God's word in today's world

It’s a struggle, but we’re not alone


God’s Word has warned us numerous times: 12Anyone who wants to live all out for Christ is in for a lot of trouble; there’s no getting around it. And this truth is added to that: Unscrupulous con men will continue to exploit the faith.

If you are serious about the Lord’s work, things won’t always go well. And now this doesn’t feel so good, because surely, we can expect to receive some preferential treatment? Don’t you think so too?

Well, if ever there was one man who gave his all for God’s work, it was Paul. But even he didn’t get the inside lane. On the contrary, Paul really suffered: 11suffering along with me in all the grief I had to put up with in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra.

A few times he could’ve died. People assaulted him, cursed him and spat on him. He was humiliated and marginalised. He really cared for people and wanted to help people and save them from eternal hell at any expense, even his own.

Would you have gone as far as Paul?

Anyway, one would’ve liked the hero of Christianity to enjoy a few perks. Like in the movies, we would’ve wanted Paul to rest at an oasis now and then to renew his strength for the difficult times ahead. He deserved some even road. But that didn’t happen. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German theologian, said that when God calls you, He calls you to die.

Are you prepared to do it? Would you go through all the things that Paul did for the sake of the Gospel and your love for Jesus?

On our own, never. On our own we will never be able to withstand these things and we would surely give up at the first obstacle and deny God. On our own, we’re too weak to stand against the wind. We cannot do it from our own strength.

Fortunately, we don’t have to do it on our own. And here is some comfort and assistance for the task we all have to carry out: 11… And you also well know that God rescued me!

I nearly became discouraged. But thank goodness I don’t have to do it on my own. Thank goodness, God Himself cares for me. Thank goodness, God takes my hand and guides me over the obstacles in my way. God Himself takes my hand and walks with me into the darkness.

Paul knew and experienced that. He could sit in prison, because he knew God was there with him. He could take the pain inflicted on him by other people, because he knew not a hair on his head would be stirred if not willed so by God. Paul could face any obstacle in his way, because he knew God would support him through it all.

It’s not good news to know that we won’t always have an easy way through life. We kind of want to sulk and say it’s unfair, but let’s rather make peace with it. God knows best. He knows we don’t learn a lot on the tarred roads. He knows we learn more about life on the gravel roads. He knows we actually only get to know others when we slow down on the gravel roads. He knows best.

Fortunately, you and I and Paul know that we never have to walk the road alone.

Scripture
2 Tim 3:10-13

Reflection
Where are you suffering?
Do you carry the burden alone?
Do you trust God to help you through it?

Prayer
Dear Lord, I’m not sure if I can always withstand the pressure. Sometimes, things simply become too much for me and my legs start shaking. Thank you for the promise that I don’t have to face life alone. So please give me strength to walk through life. Amen.

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