“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.” (1 Jn. 3:1-2)
Sometimes it just feels like you need a distraction. There are those weeks when everything seems to go wrong. You can’t focus at work. You make some mistakes and realize you aren’t the person you thought you were. You begin to feel stuck in this endless cycle of your job and life and wonder if there is more out there. TV, video games, and even sin begin to look enticing as a way of disconnecting.
It is in this moment where God met me through his Word. I turned in my Bible to 1 John 3 and read one of the most beautiful lines in all of scripture, “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.” (1 Jn. 3:1) It is almost as if John inserts “and so we are” because the reality of it is too much to bear and too wonderful to believe. The creator and sustainer of everyone and everything, the all-powerful and omniscient God, has called me his child. He has set his love upon me. In my mediocrity and in my mistakes, he has adopted me into his family. I am the child of the one true King.
Life with Jesus is not about looking away from your problems and minimizing them so that you feel better. Instead, a life of following Jesus causes us to fix our eyes on the things that are more real and more true than our job, our circumstances, or even our sin. It is about constantly reminding us that the God of creation has redeemed us and called us to be his own. That makes those other things a little less of a big deal.
More than this though, these things don’t just give us warm fuzzy feelings. The reality of what God has done for us in Christ actually transforms us. It shapes us. It renews us. John goes on saying, “what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.” (1 Jn. 3:2) Daily we behold Jesus to become more like him. But, a day is coming, a day we long for, ache for, and hunger for, that the we will see him in all his glory. In that day John says we will be caught up and transformed by gazing at the beauty of Jesus. This is what the old hymn was talking about:
“Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.”