Oct 20 2013

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God Quotes: The tension of already and not yet

Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. (Hebrews 2:8b ESV)

The tension of already and not yet

My church is doing a study on the book of Hebrews (one of my long-standing favorite books of the Bible). Hebrews 2:8 is a foundational verse in understanding God's perspective. We see the here and now–and sometimes get caught in moment–while God can see the whole thing. When the moment is extraordinarily good or extraordinarily bad (as we perceive it), we often miss God's perspective. The tension is real.


God has already won. The plans are set and victory is already His. Because He is outside of time and space, He is already at the finish line and–at the same time–with us as we slug it out wondering if we can make our legs move forward. I cannot comprehend it, but scripture proves it again and again as I've read it. What God says will come to pass does. How does God know it will happen that way? He is already there. We, on the other hand, have to experience life as it comes. We don't know all the details of the future. But there are some realities that God as revealed as true. One of those realities is that everything is under God's authority. Nothing is outside of His control. This is already true. And yet, we do not see it to be true in all of life.

Not yet

A friend is sick with a crazy virus that is destroying her brain. Another friend is wondering how someone could have stolen her purse–with all her money and driver's license. My body is aging–and I feel it more than I used to. If God is in charge, why is there so much chaos in the world? This is the reality of “not yet.” I don't like living in the “not yet.” This is the place where the messiness of life gets ugly. The disappointments and pain. The loss. I wonder at a world so filled with pain and suffering and how God's sovereignty fits in it all. Tension. The painful realities of life lead me to either pray for the “already” to be here already. Hurry up! I cry. Or, I just want to give up. Is all this really worth it?

Big picture

Jesus was clear that there would be suffering in this world, but that He had also already overcome the world. How does He know? He's already there. He has seen it. Now, I need to hold on to the truth of “already” while the “not yet” realities of life hit. When I think of what will be in eternity, I must conclude that I want that more than anything. I grow weary some days. Awfully weary. And then, I must remember that He is at the finish line, cheering me forward toward Him. He already knows how the story ends. And, He tells me in the Bible, it is glorious.


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