Friday, October 9, 2015
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You'd think "teenager" is a disease instead of an age. I mean, the way parents talk about it when they suddenly have a teenager on their hands. You know, they get this apprehensive look on their face, and they say, "My daughter's about to be a teenager!" You can hear the pain in their voice; the fear. Thirteen is a tough year. Sometimes we want them to go away somewhere and come back like when they're fifteen or sixteen! Not really, we really do love them. But when kids navigate through junior high and those kind of years, parents often look at one another – my wife and I did – and say four letters which stand for four words, "T.T.S.P."
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "4 Words For the Hard Times."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, and it's about T.T.S.P. What does that mean? It's pretty simple, This Too Shall Pass. I love the way the old King James says, "And it came to pass." Well, when we said that about our kids in junior high, guess what? It did! It came to pass. This, too, did pass.
Let's go to 2 Corinthians chapter 4, "Therefore, we do not lose heart." Okay, you got my attention, Paul. After all you got beat up, why did you not lose heart? "Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles..." Did you get that? Doesn't it feel like when you're going through a hard time that it's going to go on forever? He says, "Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 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."
You know, when our son was, I think eight years old, he and I went to the grocery store together. I had just gotten my allowance and he had just gotten his. And I heard him jingling his change in his pocket, and we both headed out the door shopping. I was pretty sure when I saw him in that long aisle of junk food that he was going to come out broke. Well, I did after I bought all the groceries. I said, "What did you get?" He said, "Oh, I didn't spend anything, Dad." I said, "Really? Why not?" He said, "Well, Dad, I decided it's best just to spend on what lasts." Wow!
That's what Paul's talking about here; to think about the things that are going to last, not the things that are going to pass. You're going to make bad choices if you make choices based on what's temporary. This is not always going to be here. Some other things always will be. You can't just decide based on the situation. You've got to have non-negotiables that are based upon what's eternal. Even if the storm gets pretty bumpy, you ride out the storm. You don't bale out because of the storm.
You know why? Because the storm is temporary; this too shall pass. Don't give up something permanent for something temporary. You almost always give up something permanent for something temporary when you make just "now" kinds of choices.
So, if you're facing turbulent times, ask yourself this question, "What's temporary here?" Then, "What's lasting here?" Base your decision on that. Make that the basis of all your choices – your non-negotiables. Don't look at what is temporary; look at what is eternal. T.T.S.P. – this too shall pass. It is a great clarifier when you're about to make a decision and it helps you sort out life's two lists: The things that really matter and the things that really don't. Because guess what? Those things get jumbled don't they? They clarify when you realize, "This is going to pass. This is going to be eternal."
Because of Christ, our temporary situation can be put against the vast backdrop of the eternal. So, decide on what will last forever, because the other stuff - T.T.S.P.