I was reading today about a man imprisoned for 28 years for a crime he did not commit and then freed due to advances made in DNA testing. If ever a person had a right to be bitter and vindictive it was this man. But, instead of carrying a grudge around the rest of his life, he has chosen to thank God for his deliverance and help others whose lives have been wrecked by circumstances that by anyone s standards would be unfair.
The apostle Paul spent a lot of time in various prisons. He was accused of crimes that he never committed and lost his freedom to travel, publically speak and conduct ministry business. Most people would have simply given up but not Paul. No matter what his circumstances, Paul continued to speak to others about his personal conversion and write letters to individuals and churches laying out the doctrine of grace and salvation in Christ to which he was called to preach.
How many times have we all allowed the affairs of this life to distract us and justify our lazy and/or selfish attitudes? How many times have we thrown in the towel the minute we have faced objections to our message or rejection to our attempts to reach out to others? How many times have we allowed physical, mental, financial or spiritual problems to so burden our hearts and minds that we have no ability or willingness to do anything for God?
It is very easy to find a multitude of excuses for NOT living and speaking the truth of God's Word. It is very easy to rattle off a list of reasons why we cannot find time to pray, find a few dollars to give or find a bit of compassion to help someone in need. It is so very hard to make time to do what is right, change financial obligations in order to give or to allow the love of Christ within us to engulf a person lost and at their wit's end.
Most of us would run for the hills if the enemy accused us of something we did not do. Most of us would crumble in a heap of helplessness if we had to spend even one night in jail. Most of us would do as Peter did when confronted with the accusation of being one of Jesus' men. We would adamantly deny we even know this Jesus fellow. Many of us would gladly sell our devotion to Jesus, as Judas did, just to find relief from financial pressure.
Indeed, it takes quite a heart of love for God and His people to withstand the pressures of this life. It takes great resolve to withstand the temptation to just quit this spiritual stuff and live like everyone else. It takes great commitment to be willing to pay whatever the price required to remain faithful to Him. I pray we all rise up and willingly go that extra mile and gladly endure whatever may come from our dogged devotion to Jesus Christ.
This is true, as we face another day. May we continue to walk in faith and go wherever He leads us , whether we want to or not-ain't about us -all about Him! As you said-praying to rise up ! God Bless you all richly , dear Brother! Dave
A great message, brother! It's so easy to "follow the crowd." But if we turn from the Lord, then what? I think of Peter's words in (John 6:68), where he says..."Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life..." We must face each day's trial and "stay the course" for the cause of Christ because the only alternative is eternal death!
God bless you...
A great message and a lot to think about! For sure, if I had to do almost any of the things Paul had to face, I would crumple in a heap on the floor! Still, I remind myself: "I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me" (Phi 4:13). God bless.