The following article is an excerpt from "A Book of Bible Study"
by Joseph F. Harwood.
To download the book in PDF format, visit our home page at https://www.abookofbiblestudy.net/
As those who have been called to faith in Christ, our portion and reward is not in this life. Our portion is an inheritance in Heaven that will last forever.
We may wonder why God has ordered and ordained things in His creation the way He has, and we may very much wish that He had done things differently. However, the ways and wisdom of God are beyond man’s understanding, as the Bible teaches us in passages such as Romans 11:33, Ecclesiastes 8:16-17, and Ecclesiastes 11:5.
Since God in His wisdom has ordained that we must share in Christ’s sufferings now during our present lives in order that we may also share in His glory in Heaven (John 12:24-26, Romans 8:17), we as God’s people will be numbered among those who are poor, who hunger and who weep now (Luke 6:20-23). We will be hated, rejected, and excluded by those of the world who do not know God. We might also expect that our lives may be more characterized by having received our “bad things”, as was the case with the beggar Lazarus, rather than the many “good things” received by the rich man in Jesus’ parable of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31).
When we consider the life of the rich man, let us also consider Psalm 17 where David prayed:
…Deliver my soul from the wicked with Your sword,
From men with Your hand, O Lord,
From men of the world, whose portion is in this life,
And whose belly You fill with Your treasure… (Psalm 17:13-14).
We as believers are not among those whose portion and reward is in this life. Rather, we are among those who will weep and mourn in this life, while those who belong to the world will rejoice, as Jesus taught us in John 16:20-22.
Now is our time of mourning as we share in the sufferings of Christ, but the day is coming for every believer when we will see Him face to face (1 Corinthians 13:12), and then no one will ever take away our joy again. At that time we will fully understand what God was accomplishing through all of the sufferings we endured. Until that day, God requires of us that we walk by faith, and not by the sight of that which can be seen and fully understood (2 Corinthians 5:7).
The Scriptures teach us that as believers we should not make valuations in our lives and assess the blessing of God in the same way that the world does. All of the valuations and ways of the world are contrary to the ways of God, as Jesus taught us when He said: “…that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.” (Luke 16:15).