28 August 2009

Words We Take for Granted (Part 5)

You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. Hardworking farmer must be first to partake of the crops. 2 Timothy 2:3-6. There are some days when I say to myself “What’s the point in trying? Why do I put my family and myself through the pain of defeat? Nobody is listening anyways.” Do you feel this way some days? Or is this just me? Why do we try so hard when we know nine times out ten it only leads to frustration, pain, rejection or worse - being hurt by the people around you? I guess the big question is, ‘Why would a holy and perfect God allow me and you to go through such trying days?’ The answer is: why wouldn’t He? We are all sinners, accursed, haters of God. The only reason we are not put to death is because of what King Jesus did on the cross some 2000 years ago. So why does God allow us to go through hardships as we wait upon Him to call us home? The Bible is very clear and explicit when it says trials are for our [the Christian’s] benefit to strengthen and mould us into the image of the Son [Jesus Christ]. The next word I want to look at that goes so easily under the radar with most Christians is the word “endure” which means: To bear; to sustain; to support without breaking or yielding to force or pressure. Metals are said to endure a certain degree of heat without melting; to bear with patience, to bear without opposition or sinking under the pressure; to bear up under hardship or persecution; to remain under; to be strong, firm, to persevere beneath a heavy burden. “And you will be hated by all for My name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved”. Matt 10:22. We all start as this square block of wood, if I can use this as an example. And God cuts away the dead bark and starts to mould and shape us with all His fine precision tools into the person He created us to be, a person created for His glory. We all need shaping and sanding. Paul says the Christian life is going to be hard with many heartbreaks and struggles but this is the course He has for every one of us, because in the end there is joy and reward. John says He will wipe away every tear and remove all our sin and shame. Why? That’s where He [Jesus] will be. This is where all Christians will be - with the Potter – with the Carpenter who was working in and through us each and every moment. As Paul wrote in Philippians “...He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;” (1:6). The Lord will continue the work He has begun in each and every one of us if you’re a child of the living God. But this doesn’t mean we will not face obstacles or road blocks until the day of Jesus Christ. Going back to what Paul said to Timothy as he was faced with his coming death, the Lord planned for him to die. We are to ENDURE, persevere as we continue to grow in our Christian walk. There are no easy ways out. Some might face greater challenges and some might go through smaller trials, but the Bible is abundantly clear that all children of God {Christians] are going to face trials and struggles at some point in their life. Why? So the Potter can continue to shape and sand us as we are faced with life’s decisions and having proper responses to what has been given to us by a loving and holy God. The Christian life is not about a life of ease and your best life now! It’s going to be hard work that requires us to endure as He continues this perfect work that He is doing in us. These trials are for us to give God the glory as he delivers us though them. Man loves to boast and get all puffed up with pride when they achieve something or get through a situation. We are to be completely dependent upon Him as good soldiers, athletes and hard working farmers. We must endure and press forward as we wait for the call home to where the Potter lives. He is the One who has taken my wretched life, which deserves Hell, and continues to shaped me, mold me, and sand me all for His glory and good pleasure.

To Him be the glory!

1 comment:

ddknapp said...

this article truly blessed me today as I give God thanks for the refining he is doing in my life due to my present trial.