THIS WEEK: A Mission-Minded Person Has Certainty!
One of my favorite trilogies of movies was the “Back to the Future” series starring Michael J. Fox. The second movie in the series took the characters from 1985 to 2015 where there were hovering skateboards, self-tying Nike Shoes and the Chicago Cubs winning the world series (which ironically they did in 2016!)
The fascination was a glimpse into the future. What would happen? What would it be like?
Having a clear vision of the future makes a difference to our effort in the present. All the hard work and effort one undertakes to start a business, build a building, or develop an organization start with a vision of what this could do and be in the future. When times get tough, the vision of what will be keeps energy high and hopes alive.
Jesus knew he and his disciples would be going through a tough period of time. Their image of a Messiah who would be victorious and even perhaps a world leader would be shattered when they see him beaten and hung on a cross. They would find themselves afraid and uncertain of the future as they locked themselves in after the crucifixion.
So Jesus wanted at least the three key leaders of the disciples and the future church to have a glimpse of the future in their minds. So he took them to the mountain of transfiguration and showed them his glory.
Mark 9:2-3 “After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them.”
This glimpse of Jesus’ future would create an image in their mind of something greater and more glorious than the suffering Jesus would go through. Did they fully understand it at the moment? Probably not, but later after his resurrection they would. (Which is probably why they were told not to tell anyone until after Jesus had risen from the dead.)
Jesus wants us to have the same glimpse of what is to come as we go through the challenges and difficulties of life. Satan loves to tempt us to give up our connection to Jesus and being part of his mission, lying to us that it’s too hard, not worth it, or a hopeless cause.
Just the opposite. Jesus wants us to stay encouraged, engaged, and excited about our connection to him and the work he has given us to do. How does he do that? He gives us a glimpse of the future to give us clarity of what is to come. The Apostle Paul captures it in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18:
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Don’t lose heart. Following Christ is tough, but eternally worth it.
Apply: What changes about your current struggle/challenge if you focus on where Jesus is ultimately leading you versus the challenge you are currently involved in?
Prayer: Lord, help me to keep my eyes fixed on where you are leading me so I don’t give up and get discouraged in the present challenge I face. Especially Lord, don’t let me become discouraged of the mission you have given us to bring the Gospel to the world, even when the work is challenging. AMEN.