We have a lot to thank the Lord for in our lives. The reality of Knowing God makes us thankful. We are even thankful for the journey that sometimes may not be easy, but if God is in that journey, we should be thankful.
In 2 Corinthians 6:4-10 it describes the journey many Christians will face. I have listed different elements of how the journey is described:
• Genuine Love
• Word of Truth
• Power of God
• Weapons of righteousness
• Glory and dishonor
• By evil and good report
• Regarded as deceivers but truthful
• Unknown and known
• Dying yet living
• Punished but not dead
• Sorrowful yet rejoicing
• Poor but making many rich
• Having nothing yet possessing all things
Now that is a reality check of the journey of Christianity. I wonder how many people would sign up for becoming a Christian if they were to review this list before making that decision? Sounds like a tough journey to me!
The Apostle Paul reminds us that life isn’t just all of one thing. We do not live in a bubble where everything is always the way we want it. God allows life to test us, to bring us to an understanding that no matter the circumstances, we will Trust God for the outcome. If we live … Praise God. If we die … Praise God. It all has to do with how we accept the reality of living in this broken world. Paul’s description of the reality of living out your life in Christ is a reality check. The Cross is an offense to this world, and when we live our lives in accordance to the Gospel, we will suffer the consequences of Standing up for the Truth. Paul also makes the case that circumstances will be both positive and negative, and in both instances, we learn how to be content.
Philippians 4 11I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
It is not the circumstances as much as it is knowing we can make the journey a success because He gives us the Strength to succeed. He doesn’t always remove the circumstances, but He gives us the Courage to face them. I am reminded of my military experience at boot camp. It was the most painful, degrading, and humiliating time of my life. Yet, as tough as it was to be called names and put through some of the most physically challenging training, in the end we were useful to the military to defend our country. We learned how to deal with pain, exhaustion, and humiliation, all for the purpose of surrendering to authority and protecting my fellow soldiers in combat.
Jesus told us to deny ourselves and to pick up our Cross and Follow Him. It’s not too much different from the military experience; you deny yourself by defending others and you follow orders.
The reality of the journey is to Trust in God in all circumstances. Paul did not sugarcoat the reality. We will face tough decisions and exhausting trials, but we are not to give in and give up. The journey not only has its struggles … it also has its victories. It may appear that we are defeated, conquered, and captured, but God says we will be Victorious, we will overcome, and we will be free.
I don’t know what you may be facing, but we know that Courage to face it has to come from God. The journey will test you, but it won’t defeat you. Your success will come as you continue to Trust God for the answers even when the circumstances seem to be overwhelming.
God has promised in Isaiah to be with us as we face the impossible in our journey with Him:
Isaiah 43 1Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. 2When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. 3For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
Keeping Life Honest and Truthful … Larry Kutzler
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