Purpose When The Journey's Tough
About a year ago, I went hiking with my mom and aunt at a small state park not far from where I live. The trail was beautiful. There were just enough hills to get a great calve burn, but not enough of an incline to be too exhausting. Everything was calm and gorgeous until I tripped over the first root and then the next one and the next one. Y’all, I can’t tell you how many roots I tripped over on our hike. The trail was covered with barely visible, but incredibly vicious roots. And I think I found all of them. Every time I tripped over a new root, I’d tell myself, “watch your feet!” But I just couldn’t take my eyes off the view. We had a blast that day, but I feel like I missed a bit of the view just trying to watch my feet.
Isn’t that where we are spiritually this year?
Climbing the steep terrain of our current cultural climate is work. We know we have a purpose, and God definitely has a plan. It’s just the hidden roots that keep tripping us up.
We don’t want to miss the view watching our feet, but we keep tripping over these roots.
What are we supposed to do?
Stay the Course
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV
We’re all weighed down by the question, “What am I suppose to do right now?” Our hearts want to be obedient, but our minds are overwhelmed. But Hebrews 12:1-2 gives us a peek into God’s will for us.
When you’re anxious, look(ing) to Jesus (v. 2).
When you feel alone, remember since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses (v. 1).
When you’re tired, run with endurance the race that is set before us (v. 1).
When you feel overwhelmed, lay aside every weight (v. 1).
When you mess up, lay aside every...sin which clings so closely (v. 1).
Jesus endured the cross because of joy on the other side. With us in mind, Jesus stayed the course. The humiliation, the pain, the shame was worth the prize of eternity with us. I don’t know that we’re actually worth it, but God desired a restored relationship with humanity and because of sin Jesus’ blood was the price. The willingness of God to stay the course for us should motivate us to stay the course for Him and His Kingdom.
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained. Philippians 3:14-16 ESV
Not only is it important that we stay the course of holy living, but it’s also important that we press on when the trail gets tough. These are tough times for Believers. There are a lot of hurting people and evil is running rampant. We have to press on and stay focused.
Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. Philippians 3:17-21 ESV.
Our hearts should be broken over the evil we’re witnessing, but our spirits should be resolved. Hope is a foreign concept to the vast majority of people in our lives: Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ (v. 19-20). This is our time in history to share the Truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (hope). Let’s not forget that, friends!
Know the Truth
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105 ESV
Deception is a common weapon of our enemy. That’s why it’s vital we know Truth. To know the Truth we have to read the Truth. Spending time with our Bibles open, studying the Truth, introduces us to the lover of our souls.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:1-5 ESV
He is the Word.
Can I share a little secret with you? This is all I’ve got. I don’t have answers or how-tos. I’ve got Jesus. So, that being said, I’m cheering for you guys as you navigate this dark season. Know I’m with you and if we have nothing but Jesus, we have all we need.
How are you staying sane in the chaos of 2021?
Verse for Further Study:
2 Corinthians 4:9-10: We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.
Philippians 2:3-4: Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Philippians 1:27-28: Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God.