29 For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ
you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake.
The process of being transformed by God’s word is a slow painful death to self; death to the old life you once lead, death to your desires, death to old thinking, death to being in control.
The last few months have been filled with a lot of doubt, heartache, and more than anything, a sky fall of grace. The maturation of living a Christian life can be emotionally taxing, but I have found that it is in the times that we feel far away from God, challenge Him, and even backslide to our old ways, that He is the most faithful. The problems often arise when in the midst of trial, we don’t consult with God, instead, we go off on our own path to find answers. We tend to run to people seeking answers to questions, comfort, even putting our faith in them instead of Him. We buy into the lies we’ve been fed our whole lives from others and the enemy: “You’re not good enough,” “You won’t ever change,” “You’re too weak.”
Jesus never promised that following Him would be painless; it is quite the opposite. In our walk with God, we will share moments of triumph, periods of spiritual decline, times of suffering. When we pursue Him, we begin to sacrifice all the things that we want in order for Him to be glorified. When we decide to drop ourselves and pick up the Cross, we not only wage war on our flesh, we begin to wage war on the world and the ideas that have corrupted it. The closer we draw to Him, the bigger the X on our back gets drawn from the enemy each morning. But we don’t need to fear, instead, we should welcome them because they strengthen our faith.
In the times we feel separated from God, lose our jobs, or suffer losing the person we love the most, God is there just waiting for us to run to Him. Paul says, “For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.” Indeed, we should count it all as lost, because there’s so much more to be gained. The good news is that we don’t have to fight the battles alone because they are His, we just have to stop choosing to do so.
2nd Cor. 12:10
10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses,
insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak,
then I am strong.