Have you discovered that following Jesus is not easy? In fact, do you sometimes wonder if you really made the right decision?
Are you weary of waiting, of trusting? Do you wonder why God doesn't act immediately and do something right away?
Do you feel if you don't take things into your own hands and do it your own way that you really may get more messed up? At times do you even wonder if He's there, if He really cares? Or maybe all this "faith business" is a figment of people's imagination! You may never verbalize it, but you wonder: Is it all a hoax?
Jesus never indicated that following Him would be easy. Throughout His ministry, He reminded His followers that there was a cost and that they needed to count it. Of course, there were heavenly rewards — someday no sorrow, no pain, no tears — BUT those rewards were for the future, not for today.
Today would not be without temptation, trials, testings, difficulties, and challenges. In this world they would have tribulations. Of course, with that statement He did promise them peace — in Him (John 16:33).
At first many followed Him simply because of the miracles, such as the free lunches of loaves and fish. However, as they listened closely, they heard there was more to following Him than seeing sensational things and eating free meals. Following Him meant identification with Him — and Jesus' popularity was waning. His sayings had become difficult. And "as a result many of His disciples withdrew, and were not walking with Him anymore (John 6:66). As many began to walk away, He said to the twelve, "You do not want to go away also, do you" (John 6:67)?
And what was their answer? "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life" (John 6:68).
Where do you turn? The only place to turn — to the One who has the words of eternal life! He is still on His throne. Neither His character nor His promises have changed. The God who birthed this Bible will not abandon it or us! We must simply cling to Him "as the waistband clings to the waist of a man" (Jeremiah 13:11). We must walk by faith. There is no other way to walk. All we have to do is make sure we are righteous in our ways, for "the steps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord" (Psalms 37:23).
However, the problem is many times the last place we run is to the Lord and to His Word. Or because we have not disciplined ourselves and given the Word of God the priority it requires, then we don't have the answers, the wisdom, the guidance, the comfort, the promises, the direction that the Word gives us.
Oh, my friend, I don't know specifically where you are, what is going on, what you are dealing with or facing, but I do know that He has the words of eternal life. If you will believe Him, if you will spend time in His Word, hide them in your heart and determine that you will live by them, then you can know you will walk as more than a conqueror.
The Psalmist put it so well, "If Your law had not been my delight, then I would have perished in my affliction. I will never forget Your precepts, for by them You have revived me. I am Yours, save me; for I have sought Your precepts" (Psalm 119:92-93). His words are different than all the words that have ever been or ever will be recorded any other place in the world. Jesus said, "The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life" (John 6:63).
Knowing the Word and knowing Him through the Word can bring a peace even in the midst of a horrifying storm. You can stop the struggling in the circumstances and snuggle in the security of His sovereign, unconditional love. It truly works!
No, life is not easy. Following Jesus doesn't mean we are exempt from trial or tragedy, but it does mean we have someplace to go because He has the words of eternal life. Are His words familiar friends? Are you spending time in them each day, feeding on them?
Precept Ministries International is dedicated to helping establish you in God's Word. If you're eager to get into the Word on a daily basis, visit our website www.precept.org for the many resources available to you.
Oh Beloved, determine to have a relentless pursuit of following Him. Each day spend time in His Word. This will deepen your relationship with Him — and knowing Him will hold you in any circumstance!
"For now we really live, if you stand firm in the Lord" (1 Thessalonians 3:8).
Host, Precepts For Life
Co-CEO, Precept Ministries International