Hang On!

God will bless you, if you don’t give up when your faith is being tested. He will reward you with a glorious life, just as he rewards everyone who loves him.     James 1:13 (CEV)

Whether I keep up with my family and friends in person or by phone, text, Skype, Facetime, or Facebook – every day I hear “I’m tired.” or “I am overwhelmed.” or “I need us to pray that God will relieve me from _______.” Whether it is a specific situation or a boatload of pressures, this world is not our “home” where we live in perfect peace and without worries. You’ve probably heard the phrase: There is no “testimony” without a “test”. This world will provide me with the tests!

In this inspired promise from God, James says that God will reward me with an eternal life if I don’t give up. So how do I keep on the course?

When the going gets tough, the tough get closer together. When life gets hard, the first response is to pull back and avoid others. It’s the ol’ “pull the covers over my head” routine. If you notice someone isn’t coming to worship and isn’t calling like they used to, it’s a good bet that the person is having a problem. The #1 tool of the devil is to isolate and unfortunately, our nature is to go along with that. So do the opposite and press in closer to God. Bring all the fear and anger and uncertainty and dump them all on God. His shoulders are big enough to take it.

Be like the persistent widow(Luke 18). There’s a great little book to have called The Bible Promise Book (ISBN-10:1557481768). You can get it on Amazon.com used for literally pennies. It will give you the Scripture references for all the many promises that God has made. Grabbing on to the words of God and claiming His promises is at deliberate act to say, “I may not see God’s plan in all of this but I know He is faithful and His promises are true.” and so I determined to stick my hand out to receive what God has promised. When life is tough, I choose to fill my mind and heart with God’s love.

There are no shortcuts to spiritual health. Just as there are no “easy” ways to stay healthy, so there is no easy way to stay spiritually healthy. It takes the same commitment of consistency and prioritizing of my time. I can “fill up” my tank every Sabbath but that won’t be enough to get me through the week. I leak. I need to refill through daily Bible study and personal worship.

Jesus is my Rock. Jesus is my anchor in all storms. Jesus is my shelter. Jesus is my place of refuge when I am surrounded by uncertainty. Jesus will never let go of me. And I choose not to give up on Him.

You Never Let Go by Matt Redman

 

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