thinking that somewhere along the way, I’d figure out how this life works. Several decades have passed. I figured some things out, but there is still so much I don’t know or understand – even more than when I was a young adult. Yet, I have learned to identify and go after some critical pieces I can manage to make life good.
Life Is Different Than Most of Us Thought
Life is different than I first assumed when younger. Even values shift inside a person’s soul as time ticks by. You begin to see values that are low risk / high yield are worth going after. However, by the time you figure this out, many opportunities to make life good have long passed by. Eventually, one’s understanding catches up to reality. Blessed is the person who goes after eternal values by faith even in youth. Yet, blessed is the person of any age who chooses God’s values by faith. Yes, the prizes of Scripture are for everyone. God specializes in redeeming losses.
Where Do You Start to Make Life Good?
We have to start here; there’s no other way. Jesus is simply the greatest gain in life. He is absolutely worth going after – the very prize of life! Scripture suggests Jesus is the “Pearl of Great Price.” (Mt. 13:45-46 – J.B. Phillips) To have Christ is to have abundant life, meaning, and purpose. Priorities originating from Him bring value to existence. He is the “connect-point” to God. Sharing life with Christ each day is the joy of being alive. Forming your life in the pattern He formed when He lived as a man on our earth is never a mistake! Jesus cares about you – all of you – every part of your design and personality. As your Creator and Designer, He loves the essence of what makes you “you.” There is no greater Friend. Jesus makes life good.
Proactively Lean Into Jesus
So, this is your part. Continually leaning into Christ is an intentional action you can practice every day in every detail of every life issue. Leaning into Jesus means coming close to Him. (Jas. 4:8) It means talking with Him through the day. “Pray continually.” (2 Thess. 5:17) And it means being still before the Lord. (Ps. 46:10) Waiting for Him is part of leaning into Him. (Ps. 40:1; Lam. 3:26)
This closeness with Jesus guides your heart even when nothing makes sense. At first glance, God’s reality doesn’t make sense. Your own thoughts and logic make more sense to you. This is when you humble yourself and select His reality over your own. It feels weird – even miserable as you make this choice early on and learn how to do it. But choosing God’s reality as laid out in His Word is your best, most logical choice. Very soon – or soon enough – you will see the wisdom of His ways, and you will be relieved. The more you walk with and enjoy Jesus, the more there is to take hold of. His surprises become yours. But you have to lean into Him. Jesus makes life good.
Jesus Christ loves you so much. In great wisdom, He has called you to Himself and given you a life purpose. You could say Jesus has “taken hold” of your life for Himself and for His great plan. Each day you discover all He has prepared, even while pilgriming through this broken world. Your life is not coincidental or accidental. God wants you to be His dear partner. So lean.
The Scorch of Life
The scorch of life is painful and damages your inner heart. But it cannot steal the goodness of life unless you let it. God knows what’s happening. He feels your pain because His Spirit lives inside you if you have trusted Jesus. He is your empathizing Companion and Friend in hard times and all times.
So, what do you do? In the scorch of life is when you go after Jesus with all your passion. Lean into Him for comfort. Trust His love. Obey His principles. You’ll find Jesus heals your inner heart over and over as life tramples and damages it. You get to be whole – if you stay in Christ. Jesus makes life good.
To hold onto Christ means letting go of other things and people. Let go of hurts and sorrows. Leave mistakes and injustices in the past. Simply walk away from them and into the great heart of God. Scripture teaches to “put off” certain things and in their place to “put on” certain other things that make life good. (Col. 3:8-10) Let go of what you hold onto so tightly so you can grab onto new things God shares – like His deep love, comfort, and pulsing life that flows into your own heart. You can’t hold onto both. So, let go . . . because Jesus makes life good.
Having Purpose Makes Life Good
Let each day be fresh and new by living in the purpose God has for you. Yes, press into His purposes for you. That is a deliberate action you engage with eager expectation. It’s involvement. Participation. You have control over what you go after. Go after Christ, who IS your life. Leave the irreparable past and embrace the irresistible future in Jesus. Press on toward the goal. Win the prize. Jesus makes life good.
God has called you. You can be free from the past and live a meaningful life every day as you stay close to Jesus. Let God define what your life looks like. Give your past to Him even as you trust Him with your future. Have you responded as a “living sacrifice?” Why not accomplish all God had in mind when He created your beautiful life? Your life purpose is your adventure to discover. Live thoughtfully and responsibly.
Your presence on earth in this timeframe is critical. God wants you to leave a mark, to have influence. He wants to bless others through you.
Application Questions and Thoughts
Is your central focus to have more of Christ and your desire to please Him? Are you leaning into Jesus? Have you let Him heal your scorched soul? Have you let go of old things so you can hold onto new things from Him? What kinds of things are you doing to carry out God’s Will? What will you do today to focus more directly on God’s purposes for your life? Be specific about changes you need to make. Who can you focus your prayers on and reach out to? When others they observe your life, do they see Jesus makes life good?
Article developed from Phil. 3:12-16.