However, not all things in believership is fun. It can be grueling; very hard. This is why the Word speaks of Jesus enduring....Hebrews 12:1-3. All want things to go well in the church. Yet, true disciples will encounter rugged terrain where painful endurance is the central thread of hope for the moment.
And what is a key word in that Hebrew text when endurance is mentioned three times? Joy...not fun...not feeling good....but joy....the joy set before him. This would be us.
It is easy to ponder such actions when in a nonthreatening environment like Bible class. We can all accomplish so many ideal things when among our peers. Really, we can conquer the world from our padded pews.....and then go out to lunch after the last amen.
But true followers of Jesus will hit similar stress he did for we are to be following him. This cannot be avoided if the church is ever to hope for maturity. So what do we do? How do we think? Where do we choose our battles?
- They will come to you. They found Jesus in the Garden. They know how to find you.
- You don't flinch. In every situation you can recall you have overwhelmingly conquered through him. Followers believe this while church attendees don't.
- God has His plan in order. It may be their discomfort. I might be your betrayal and crucifixion.
- Let this happen. Don't run. Don't panic. Don't react. Respond with love for your opponent and devotion to the One who died ahead of you for you that you could die for others.
- Remember that when you die for the enemy you will suffer and they will be healed....I Pet. 2:21-25. So don't resist, regret, or reject the blessed opportunity to live from that position you've discussed in Sunday school for years.....the cross. It is yours. Use it.
Jesus is the pattern. Look like him the best you can...and let God have His way with all of us!