February 2, 2013

Faith perseveres

This morning I put my head in my hands and complained to God that I was tired already and the day was just starting. Then I opened today’s devotional reading and laughed loud.
If you have raced with men on foot, and they have wearied you, how will you compete with horses? (Jeremiah 12:5)

It is so easy to be a fair-weather Christian. As long as God’s will lines up with my comfort, I’m happy and trust Him, but as soon as they clash, I’m quick to complain (a symptom of distrust). As the devotional writer says, “If the small ills of life have frayed our faith and temper, what will we do in the roar and swirl of Jordan?”

Laughing or not, I feel the sting of this rebuke and am thankful that this author turns my eyes from my pathetic self to the Lord Jesus Christ. Here is what he wrote:

Do you think Christ always understood or found it easy? There was a day when he took God’s will for him into his hand, turned it round, and looked at it: “Is this what you ask of me?” he said. Yes, and another day when, puzzled and uncertain, he cried out, “But is this really what you mean that I should give you, this here, this now?” Yes, and another still, when the waters roared through his soul, yet he would not turn back, fought his way to the farther bank and died, still believing in the God who seemed to have deserted him. That is why he is given a name that is above every name.*

My petty whining is nothing. Even if I was suffering greatly, my complaints bear no validity. Others have lost everything for their faith. Some have lost their lives. I need to think of their example and quit grumbling.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. (Hebrews 12:1–4)

Enough said. I need to apologize to God.

*Arthur John Gossip, Take Heart---Daily Devotions with the Church’s Great Preachers, Day 42.

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