God never promised us that His path would be an easy one. In fact, unlike what some would have you 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, 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 we love the most. Our dedication to walking in obedience will require that we walk away from dreams, desires, and sometimes, even people.Walking with Christ is not for wimps. Click To Tweet
Seasons of difficulty are, however, temporary. There will also be numerous 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, difficult 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 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 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 called by God. We are His children, heirs of the promise, and we were prepared and chosen before the world’s creation. We are loved and can rest knowing we cannot be snatched from His hand. Although, like sheep, we are prone to wandering and can sometimes be easily manipulated – we are His sheep. Because the Holy Spirit dwells within us, we recognize His voice.
When we become distracted by life’s cares and find ourselves overwhelmed by all we see and do, we can turn to the sound of His calling. We can run to Him, 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, despite what our situation seems.
At this altar, where we willingly relinquish our desire to direct our steps and control our circumstances and instead surrender to an unknown future designed by an all-knowing God, 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.
There is a reason for great hope: 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 confidently and expectantly press through rough times. Having gone too far to turn back, we continue, determined to see our Savior’s good purpose at the road’s end. Trials and tribulations only strengthen those who adhere to the One who carries us through the journey. From suffering, those on this path boldly draw strength.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us (Hebrews 12:1)
Defying all odds and contrasting worldly expectations, we hand selfish ambition and self-motivated desires over to death and, in exchange, receive 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
For prayer on today’s topic, visit Daily Hope & Prayer.