In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed…But the holy people of the Most High will receive the kingdom and will possess it forever—yes, for ever and ever. –Daniel 7:13-14,18
It’s amazing how many things compete for our energy and attention: the traffic jam on the way to work, that coworker that drives you crazy, the screaming kid behind you in line at the grocery store, the washer that broke…again. They all chip away at our joy and over time can add up to serious discouragement. Sometimes we need to be able to step back and remember the big picture to put such things into perspective.
Daniel’s dream reveals the ultimate goal of God’s kingdom, which is about complete restoration of all things and eternal fellowship with Him. How exciting! No matter how chaotic things may seem in the world, or how discouraging things may be in our corner of it, the truth is that God is in control, and He is taking this world someplace. He never loses sight of His goal and He is never without a plan! And no matter where we find ourselves presently, when we persistently seek Him, we will always be exactly where He needs us to be. That’s the peace that comes with really believing in God’s sovereignty. When I am able to pull back from my little world and focus on where His kingdom is going, all those things that have chipped away at my joy seem so small and temporary. And when I’m facing truly heartbreaking, even devastating things (watched the news lately?), it brings me some comfort to know somehow it is all still in His hands. Maybe Paul thought along these same lines when he talked about our “light and momentary troubles” (2 Corinthians 4:17). When we compare our daily struggles to His kingdom and where we know He is taking it…we may find most things really aren’t worth giving away our joy.
Hang on to your joy this week. Spend time with God and ask Him to show you how He wants you to fit into the big picture. Ask Him to help you get the vision of where His kingdom is going and to let go of those little things that would try to distract you from your purpose.