Change is required of all of us. We cannot linger in diapers forever, friends. Let’s stop saying I will try to be kinder; I will try to stop smoking; I will try to………
Instead let our words be as follows. I will, I have decided to be kinder; to stop smoking; to follow Jesus. I have decided that I will….
Sister Ruth Fox wrote a poem with lines like this in it.
May God bless you with discomfort, anger, tears… and why you ask? Because it is truth! We pray so hard for easy lives, as though that is our purpose here. It is not.
Jesus went through everything you’re going through and more, learn to think like him. Think of your sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get your own way. Then you’ll be able to live out your days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what you want.
Listen to the Message. It was preached to those believers who are now dead, and yet even though they died (just as all people must), they will still get in on the life that God has given in Jesus.
Take nothing for granted. Love makes up for practically anything. Be quick to give a meal, a bed to the homeless—cheerfully. Be generous with the things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God’s words; if help, let it be God’s hearty help. That way, God’s bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he’ll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything—encores to the end of time. Oh, yes!
When life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.
If you’re abused because of Christ, count yourself fortunate. It’s the Spirit of God and his glory in you that brought you to the notice of others. If they’re on you because you broke the law or disturbed the peace, that’s a different matter. But if it’s because you’re a Christian, don’t give it a second thought. Be proud of the distinguished status reflected in that name!
It’s judgment time for God’s own family. We’re first in line. If it starts with us, think what it’s going to be like for those who refuse God’s Message!
If you find life difficult because you’re doing what God said, take it in stride. Trust him. He knows what he’s doing, and he’ll keep on doing it. (From 1 Peter 4:1-19, MSG)
Prayer- Lord, thank you for giving us feet to stand on and hearts to hold on. Amen.