FaithView: 7/13/22

Joe Torosian

By Joe Torosian

Text: 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
16—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.

***
I speak and share apart from family today…this FaithView is about career and choices.

***
When I was young–in the late stages of high school–reality set in that I wasn’t going to play pro or even college ball. When it was clear that academically I had put myself behind the proverbial 8-Ball and had a big hole to climb out of, I prayed a prayer.

It was a prayer that was a desire of my heart.

And a prayer that wasn’t answered immediately, but so, so, so, slowly.

I remember kneeling by my bedside in a confidence-lacking moment as all the stats of my then situation in life began to fill-up, stack up, and add-up.

I had food, health, a home, a loving family…but I was so lost. Between the ears, I had no direction. So I prayed and asked the Lord to help me live a life that mattered. To do something meaningful–important.

Well, I wasn’t going to be an athlete. I wasn’t going to be an astronaut, and I wasn’t going to be an airline pilot.

So as time passed and I plugged away, it became clear I wasn’t going to do anything on a grand-world-changing level. And that was okay…But periods come for all of us when we wonder if we’re making any difference.

I think the operative word here is; success.

Was I a success? Are you a success? Are we a success?

Who gets to measure, who gets to decide?

This wasn’t a depressing thought but a curious one. I’ve been very happy pressing on in the Lord. I don’t need pats on the back or, in today’s phraseology: I don’t need anyone to give me my flowers.

16—Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly, we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.

But the question lingered: Am I successful, or am I not successful?

And if I lingered on it too long, the enemy would attack. And, of course, we know (For those of us in the Christian faith who still believe there is an old serpent/Devil) that the enemy is all about encouraging us in our despair.

17—For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all

I stayed focused on God, clung tenaciously to my faith, and kept plugging away—keeping my mind focused. And, I could see the end glory. A glory that outweighed any despair and the lingering doubts of success versus failure.

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.

The only struggle was living this life in this frail tent with finite abilities to cope and understand everything happening around me day to day.

“God! What are you doing?”
“Why is this happening?”
“What more do you want from me?”
…and the rare…once every 20-years moment…
“I hate you, God!” (Followed by immediate free-will repentance)

Life’s hard enough without trying to measure ourselves against other churches, pastors, and believers. (So don’t even if I did.)

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.

That’s what I do…I keep pressing on. (Because even with doubt, I still get really ticked off when somebody tells me I can’t.)

COVID & Ministry, Ministry & COVID has humbled me in the good and the bad… It’s been hard, but I always try to keep my eyes on what is unseen–because it’s out there.

“It eluded us then, but that’s no matter—tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And then one fine morning—”–Fitzgerald.

Success or failure? You got me…(Shrug)…Who knows?

So I’m at youth camp this past weekend. Not our biggest camp at Granite Ridge. More like youth retreat in terms of numbers. I’m sitting on the floor and watching worship take place around me.

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I’m seeing high school students singing, getting involved, and being moved to the cross…And I thought this is a success.

Then it hit me…the success was God’s (Yahweh, if you like). I didn’t speak. I didn’t lead, but I did have a hand in the planning. Cool.

Then it hit me again…the success was God’s because he also directed the planning. He got the right people there, at the right time, at the right moment. His Spirit detonated and fell around us. I was just along for the ride.

Then…for a second…I considered; I had nothing to do with anything. It was a success, but I played no part in the success.

I still hadn’t done anything important. For a fraction, I thought—maybe I don’t matter? (Mmm? My voice or the enemies?)

Then it hit me…again…(It, likely, being a right-cross followed by a left-upper-cut from the Holy Spirit). My success–my important thing–the thing I had prayed for in the spring of 1982–had happened. But it was so slow (in my timing, not God’s), and I was so preoccupied I couldn’t see it.

My success (and yours—I believe this) can be found in obedience.

Every time I (we) was faithful when all I (we) wanted to do was quit. Every time I (we) kept my (our) eyes focused on the eternal…every time I (we) was obedient…I (we) was successful throughout my (our) life.

Obedience to the Creator of all things is the success, the validation we inwardly desire.

The chips can fall any way they want in the eyes of the world. The opinions can be any that the world or culture intends to form. But our success is not subject to them. Our success is cemented when we are obedient to the Lord.

The only disappointment for me is not seeing it sooner. (So see it sooner than me.)

Obedience to the Creator of all things is success.

So in the meantime.

Proverbs 16:3
Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.

Psalm 37:4
Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Pslam 3:5
Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.

***
Joshua 1:5-9
5—No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. 
6—Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. 
7—Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. 
8—This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 
9—Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

With that said…Please pray for us at kids camp this week…follow the link…and take a prayer slot (or five.)

Boom!

Click on the pic and go to our prayer sign up for kids camp…No registration or personal information is required…just pick a prayer slot or five…Thank you!

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