Let the sons of Zion rejoice in their King.
Let them praise His name with dancing;
Let them sing praises to Him with timbrel and lyre.
For the Lord takes pleasure in His people;
He will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation.”
—Psalm 149:2-5 (NASB)
One of the common characteristics of successful, earthly entrepreneurs is their focused pursuit of a goal that is not just bigger than their individual self, but often requires a lot of time. They know that what they desire cannot be built or obtained quickly and may require a lifetime of work to get it. They endure severe trial and hardship today because of what they see will be the reward many, many years from now, perhaps not even until the very end of their life. Why then is it that we do not understand this when it comes to the work of salvation? The initial act of accepting Christ as our personal Savior was but the first step towards accomplishing something that will take not just the entire bounds of THIS life, but carry on into the next.
“He will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation.” Let that sink in a bit. For anyone holding to the false illusion that there is some sort of Biblical promise for absolute, problem-free happiness in THIS life, the indication is very clear here that there will be affliction. We all seem to recognize that salvation has a starting point in seeking to make Christ one’s personal Savior, but then we seem to lose sight of the fact that it is not fully completed until a very future date when we have left this life and abide with Him in eternity. In the mean time, it is called the “work” of salvation not because of anything we do, but because of its life-long process upon us.
—James 1:2-4 (NASB)
“Perfect and complete, lacking in nothing”. The earthly entrepreneur endures these things to realize temporal, material riches; we endure for spiritual riches which are actually worth more and last forever. We may need to look beyond the present circumstances to be comforted by the bigger picture, realizing that what is endured today is part of the process for obtaining what will come in the end.†††