Fact: Life tends to throw problems at us. But as Christians we can face life’s common problems in uncommon ways because we serve a God who has the answers to any problem we could ever face. There is nothing you’re facing that shocks Him or can stump Him.

One especially common problem that we all face is the rat race of life. We’re doing the things we’re supposed to be doing, but we don’t seem to be getting anywhere. Sometimes, it makes us stop and wonder, “What am I even doing this for? Was I created for more than this?”

Romans 8:18 tells us that we will all face problems. While the suffering we face right now might be hard, it is nothing compared the glory that will be revealed to us later. We don’t discount what you’re going through or what you’re facing, but we can promise that the best is yet to come. This isn’t just positive thinking; it’s gospel-thinking.

Romans 8:18-19 talks about the frustration of futility. The Greek word from which “futility” comes literally means “void of meaning.” It’s when something looks meaningful but at its core means absolutely nothing. When you look around and wonder what it’s all for—this is the frustration of futility. Because of the sin in this world, we get our eyes focused on things that don’t matter. But we weren’t made for futility. We were made for the future, for an eternal life with Jesus. When we get stuck in the here and now, it chokes out our eternity.

So how do we move from futility to future? God calls us to live with an eager, expectant hope. In this hope and expectation of what’s to come, there are three practical ways to make this move from futility to future, to live the life God has called us to live, to beat the rat race.

  1. CREATE MARGIN IN YOUR LIFE

Richard Swinson describes margin as, “The space between our load and our limits.” Most of us don’t live with margin. We don’t have time to respond to the opportunities God gives us. It’s not that we can’t hear Him, it’s that we don’t have room for God to move and work.

God’s asking, “What are you doing? You’re killing yourself trying to do my job. Rest and trust me.” God has it all worked out. He’s just waiting for you to trust Him.

  1. RUN THE RIGHT RACE

The rat race is the wrong race. There’s nothing wrong with having a job and providing for your family. There’s nothing wrong with busyness. The problem is when we’re running towards the wrong finish line.

What race are you running? What are you doing it for? Hebrews 12:1 tells us that there is already a race for us to run—a race God has set before us. What is God calling you to do? What purpose has He put on your life?

  1. LIVE WITH ETERNAL PERSPECTIVE

Most of us live with a right-now perspective, but our lives don’t end when we take our last breath. We aren’t wired to just make it in this life—we’re wired for eternity.

We can spend a lot of time on things that don’t matter in light of eternity. Instead, let’s spend time on the things that really matter. What is our finish line? What is our goal? We can make a difference and live a life that matters forever. How do we do this? By keeping our eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2).

Watch the full sermon here.