Well, it happened again, God spoke to me very clearly this morning while listening to Focus on the Family again. Leslie Vernick was essentially speaking on living with humility in a self seeking world. But what struck me was the question the host John Daly asked, funny thing is I have asked the same question before as well. When life gets really hard, the question can be, what is the purpose of this life? If we’re supposed to find joy in living a Christian life, why is it so difficult and why are there so many struggles?
He goes on to say that part of life is being crushed, but its good because God can save those with a crush spirit.
Psalm 34:17-18 says
The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
If we are right with God (righteous) He will deliver us from all our troubles, not just some. The troubles we face, the sufferings we endure, help us grow and makes us realize that we need God in all aspects of our life, not just some. Again we’re back to Romans 5, as we persevere, we build character, and character builds hope, and because of the Holy Spirit, we won’t be disappointed by the hope we have.
What really struck me though was Leslie refers back to Peter’s confession of Christ, when Jesus asks Peter who the people say He is. She says that a lot of people are probably fans of Jesus but not friends of Jesus. It got me thinking, am I really a friend of Jesus? I can tell you that I have prayed for Jesus to take over my life, I have been baptized and truly believe He hears my prayers and He has worked in my life and answered prayers, not always the answer I want, but has answered, but am I truly and wholeheartedly obedient to His will? When Jesus called the disciples He said come and follow me, come do what I do. So do I do what He does? Do I love without expecting anything in return from the other person? Do I see everyone I come across as God’s creation? Do I reflect the character of Jesus to those I come in contact with? I heard a question one time, I believe as part of the Henry Blackaby Experiencing God study, which asked, if you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you? We can read in Matthew 7:21-23
21“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
I think, until we really accept Jesus as a friend, we’ll struggle to find that true joy He wants us to have. the disciples dropped everything to follow Jesus. There was no plan B. We read in Luke 9 more of what it means to be a disciple or follower of Jesus.
23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.
Living a Christian life is a daily walk, not just some days of the week, but all seven. Jesus is truly our friend, one that will draw near in our time of need and whenever we call on Him.
May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and He delivers them. Psalm 34:7
I truly hope those of you who read this are encouraged. I pray that this is truly the Holy Spirit speaking through me and that this goes out and does not return void.