Under the stress, strain, and fatigue of those less than pleasant times, you begin to question whether it’s worth it. You feel like quitting.
You’re not alone. Everybody feels like quitting. That emotion is common.
Everything didn’t come easy to Jesus
It may surprise you, but Jesus didn’t pop out of Mary’s womb, walking. He had to learn to walk. His first steps would have been like any other child’s first steps. (Wobbly step, wobbly step, seat plant. Wobbly step, firmer step, face plant.) Just like you and me, Jesus had to learn stuff. The process of learning is not a result of sin. Actually acting like you already knows it all is. Having a teachable attitude is a virtue.
Everything didn’t come easy to Jesus. Pressing forward to acquire wisdom for your job, family, and spiritual life will not be a “piece of cake.” So don’t expect it. And don’t stop “pressing in” when it gets frustrating. Don’t give up. Some things are easier, some things are harder. But nothing worthwhile is without effort.
“Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered.”
Being blessed of God doesn’t mean things will be easy
Sometimes we get the mistaken idea that “blessings” will equal “easy street.” We – also mistakenly – add to that, if I can stop sinning and take my authority over the devil then I will find my ease.
Although sins have their bitter fruit (even if it seems to start sweet) that makes things hard, “hard” does not equal sin. Although the deception of the devil is real, and demons like screwing with God’s kids, every hard thing we encounter was not the work of a demon. I call such ideas, Christian Conspiracy Theories.
“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14
To “press on” indicates an intense pursuit and sustained effort. It includes the idea of pressing against resistance.
Important Clarification: The expression here, “has called me heavenward…” can have the legitimate applied meaning of a future state in Christ. Ie: Working hard till we get out of this hell-hole. I grew up with that emphasis in my church. However, since then, I’ve learned that God calling me heavenward in Christ-Jesus has a great deal to do with the current Christ centered and anointed life. I press forward to example the truth of heaven here and now. My heavenly calling includes “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
Being an active disciple of Jesus isn’t easy. It isn’t for the coward or the recluse. It isn’t a life without resistance, frustration, and sorrows.
But it is also a life of great peace, joy, love, and deep satisfaction.
Press on and press through my brothers and sisters. Actively seek the ever increasing wisdom of the Holy Spirit to guide you. It’s more than worth it. Not just there, but in many here-and-nows.
(Side note: My wife and I have had plenty of circumstances that brought self-sacrifice, frustration, and between a rock and hard times. However…the sweet fruit of seeing fresh joy, dignity, and confidence restored to many who’d hit bottom….well…it’s not worthy to be compared to the light afflictions.)