It is easy to praise God and walk with great joy when everything is going well. But when the bee stings, the dog bites or the herd of elephants crash your party; it takes the conviction to our faith to endure and outlast the momentary tribulation or affliction.
Only a fool (or a liar) would say they have never entertained thoughts of quitting or giving up this "God thing" during times of great distress and/or turmoil. There is nothing wrong with thinking about throwing in the towel, as long as the towel never moves. There is nothing wrong with thinking about walking away from the faith as long as no steps are ever taken.
Numerous times in Psalms, David and the other writers wrestle with their human side. David was a man after God's own heart yet he had to battle despair, anger and confusion as situations arose that seemed unfair or unbearable to him or Israel. God did not hate David for being honest, He praised him for it.
In football, there is a penalty for "piling on". It is not allowable for all the members of a team to pile on a player who is already down. Unlike football, there are times in this life where we are absolutely smothered with one thing after another to the point we cry out to God "make it stop". Contrary to what some think, I believe when we reach that point with God, it is a good thing.
Our faith, as Christians, is not something we take out of the closet once a week and put on to impress everyone or to feel righteous. To the contrary, our faith is supposed to be our very life. We are to live by, in and through our faith every moment of every day. Our faith is what allows us to stand upon the mountaintop and endure those times we fall and lay bruised and in pain on the valley floor.
In the 42 years I have been a Christian, there have been times of great bounty, beauty and joy. But, there have also been times of intense pressure, pain and sadness. There have moments when I wanted to cry out for all to hear how truly wonderful God is and times when I wanted to cry out "why have you forsaken me". There have been times where every cell in my body was vibrant and energized and times when every part of my body was wracked with pain and misery.
The only way to endure in the long run is to be honest with God and yourself. When things arise that bring us great joy we should let God know how thankful we are for His love and grace. When things arise that appear too much to bear, we should cry out to God for patience and understanding. In all things we need to draw nigh to the heart of God and allow our faith to lean on Him.
I really love this blog, B2Y, for it expresses what I believe to be true. I believe that many of us are not being honest with God. We believe that expressing our fears and frustrations to God is sinful. I don't believe that is true. In the garden, Jesus himself cried out, "Let this cup pass from me!". He didn't want to endure what He was about to endure any more than we would want to endure it. He was expressing himself honestly. He didn't want to go through the [i]process[/i] but then he said, "Nevertheless, not my will but thine...". I believe that is the key... being honest, yes, but acknowledging that in the end, you will relinquish your will and take up God's. You will trust Him... no matter what!
Great message, b2y! It is honest and tells things like they are with Christians. We were never promised "smooth sailing" as member of the body of Christ. However, if we endure everything, turning to the Lord at every turn, we will win the race! Keep on preaching!