God's word in today's world

Kneel to look up

The new Christians did not live during an easy period. If they did not believe what the church and the government believed, they were persecuted. Paul frustrated the leaders so much that he was repeatedly thrown in prison.

It’s not easy to keep believing when your life is in danger. It’s not easy to hear that the minister that you look up to is in prison for the new message he preached and which you believe in now. It makes you feel uncertain and that is why they started wondering whether it really was the true message.

Paul suspected that the people in Ephesus were uncertain and encouraged them: 13So don’t let my present trouble on your behalf get you down. Be proud!

Keep it up, boys! Paul encouraged his people. It is going badly and there doesn’t seem to be a way out. The people we looked up to, the church, is working with the government. They are the reason for our lives being in danger. But don’t be blinded by that. No, look up. Look at God. We know that is where we will get help.

These words are meant for us today and Paul wants to encourage us too, when it is not easy to survive life today. When it feels as if everybody is against us. Even the people and organisations we always looked up to now seem to be against us. It feels as if everyone and everything wants to grind us down. We mustn’t allow that to make our heads hang down. No, look up. Look at God. We know that is where we will get help.

But it’s not so easy to do that. It’s as if life wants to smother you. How does Paul keep on believing in such terrible circumstances? Even more: To encourage and help others? What is his secret recipe? 14My response is to get down on my knees before the Father … Paul falls silent before God. Paul looks up. Paul knows that on his own he will never make it. He knows he has to get reinforcements, because the circumstances in which he finds himself are simply too bad for him to handle.

How many times in my life have I reached such a place, where circumstances were absolutely terrible and engulfed me! Sometimes I tried to stand against it on my own. Soon I fell exhausted to the ground and realised that it is too much for me to deal with on my own. No, I had to become quiet. I had to set myself apart before God. I had to put the whole package down before God and confess that I could not live life without Him.

I wonder why hardship had to come into my life again before I realised I cannot live life on my own. A donkey bumps his head once, but me…

Let’s learn a new way of living. Let’s live a life on our knees. Let’s ask God to help us live right, not only when it’s going badly, but also when it’s going well. Let’s first take our decisions to God so that He can help us make the right decisions at the right time. I suspect that hardship will come knocking much less often.

Kneel and look up.


Ephesians 3:14-21


What is hard?

Are looking up?

Are you kneeling enough?


Lord, sometimes life is so hard I want to cry. Sometimes it feels as if there is no way out. I know I have to look up to You, but I don’t always know how. Thank you that I can know again that I have to kneel before You. All the time. Amen

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