December 22, 2012

Roadblocks and faith

Following Christ means running into some of the roadblocks that He encountered. For instance, at several points early in His ministry, the people wanted to make Him king. While I’ve not been offered a crown, I’ve received accolades that belong only to God. The temptation to accept the praise and let it build pride is a roadblock. 

Another roadblock is discouragement. I have items on my prayer list that have been there for nearly forty years, requests for the eternal good of others. I’ve battled my way through selfish motivations, unbelief, and all sorts of other issues until getting past them to simply pray in Jesus’ name and wait. Still, the prayers have not been answered and that can be a large roadblock. 

Yet in following Christ, I see that He was more than a conqueror against everything that rose up against Him, even what looked like the final block of crucifixion and death. His enemies thought they put an end to Him but He rose from the dead and lives forever. 

Whoever wrote Hebrews knew that the readers were threatened by roadblocks. Following Jesus was not easy and they were thinking of going back to their old ways. Surely following those old rules and laws would be easier than doing the will of God from the heart. However, they were told otherwise…

Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation. For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do. And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. (Hebrews 6:9–12)

For those who are saved by faith, God makes promises. Humanly speaking, the promises seem impossible and roadblocks such as unanswered prayer support that impossibility. But faith believes the promises of God and hope anticipates fulfillment. All that is left for me is to patiently and quietly wait for God to do what He said He would do.

Father, I have need of endurance and patience, so that when I have done the will of God I may receive what is promised. I need increased faith too, for as You say, “Yet a little while, and the Coming One will come and will not delay; but My righteous one shall live by faith…” (Hebrews 10:36–38, personalized)

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