I was talking with one of my friends today and asking – why do things have to be so difficult? It seems like I am having to fight tooth and nail for every blessing and promise of God over my life, especially when it comes to my ministry. I recently came out of a season where people were getting offended at me at every turn – misunderstanding things I said, taking things out of context and twisting them, etc. I could literally have said “I love green apples” to someone and then they would get offended and upset because they heard me say “I hate green apples!” This happened so many times it was starting to become a joke. And while I’m thankful that I’m out of that season, there are still many situations that I feel completely discouraged in. If I were to walk by sight and not by faith, it would be really easy to give up right now. I am often thinking things like… Do you realize how much I love you, or do you just not care? Do you really want to spend time with me? Do you even like me? Am I wasting my time trying to live in relationship with you? Jesus, help! It is frustrating to see people through God’s eyes, to see the hope and future He has called them to, yet to also see in the natural that they are not growing toward God’s reality for their lives. If you are reading this and you are praying for patience or endurance in my life, please stop! :-) But it’s in times like these that I have to live by faith – by the words that God has spoken, not by the things I am seeing with my eyes. I am thankful for the small victories I see and I believe that He will bring His word about in my life and the lives of those around me.
I also have to say that God is real funny. I am at the 24/7 Bible Read-A-Thon at the Prayer Center right now. They passed the Sword to me at 2 Timothy 3:12 – “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted…” I am going to end this post with the scripture I started out reading. It made me laugh because it’s totally what I have been living and and breathing for the last year.
2 Timothy 3:12-4:5 (NIV)
3:12In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
4:1In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.