I believe I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Psalm 27:13
We live in a world where selfies and social media can make our lives look real, real good even on a real bad day. Fortunately, there’s a filter for that! But, what happens when we take the filter off and our lives become unfiltered? What happens when we take the social media mask off and sit home alone wondering where is God in all of this? Well, it all depends on which lens you’re looking through. Your lens or God’s.
Unfiltered defined means not having been toned down, censored or edited. Random House’s dictionary.com defined unfiltered by one hyphenated word…Reality-based. Now that’s a sucker-punch to the jaw. Ouch! Yes, our reality is so much more painful than our latest post or picture would lead others to believe. Our reality is what hits us smack dab in the face when we close the door to the outside world. Often, our reality leads us to a place of discouragement.
What does it mean to be discouraged? Please, bear with me for one more definition then I promise I’ll stop teaching for a moment and just let the Word do the talking.
Webster defines discouragement as being deprived of hope or courage, something that obstructs or hinders our hope or courage. That’s exactly what discouragement does; it leaves us feeling hopeless. Fear is discouragement’s best friend, and they both stand in the doorway of our hope obstructing our view of God and hindering us from moving on. We can easily get stuck there.
Unfortunately, when life happens and we become discouraged, how do we find our hope again? How do we move past our pain and regain our courage? How in the world do we change our perspective to line up with the way God sees things? Well, that’s just it…it’s not of this world. God’s perspective comes from a heavenly mindset, a Kingdom outlook. God only has eyes for our good. We have to have faith to see things as God sees them. Click To Tweet
Faith begins as an unseen hope, many doubt that it’s real. But, because of Christ and His work on the cross, it is a reality that can be trusted. Hopefully, because we’ve seen and heard stories of the goodness of God, we can hope again. It’s vital that we share our stories to encourage others to believe again, to have hope again, to dream again. If we don’t, the enemy gets a leg-up in this world, so share your story and I’ll share mine.
They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. Revelation 12:11 (NIV)
I will move past my enemies with this one sure hope: that with my own eyes, I will see the goodness of the Eternal in the land of the living. Please answer me: Don’t give up. Wait for the Eternal in expectation, and be strong. Again, wait for the Eternal. Psalm 27:13-14 (VOICE)
Goodness in the Land of the Living
Without seeing the Lord in the land of the living or learning to see my circumstances through the lens of God’s goodness, I would have remained discouraged, defeated, depressed and dead; dead inside that is. We have a very real enemy. However, it isn’t really an enemy we are facing in our battles, but just life, in general. This life is hard; marriage is hard, parenting is hard, loss is hard. We live in a fallen world and Jesus told us that things wouldn’t be easy, but He did offer us some hope.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NIV)
Honestly, the truth is life happens and the consequences of this life are sin, death, destruction and disappointment. In this life, we can become truly discouraged. Especially when death comes in and leaves us behind to face a world without someone or some thing we have loved. How do we rejoin the land of the living when something has died within us or death has come and taken someone close to us away?
Is there any Goodness in Loss?
Perhaps, we’ve lost a dream, a marriage, our job, a friend, our health. How do we move on and trust God in our times of great loss? How do we look at our life unfiltered by our emotions and experiences that taint the picture? We’re human. Naturally, we filter things through what’s happened to us and how we feel about it, but there is a better way. It’s possible to step out in faith and learn how to endure our loss by looking at it through the raw, unfiltered goodness of God. Because, that is our reality. Although our vision has been skewed and our heart may be broken, He’s there in the midst of our pain, and He is good…all the time and in all things.
Here’s my story of the Goodness of the Lord:
My story begins almost ten years ago. One day, I received a phone call that changed my life forever…
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Additionally, for more encouragement on living the victorious life and living in the goodness of God, check out this post about Praying for Real Victory in Your Life!
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