Sometimes following Jesus is really tough. On Monday, we talked about the struggle inside us between God’s work in our hearts and minds and the sinful existence we bring into our relationship with God. While this struggle, in itself, can make it difficult to follow Jesus, it’s not abnormal for followers of Jesus to struggle far beyond this. In fact, Paul wrote about this concept as well. Check out this passage from Romans 5.
READ ROMANS 5:1-5
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
As I read this passage, I am reminded that following Jesus isn’t easy. As we follow him, we will face difficulty. Jesus himself said we would struggle, and we’ll even struggle at times as a direct result of our faith in him. The great news is that when we struggle, he will use it to develop us and fill us with hope. As I think back on the times in my life I have struggled, I am incredibly aware that God has used those times to help me grow, and he’s given me greater hope in him. How have you experienced this?
As you pray today, thank God that he is with us in the struggle, and he uses our struggles to develop us and fill us with hope.
Don’t forget to read Romans 8 to prepare your heart and mind for the sermon this coming weekend.