Glorious Destiny

I was so foolish and ignorant—I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you. Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. (Psalm 73:22-24, NLT)

Father God, I admit my understanding is limited. You are all-knowing, but my finite mind cannot grasp the complexity of You or Your creation. Despite this, thank You for always being with Your children. Like a caring, protective parent, You hold us by the hand; You keep us on the right path, steady us when we slip, and are the best companion we could ever want. You share wise counsel that offers trustworthy guidance through both the calm and difficult terrains of life. And every step we take moves us closer to the fullness of Your glory. Holding Your hand through this life is wonderful, but being with You forever will be even better! Our glorious destiny will be the ultimate far more life experience.

Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. (Psalm 73:25, NLT)

Most High God, I am eager to be with You. My eternal security is in You; it does not lie in angels, fate, karma, or any other spiritual being or idea. Your Son gave His life to purify me and bridge the gap between us, and you are preparing for my arrival in Heaven (John 14:2-3). Nothing in this life or on this earth is more attractive to me than a relationship with You. I may enjoy aspects of my life here, but I await the day I can leave it behind and see You face to face. I only find far more life in You. You are my future, my glorious destiny.

My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever. (Psalm 73:26, NLT)

Glorious Creator, You made our bodies from dust, and sometimes that fragility shows. We suffer from illness and disease. We grow tired of the daily physical, emotional, and spiritual battles that confront us. But through good moments and bad, You strengthen our hearts. Your Spirit dwells within us to keep our peace, joy, hope, love, and more alive and thriving. Your Spirit will never fail or grow weak within us: what a glorious destiny! Far more life is always available to us, starting the moment Christ became our Savior and lasting forever. We only have to look to You for all we need.

Those who desert him will perish, for you destroy those who abandon you. But as for me, how good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do. (Psalm 73:27-28, NLT)

God Who Sees, Your Word tells us that not everyone who claims to follow You is Your child; some will reveal the true condition of their heart by leaving You when they face adversity (Matthew 7:21, Luke 8:13). But those who have truly given their hearts to You want to be near You. With You as our shelter, we can weather any storm. You are our safe place when danger threatens. You are our stability when everything is shifting. Experiencing Your protection and provision proves Your character to us. Doubts about your reality, care, and involvement fade when we see You act in our lives. Far more life wants others to experience You, too! We share our story of You with others who seek a glorious destiny.

Truly God is good to Israel, to those whose hearts are pure. (Psalm 73:1, NLT)

Righteous God, thank You for showing Your goodness to Your children. First, to the Israelites, then to all who have been made righteous through Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:11). You have purified our hearts (I Corinthians 1:30) and blessed us with far more life. A relationship with You is the best gift, but You have given us so much more. Thank You for Your generosity and our glorious destiny. Thank you for far more life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Sisters,
How has God guided you, even when you were foolish and ignorant?
What competes with God for your attention and desire?
How has God strengthened your heart when your flesh and soul were weak?
When have you made God your shelter? What story can you tell?
Thank God for a pure heart, a glorious destiny, and far more life!
-Shari

Copyright 2021, Shari Damaso
Photo Credit: Jennifer Marsh

P.S. I would like to share your definitions of far more life — and Bible verses that remind you of far more life — in a future blog. If you are willing to share, send them to farmorelife@gmail.com.

Gold!

 …Now for a short time different kinds of troubles may make you sad. These troubles come to prove that your faith is pure. This purity of faith is worth more than gold. Gold can be proved to be pure by fire, but gold can be destroyed. But the purity of your faith will bring you praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ comes again. (I Peter 1:6-7, ICB)

Throughout history, gold has been viewed as valuable. It contains an array of unique and beautiful colors. It absorbs light, which makes it appear to shine. It is rare enough to be special, but still possible to find. It is hard to locate and extract from the earth in large quantities. It does not corrode. It is malleable and can be formed into different shapes. When melted, it can be poured into forms and stamped for practical uses, like money, or admired in jewelry and decor. It does not react with other elements, allowing it to retain its beauty over time. The purer a piece of gold is, the more valuable it is.

God compares our faith to gold. Faith is beautiful. It shines. It is relatively rare. It is hard to find on the earth in large quantities. It does not corrode. It is malleable. Faith is practical but also admirable. It retains its beauty over time. The purer faith is, the more valuable it is.

Gold can be proved to be pure by fire. Raw gold has other elements mixed in with it. It is purified by being heated by fire or electricity, then introducing a chemical that pulls out the impurities (non-gold components).

These troubles come to prove that your faith is pure. God compares the process of refining our faith to refining gold. Trials are the heat that is applied to our faith. They bring ungodly beliefs, thoughts, and actions to the surface so they can be removed from our lives. The result in God’s children is far more life — a purer faith that is a better reflection of God.

The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the heart. (Proverbs 17:3, NIV)

This purity of faith is worth more than gold. This seems like a strange comparison, comparing seemingly-intangible faith with tangible gold. But our faith results in actions. It shapes our decisions. It permeates every aspect of our lives. That makes it tangible. Our faith is real to God, too. It is valuable to Him. He will use one of earth’s most valuable elements — gold — to make the streets in Heaven (Revelation 21:21). Those streets will be beautiful, but our faith is infinitely more beautiful and valuable in God’s economy!

Gold can be destroyed. Humans do not know how to destroy gold. We can dilute its purity, but it still exists. We can dissolve it with chemicals, but that only causes it to disperse further. Perhaps God can destroy gold by some power or force that is not available to us. The Greek word that was translated “destroyed”, apollymenou, can mean “to no longer serve the use for which they were designed”, so perhaps that is a better interpretation. Using either meaning — destroy or make unusable — these verses contrast gold’s destructibility with our faith. There is no trial that can destroy genuine faith. Nothing can cause it to stop serving its purpose in our lives. In fact, our faith leads to eternal life:

For you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (I Peter 1:9, NIV)

Here are other Bible verses that use gold to illustrate a spiritual lesson:

The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold. (Psalm 119:72, NIV)

Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her. (Proverbs 8:10-11, NIV)

God’s guidelines for life are more precious than gold! They offer value for both this life and the next one.

Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. (Acts 3:6-7, NIV)

The lame man did not recognize Peter possessed something more valuable than gold. Peter looked beyond the man’s obvious need and met his deepest need. God’s work in our lives is also precious and priceless!

For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. (I Corinthians 3:11-13, NIV)

The writer uses physical building materials as an analogy for the components of our lives. Some, like gold, are valuable investments of our time and energy that God will reward when we reach Heaven. Others are not deemed valuable by God and will not gain us anything in Heaven. Far more life builds with gold!

Sisters,
What aspect of gold is most appealing to you? How do you see that aspect in your faith?
How have trials refined your faith? What impurities have they exposed and removed?
What is your reaction to the claim that faith is valuable? Do you value it more than gold?
Are there areas of your life where your faith seems unusable? Ask God to help you see how faith can add value in those areas.
Where are you using gold to build your life? What is not gold that could be?
Thank God for the richness of faith and far more life that accompanies it!
-Shari

Copyright 2020, Shari Damaso