IS IT TRUE, O Christ in Heaven,
That the highest suffer most?
That the strongest wander furthest,
And more helplessly are lost?
That the mark of rank in nature
Is capacity for pain?
And the anguish of the singer
Makes the sweetness of the strain?
Is it true, O Christ in Heaven,
That whichever way we go
Walls of darkness must surround us,
Things we would but cannot know?
That the infinite must bound us
Like a temple veil unrent,
Whilst the finite ever wearies,
So that none’s therein content?
Is it true, O Christ in Heaven,
That the fullness yet to come
Is so glorious and so perfect
That to know would strike us dumb?
That if ever for a moment
We could pierce beyond the sky
With these poor dim eyes of mortals,
We should just see God and die?
People will always settle for a feel-good lie until the truth is fully presented. What is true about your nature, your identity, and your purpose? What criteria do you use to assess what’s true? We live in a day and an age when the truth has migrated from the boundaries of objectivity into the fluid realm of preference. If it is possible for two individuals to live by separate truths, even if one of those truths is not actually true, we are content with the ramifications as long as no one’s truth harms the other person.
However, is it possible to live in a world where we no longer know what to trust or even how to determine the standard to assess what we should trust? How can we rear our children in such a world where what we teach today may not be palatable tomorrow and therefore deemed as ‘not true’? Do you truly know who you are? Is that something that can be known? Is it possible that there is only One who has the potential to know all of us equally and perfectly? I believe so, but many will say that the existence of such a One is not true at all.
TRUTH IS A PERSON
Many people make audacious statements. We are left to decipher them and determine which are valid and which are mere boasts. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6a). In John 18:37, Jesus is talking to Pontius Pilate and says, “Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” First, we must notice that Jesus didn’t claim to know the truth. He claimed to be the truth. Only in the Christian worldview is truth not simply a concept, but a person. This cannot be overstated. The claim is significant but can it be trusted?
By rising from the grave after being fully executed, Jesus demonstrated in undeniable fashion that He was telling the truth about everything He said, including His claim to “be” the truth. Some deny the resurrection, but how do they account for the inexplicable conversion of Saul to Paul or of Jesus’ half-brothers Jude and James who mocked His claims to be the Messiah (John 7:3-6) but later became faithful followers of Him? The tomb is still empty, and over 500 saw a resurrected Jesus (1 Cor. 15:6). Is it possible that some are still willing to settle for a ‘feel good’ lie because they aren’t prepared to deal with the ramifications of the clear and present truth? Do you know the truest person to ever live?
TRUTH IS IN YOUR PURPOSE
The poet above asks God, “Is it true, O Christ in Heaven, that the fullness yet to come is so glorious and so perfect that to know would strike us dumb?” The apostle Paul writes, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Cor. 4:16-17). Yes, the fullness yet to come will be glorious, and we may very well be awestricken, but until then we have a purpose to fulfill.
“The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands” (Psalm 138:8). The truth is that you and I have a purpose for being here. How we got here is irrelevant as are many of the unanswerable questions that we ask in this life. But we must remember that our forever has already begun, and our purpose is for such a time as this. The role you and I play in advancing His holy plan can only be played well if we adhere to what is true and live our lives accordingly.
He that takes truth for his guide, and duty for his end may safely trust to God’s providence to lead him alright. – Blaise Pascal
Alex McElroy is an international speaker, author, blogger, leadership advisor, and the Pastor of Education at New Life Covenant Southeast Church, with over 20,000 members led by Pastor John F. Hannah. Alex has been serving in both youth and teaching ministries at New Life for over 12 years. In his role, he teaches Discipleship class designed for adults to learn, fellowship, and grow in their faith within a small group setting. Alex also trains hundreds of teachers and ministers to deliver lessons in proper lifestyle, Biblical study, focused preparation, and Apologetics in order to maximize their effectiveness in and for the Kingdom of God.
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