God never promised us that His path would be an easy one. In fact, unlike what some would have you to believe, the path that leads to the promises of God can sometimes seem lonely, quiet, and bewildering. It can leave us bent over on our knees, praying alone in the dark, and sweating drops of blood as we agonize over the betrayal of those we love.
If you don’t believe me, just ask Christ.
The truth is, a walk that aligns with the purpose of God is less traveled, guaranteed to encounter persecution, and will most assuredly experience suffering. Those who follow Christ will be mocked and endure scorn. We will be rejected – occasionally by those whom they love the most. Our dedication to walking in obedience will absolutely require that we walk away from dreams, desires, and sometimes, even people.
Seasons of difficulty are however, temporary. There will also be innumerable victories through following Christ, both big and small. During these times, when we have kept our eyes on Him, and stood firmly, boldly recalling and reciting His promises, we can witness great and supernatural moves of God. But, seasons when the tests and trials of this world feel as if they are emphatically wearing us down will undoubtedly arise. Unfortunately, we will experience moments when we allow our situations, or our poor coping mechanisms to distract us from His truth. Sadly, we may choose the world, and the false promises it holds, over the faithfulness of God.
But even after seasons of weakness, when we have succumbed to worry and doubt, and have chosen to believe in our own ability to secure a future that only God can provide – Christ still redeems.
The race of knowing Christ is a journey, not a sprint. And we are a work in progress.
For those who know Him are the called of God. We are His children, heirs of the promise, and were prepared and chosen before the creation of the world. We are loved and can rest in knowing that we cannot be snatched from His hand. Although like sheep, we are prone to wandering, and can at times, be easily manipulated, we are His sheep. Because the Holy Spirit dwells within us, we recognize His voice. And when we have become distracted by the cares of life, and find ourselves overwhelmed by all we see and do, we can turn to the sound of His calling. We can run to Him, and thrust our cares upon Him, and once again experience the peace that only comes by walking in a faith that requires obedience and choosing to have a thankful heart, in spite of what our situation seems.
It is at this altar, where we willingly relinquish our desire to direct our steps and control our circumstance, and instead surrender to an unknown future designed by an all-knowing God, that we offer our lives as a living sacrifice before Him. This is the faithfulness that Christ requires. And it results in the faithful reward of lives that richly experience the power and presence of the Almighty God.
Here exists a reason for great hope, in that, our faithful tribulation results in lives richly fulfilled with a living and powerful God.
This kind of walk, which greatly pleases God, can only be accomplished by abiding in Christ. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, we are compelled to press through the rough times. Having gone too far to turn back, we continue forward, determined to see our Saviors good purpose at the road’s end. Trials and tribulations only serve to strengthen those who choose to adhere to the One who carries us through the journey. From suffering, those on this path boldly draw strength. Defying all odds, and in contrast to worldly expectations, we hand selfish ambition and self-motivated desires over to death and in exchange receive a life full of abundant joy. We are rewarded with a peace that transcends understanding during our most trying situations. Then, and with great and humble satisfaction, those who have met Him in the fire, and passed the test are used by God to bring Him glory, demolish strongholds, and edify His people. And most assuredly, those who finish this race are certain to hear the Savior say “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
For further study: Deuteronomy 28:1-3, Mathew 25:14-30, Revelations 3:1-13, Hebrews 12:1-3, 1 Peter 2:8-10
So, for all of you who, like me, feel more like it’s a Wednesday than a Monday, here’s…
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