Nuggets from An Urgent Call to a Serious Faith by Dave Hunt – Looking Beyond This Life on Earth
The trials of this brief life will soon be ended – either through death or the rapture. The Christian knows that though this body of flesh and blood may die and decay, he has a new body “eternal in the heavens” (2 Cor:5:1) that will never know pain, fatigue, or death. We have “an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for [us], who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation…” (1 Pet:1:4-5). Here is truth that ought to grip our hearts and make us always thankful – truth so wonderful that one would think we could never thank God enough. When did you last thank Him for eternal life?
As Christians, our hearts should be continually filled to overflowing with thanksgiving to the God who created and redeemed us. How wonderful that though we sinned grievously against Him and were His enemies, He became a man to suffer for our sins. His Holy Spirit pursued and wooed us to Himself with infinite love even when we persisted in our self-centered rebellion. What grace! What love! How can we take these blessings for granted?
The very life we have, with the capacity to know and love one another and, wonder of wonders, to know and love God and enjoy His love is a priceless gift. What gratitude should flood our hearts and lives and what fervent thanksgiving we ought to express to Him continually. And on top of it all, He has given us the surpassing privilege and joy of experiencing Christ’s life within our mortal flesh and witnessing for Him in deed and word right now. What thanks ought to burst forth continually from our hearts to Him!
Thanksgiving, however, is not enough. It should always lead to praise. And there is a difference. Thanks expresses appreciation for what God has done to benefit the one who is thankful. Praise goes beyond thanksgiving. It highly values, exalts, commends, extols, glorifies, and honors God for whatever He has done and especially for who He is. Praise takes us from the mundane to the majestic, out of ourselves into Him. It values God above all else. Thus, praise can flow only a heart that has come to know God.
How can we fully know God? Must not the praise of finite beings always reflect an imperfect understanding of Him who is infinite? Is it not an insult to evaluate God as less than He is? Then how can anyone truly praise Him? Yet Scripture says we can and must. Though praise is conceived in our imperfect perception of God, it matures into wonder and worship. Praise is made acceptable when it is amplified by the sense of awe that God is infinitely beyond our comprehension. That humble realization draws us closer to Him, sinks us deeper into His love, and compels us to seek to know Him better.