The Disrupted Christian Journey
When a person is truly trying to follow Christ, opposition will come. As a matter of fact, I consider John 16:33 a guarantee that followers of Christ will face challenges. Jesus told us very clearly, “in this world you will have trouble.”
And sometimes, you don’t even have to go looking for it. Most of the time trouble just finds you—at least that’s been my experience. You want to know when it happens most frequently? Right after I pray. You can just bet that if I pray and ask God for peace, it’s going to be the very thing the enemy tries to disrupt, and sometimes it’s just downright frustrating. I think to myself, “God, I’m trying to do right, but it doesn’t seem like that’s what YOU want.”
Then, the Holy Spirit comes to remind me that God doesn’t deal in evil, but he does allow things to happen that will test our faith. Remember the story of Job? God called him a blameless and upright man who feared the Lord, yet God still gave the enemy permission to disrupt Job’s life.
That’s because our faith is best tested in the fire. It’s easy to say things like, “I trust God" and "My faith can move mountains" when everything is going great. But God wants to know if you can trust him when you lose your job, when your family member’s health is failing, when people slander you, when your significant other leaves you, or when you car breaks down and the money is low.
Scripture tells us “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4 NIV)
To be honest, I've had to dwell on this scripture almost daily this week. It seems the more I try to honor God, the more I'm tested, but James reminded me that these things MUST happen. It is not easy and I want to give up most days.
But I won't.
I'm determined for God to be pleased with my faith. I'm determined for God to be pleased with the way I lived my life on this earth. Most of all, I'm determined to be an example of Christ and his Holiness to others even if that means falling down and getting back up every second.
Life isn't about living for me, it's about living for Him. It's about running my race according to my faith in God. I want to get to the end and hear well done my good and faithful servant, even if my knees get scraped up on the way. There will be tons of bumps and bruises on this Christian journey, but “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 NIV)
And that's my daily prayer, for you and me.