Short Term Gain, Long Term Pain

What do you do when things are not going how you want them to? It seems life just isn’t going your way. The things you hope for and desire are unfulfilled and feel as if they will never come to fruition. It seems God has forgotten you.

The Israelites suffered from this same anxious feeling. They focused on their current circumstances and what they lacked, not God’s promise of what lay ahead for them. Psalm 106:13-15 tells us: “They quickly forgot His works; They did not wait for His counsel, But craved intensely in the wilderness, And tempted God in the desert. So He gave them their request, But sent a wasting disease among them (NASB).”

God wants to give us what is best for us in His time. When we grow impatient with Him, it can cause us to settle for satisfying our desires our own way instead of God’s way. We settle for short term choices that may feel good at the moment, but ultimately leave us feeling empty like a wasting disease. God is about the long term; about what is best for our life.

Psalm 106:23 tells us, “Therefore He said that He would destroy them, Had not Moses His chosen one stood in the breach before Him, To turn away His wrath from destroying them.” Our impatience with God reminds us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).” But like Moses, Jesus stood in the breech for us. God asks for our patient obedience because he desires good things for us.

© 2022, Chris G Thelen

And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him.” – Acts 5:32

For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, – 1 Thessalonians 5:9

5 thoughts on “Short Term Gain, Long Term Pain

  1. In the study guide for my book “BARRIERS (So, if prayers are so powerful, how come mine don’t get answered?)” is the question, “Which would you rather have, God’s best in ten years, or second best now?” Most of us would like to think we’d say, “God’s best,” but if we’re honest with ourselves …

    1. That’s a good question — interesting way to frame it. It is a daily challenge to chose God’s path, his best, for our life. I think it was Chuck Swindol who once presented the question: “If God gave you a box that held everything that would happen to you in the next ten years, would you open it?” Thanks for the comment. Blessings.

  2. “God is about the long term; about what is best for our life.” Amen! This reminds me of a quote by Eugene Peterson: “God seeks those who show a long obedience in the same direction.”

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