I Timothy 2:3 ~ “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.”
That Scripture is so profound in it’s statement. I think as Christians we have lost or at least put aside what it means to be a good soldier. We serve our country, our state, and our family, but we do not put that same devotion in serving our Lord. When Paul encourages young Timothy to endure hardness, he referred to all the problems that young Timothy had to face in the church and possibly in his own life. Back then, enduring meant family possibly abandoning you, thrown out of the city, and in some major cases, even death to accept Jesus Christ and become a Christian.
Today, however, we can freely choose to follow our Savior or choose not to, without the possibility of losing our family, home, or even our life. Now there are some that do fit into that category around the world, but not as prevalent here in the USA. It saddens me to think and know that we quit serving an Almighty God because we were called a name like Bible thumper or Jesus freak. We give up hope and quit serving a Risen Savior because we are afraid of what others might think of us. Most of all we stop serving the Greatest God because we go through some hard times in our lives and blame Him for them.
We are counted as soldiers and that is a powerful word. Soldier gives the indication of bold, strong, enduring, unmovable, staying at ones post no matter what. Willing to give his or her life for what they are protecting and believe in. And yet, we as Christians are not called to die for Christ, but to live for Him. Romans 12:1 ~ “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”
He so much wants His children to be good soldiers for Him and He is even willing to give us the power, the strength, the help, the encouragement, all the tools and equipment you as a soldier will need, but we are unwilling to go through a few hard times for Him.
We teach our children to sacrifice for a “sports”, to sacrifice for “stuff”, and sometimes to sacrifice for “family”. Yet tithing, reading the Bible, praying, even going to church is more of an inconvenience than something to teach our children to sacrifice for. But wasn’t it Christ who sacrificed His life for us on the cross. Are we not bought with a price as in I Timothy6:20 ~ “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s”.
We teach our children to stick things out, to not give up even when things start to get difficult. If your not very good then you get out there and try and practice and try and practice. “If at first you don’t succeed…” yes you know what the other part is, we all do we all apply it in so many areas of our lives and our children’s lives except one…OUR CHRISTIAN LIFE!!! We get into a “tough spot” or go through “a valley” and if God doesn’t help right now when we want Him to, then we give up instead of just plain keep trying and keep believing and trusting.
If I may say this, and please don’t miss understand me, God is not our GENIE. We can’t rub the Bible and God come out to fix all our problems. For several reasons: 1) The trials are there to strengthen us. 2) The trials are there to help us strengthen someone else. 3) Sometimes the trials are there to correct us and bring us back to God.
We all go through things that may hurt, cause pain, perhaps because we lost a loved one or even someone closer such as a mate or a child. Life happens to everyone, but God doesn’t. God gives a special grace to His children that love and obey. We may not always understand what He is doing in our lives, but we can trust He does and He is doing it for our best interest. We say life’s not fair, well, welcome to LIFE!!
“For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but, if when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.” ~ I Peter 2:19-20
You must understand that God is not ignorant of your pain. But He does want you to grow in spite of your pain. And when you come out the other side of your “valley”, you will be a stronger, more faithful, more blessed, and some times more understanding of why God allowed the “valley” to come your way.
“Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes we are healed.” ~ I Peter 2:23-24
And if you want to talk about fair, do you believe Jesus got what was fair? He paid for your sins and mine on the cross. If we truly wanted “fair” I believe what would be fair is we paying for our own sins. Think about that for a while.
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