“For to you was granted for Messiah’s sake not only to trust in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, experiencing the same struggle you saw in me and now you are hearing in me.” (Philippians 1:29-30)
What is sacrifice? Where do we draw the line, when it comes to the things we do for God? Should there even be a line?
Most parents would agree with me when I say that we would do absolutely anything for our children. The thought of them doing without something that they need is so unbearable for us that we’re willing to put aside our own needs for them. When they’re suffering in any way, we would be willing to have their pain put upon ourselves if we could. In that regard, I don’t think God is much different, as He has already proven with the sacrifice He made for us.
But what are we willing to do for Him? It’s a question that every individual needs to really think about. Each one of us will have a different answer. Would you be willing to go as far for Him as He did for you? The great news is that you probably won’t ever have to, although many have died because of their faith. But what if you were in a situation that required you to make a choice between professing your faith or denying it? What if your answer determined the course of the next chapter in your life? Would you stand firm, or would you waiver?
Anyone who denies their faith is telling the truth. Let that sink in.
And it’s not just about the words. It’s about the way we live our lives. It’s easy to call oneself a “Christian.” It’s another thing to live like one. Unfortunately, I think more people prefer the title over the lifestyle. And that’s another reason why we’re told that only a few will enter the gates of heaven. Many will call on His name, and claim to know Him, but He doesn’t know them (Matthew 7:22-23). Only those who put His words into practice are worthy of His rewards.
Faith in God has never been about living easy lives. Some people believe that their burdens will disappear if they just put their faith in Him. Just believe and every bad thing will go away. That’s just not true, and that’s dangerous teaching, because it causes people to lose faith when their situation doesn’t change as quickly as they would like it to.
Faith helps us to get past the challenges we face. It protects us and it guides us. It keeps us focused. But it will still be accompanied by struggles. And those struggles help build our character, and actually strengthen our faith. The ones who embrace the struggles are the ones who grow in understanding.
Our God is good. He’s so good that He has given us a way to permanently remove the eternal struggle that we face. During our short lives in the bodies that He has given us, we need to be willing to show Him that we would do anything for Him, without hesitation, just as we would do for our own children, and even more. Without Him, we are hopeless. But with Him, there is no struggle that we can’t endure.
Have a great day everyone!