Did you commit last week, referring to the last post? Committing to Jesus makes all the difference when challenged.
When God challenges you, you will either draw closer to Him or stray further away. God is testing you and how you respond makes all the difference. Read carefully to understand your role in this.
If you committed yet feel like a failure, relax. Loving God and making it a daily practice is not that easy and some days are downright challenging. What’s amazing is that I can go to bed at night feeling down, exhausted and frustrated yet I cast my cares on God. Then somehow, some way, tomorrow is a new day. God has a way of picking me up and changing my perspective on things. He miraculously gives me a new attitude. I’ve come to realize that this is a process. Growth does not happen overnight and growth will not occur unless we are challenged.
Consider this passage…
Luke 13: 23 Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few be saved?” He replied, 24 “Work hard to enter the narrow door to God’s Kingdom, for many will try to enter but will fail. 25 When the master of the house has locked the door, it will be too late. You will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Lord, open the door for us!’ But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’
Who ever said the Christian life was easy?
Although this is a simple message:
John 3: 16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
It does not mean it’s easy, this is why Jesus also says:
John 15: 5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned.
The key is to remain in Christ.
Remaining/abiding in Christ requires us to be proactive which will bring adversity.
The parable of the sower is a great passage that illustrates how life’s daily challenges can inhibit our spiritual growth:
Matt. 13: 22 The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced.
This is the example of the person who strays. They are allowing worldly concerns (worries, wealth, lust, etc.) to come between them and Jesus.
Contrast that verse with this:
Matt. 13: 23 The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”
Let me be clear, being in good soil is reading with Word, being in prayer and in close fellowship with other believers frequently. These are the activities that will keep you in Christ. Learn this and you’ll stay in good soil.
For those greatly challenged…
Rom. 5: 3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
This is why it is essential to make time for God each day. Prayer, reading the Word, and regularly spending time with other committed believers is essential to “abiding in Him”.
For resources that may help you in this endeavor of remaining in Christ, visit TheBibleTeam.com.
Does this change your perspective on being challenged?