through His Word
The surprise. Several years ago, my husband had a business conference in Florida that began on his birthday, so Katy and I went with him. We had reserved a room with two queen beds, but when we arrived at the hotel they told us the standard rooms were overbooked. The hotel gave us a free upgrade—all the way to the penthouse.
The room. The penthouse had floor-to-ceiling windows that overlooked the beach. The living room furnishings were lovely and inviting, like a home away from home. Dining chairs upholstered in turquoise fabric sat around a glass table that could accommodate six people comfortably. The kitchen was fully equipped. The bathrooms had TVs and telephones. Normally when the three of us stay in the same room at the beach, we’re stumbling over our luggage while we’re getting ready to go out and lined up for the shower after we come back. We didn’t have those problems this time. There were enough bedrooms for each of us to spread our luggage out in a whole room and enough bathrooms that no one had to wait in line. The penthouse was roomy, beautiful, and functional. It was quite an upgrade.
An upgrade of our quality of life. The penthouse was a temporary upgrade of our quality of life during my husband’s birthday week, but God works in our lives to effect an upgrade that lasts. A real and sustainable upgrade in our quality of life begins with a decision to place our faith in God. Why? Because we benefit from knowing Someone who is stronger and wiser than we are, Someone who is more knowledgeable about how things work in the world. Because life is varied and demanding, and God shows us how to navigate it. Because we have so many choices to make in life whose outcomes we can’t see for ourselves and the people we love, but He can. Because people and forces that don’t have our highest good at heart are at work in the world, and they’re willing to run over us to get where they’re going or to get what they want. But God helps us and protects us.
An upgrade of the quality of our souls. Knowing God is an upgrade not only for our quality of life, it’s an upgrade for the quality of our souls—our inner reality. Our souls are influenced and enriched by who God is and how He relates to us. Faith ushers us into knowing on a personal level, Someone who is good—truly, consistently, and everlastingly good. Taking hold of God by faith begins a growing process for us—growing in peace, satisfaction, and joy—because of the One whom our hearts and minds are associating with, relating to, growing attached to, and adjusting to. Knowing God enriches the quality of our souls, and quality of soul enriches quality of life.
The key to the upgrade. Life with or without God determines the level of good that becomes a reality within us, the degree of good that is expressed in our words, actions, attitudes, and involvement in the world around us. Life with God benefits who we are on the inside—how we think, reason, and make decisions; our priorities, perspectives, and motivations; and what we want and what we’re willing to do to get it. Life without God has the capacity for greater selfishness, aimlessness, helplessness, wastefulness, and dryness. Quality of life comes from quality of soul. The means of having both of these upgrades are faith in God and cooperating with Him in daily life. God and life with Him are our souls’ upgrade.
A sustained upgrade. Taking hold of God by faith isn’t just for beginning a relationship with Him; it’s for continuing in it. Jesus spoke of the need for faith many times in the Gospels. He praised the centurion for his great faith (Matt 8:13), and He chided Peter for his little faith (Matt 14:31). He opened the eyes of two blind men who believed that He was able to heal them, saying, “According to your faith let it be to you” (Matt 9:29). Jesus pointed to the importance of faith in prayer in Matt 21:22: “And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”
A quality of life that is not possible apart from God. Jesus encourages us to exercise faith so we can experience a quality of life that’s not possible apart from God. Faith quenches fear, anxiety, and the distress of uncertainty. It overcomes doubts and impossible situations. It keeps us moving forward in life when we feel like giving up. Faith reassures us that Someone who cares is there to direct us, help us, solve our problems, or give us the grace to bear up under difficulty. Faith celebrates having Someone as amazing as God to love and to serve. Continuing to take hold of Him by faith for everyday circumstances and concerns, furnishes our quality of life with quite an upgrade.
Copyright © 2013 by Beebe Kauffman, from Isaiah: Setting Things Rightfaith, great faith, little faith, The Upgrade, Isaiah: Setting Things Right, Jesus, Christ, God, Bible, Beebe Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies, women's Bible studies, quiet time