Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:58)
Because the Christian life is a series of ups and downs . . . highs and lows . . . victories and defeats . . . we all must come to terms with the challenging concept of cosmic continuance, because the fact of the matter is that the life of the Christian will continue as a series of ups and downs . . . highs and lows . . . victories and defeats.
In every culture except the culture of Christianity, our identity is found in our performance. In the more traditional Eastern cultures, identity is wrapped up in the family or community. When you are serving the family or community well, you feel good about yourself; when you are not serving them well, you don’t. In the West, identity is wrapped up in the individual. The good of the individual trumps all other goods, including the good of the family or the community. When you are doing well, you feel good about yourself; when you are not doing so well, you don’t.
Only in Christianity is your identity fixed, regardless of your performance. This consistency creates a continual state of cosmic continuance. You see, when we are in Christ, we don’t look to our performance to find our value and worth. Rather, we are to look to the Person of Jesus Christ, who has fixed our true value and worth in Him. When we locate our value and worth in Christ, nothing can diminish or discontinue it in any way, and we are now living at a level of cosmic continuance.
Your performance will always vary depending upon the circumstances you are experiencing, and if you are looking to your performance to give you a sense of identity, your sense of value and worth will vary accordingly. The lack of continuance in your Christian life can feel like a crushing blow and a hard burden to bear. But if you fix our eyes on the person of Jesus Christ, you will be rooted in a cosmic continuance that is eternal, unchanging, and immovable.
So when you are dealing with the inevitable ups and downs . . . highs and lows . . . victories and defeats in the Christian life, keep looking past yourself to your Savior for your value and worth. And if any of life’s extreme lows or defeats are pressing in on you, remember these words from our loving Lord: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness” (Jeremiah 31:3). God has always loved you! He sent His beloved son to die for you so that you can be with Him forever. He has promised never to leave you or forsake you. That is the ground for our cosmic continuance, the ground which provides the rich soil from which springs “the peace that passes all understanding” that is promised to every Christian.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!