October 12, 2015

Hebrews 6:11-12 We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.

Many have said it, but it can’t be overstated: Christian faith is for the long haul. Modern society is all about instant gratification, but that is a trap of the devil more often than not. This passage should convict many people, but sadly, most of us don’t even recognize that we have become lazy. The simple matter of making time for daily personal devotions strikes a lot of people as too much trouble. The world is literally falling apart around us, and yet we can’t be bothered! We have many who have gone before us in faith, far more than at the time this was written, so we have no lack of good examples to follow. The Bible is filled with exhortations to hang in there, and Hebrews is particularly strong on that point. Much “evangelism” today seems to promise quick fixes, and “your best life now,” when that is pretty far from the true Gospel of the Kingdom of God. It’s not at all that there aren’t immediate benefits to faith, but rather that the far greater benefits are ahead of us. Even martyrdom is no big deal on the eternal scale! Recently there was a school shooting in the US where the gunman asked his victims if they were Christian, and if they replied affirmatively, said, “Well, you’re going to see God in about a second,” and then shot them in the head. The thing is, his words were true. For them, the next moment was glorious, even though it was tragedy for their families. The same could be said of the people in Iraq, including a 12 year old boy, who were pressured by ISIS to deny their faith and were tortured and killed when they refused. It is not wrong to see that as tragedy, but at the same time we must remember that for those who are in Christ, nothing on this earth is ultimately more than a bump in the road. The time is coming when all genuine believers will need to come to that realization. It actually is very liberating!

I am frequently reminded that I have never really had to suffer for my faith. 1 Peter 1:3-9 is a beautiful statement of the attitude we need to have. Reading that, I sometimes wonder about the quality of my own faith! However, everyone is presented with a different road and different challenges. My task is to be faithful and diligent in what is laid out for me. Since many are watching me, I need to be an example of the peace and joy that are available in Christ in any and all circumstances. Naturally, walking in that is the path of greatest blessing for me, but I’m not doing it just for myself, but for those who look at me as well. If they don’t see it in me, they aren’t likely to believe it is available to them as well. Right now the Lord is allowing a period of high stress. Praise God! I need to demonstrate that life is not a matter of what we experience as much as it is of how we respond to what we experience. I must not become lazy or apathetic, but keep pressing in so that the Holy Spirit may fill and use me for the glory of God.

Father, thank You for all that You did in the day yesterday, and for all that You have planned for today. I pray that today and each day I may rest, relax, and rejoice in You, applying myself fully to whatever tasks You set before me, giving You the thanks, praise and glory You deserve. Thank You. Praise God!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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