Matthew 11:28-30 Come to me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble of heart, and you will find rest for your soul. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
You know, sometimes we are made to think that if we love Jesus and we are walking with Him that we should live in this utopia where we are completely unaffected by the negative things of life. Yeah well, forget that! If we are honest and if we are real, we are all struggling with one thing or another and sometimes many things. We all have our cross to bear and our thorn in the side. It’s not a matter of not having things easy. It’s a matter of how we handle the fact that it’s not easy.
What bugs me is when we all try to pretend that we are pain free- that we are content and happy and whirling on some high plane of consciousness where the tough stuff of life cannot reach us.
Really? Seriously? Could you please show me in scripture where those who follow Christ live this untouchable life? It’s just not real, folks. It’s not. Those closest to Jesus suffered much. Life is not a bed of roses. And Jesus knew this full well. John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” We can’t act as if there’s nothing to overcome. He’s clear- we have plenty to overcome. The only question is, will we choose to overcome or will we sit in the trouble and wear it like it’s a coat that was made to fit?
Please don’t feel as though, because you’re struggling, that something is missing in your relationship with the Lord. It might be but it’s not necessarily the case. Regardless, the response is the same. Be humble. Understand that whatever you are facing, God can be there with you. Being a victim of your circumstances is a choice. It’s not a given. Put someone else in your shoes and they would not be feeling sorry for themselves. They would be finding what God wants them to learn, they would be feeling the pain, they would be humbling themselves before God and asking Him to teach them about Him.
We don’t deserve anything. We aren’t owed anything. Everything we do have is a gift. And most importantly, we are not God. Humility is the key to finding joy in the midst of the painful things in this life. Let’s let our circumstances cause us to humble and let go of our rights to things being easier, better, different. And this is a process. It’s not an event. Let us let God be God and then let us learn whatever He has for us to learn.
Takeaway: Just because our life isn’t utopia doesn’t mean we are out of the will of Christ. Christ knows that we are going to have troubles. He wants simply to help us overcome those troubles. Sometimes that means He changes things. Sometimes it means He changes us. We must take the bat out of our hands- you know, the one with which we are beating ourselves up. We are not guilty of some spiritual failure if we are struggling. We just need to be humble and live where we are, in the midst of the struggle, and not deny that we are struggling.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for every gift in my life. Please help me to not feel guilty over struggling. Help me to know, even when I can’t find peace, that You are with me and that You will never leave me or forsake me and that You are not disappointed in me.
Thank you for these wonderful devotions. I am looking forward to taking the time to read them every morning before I go to work and I am able to apply them directly to whatever situation I am facing for the day. 🙂
Thanks so much for the encouragement, Lori! Your comment means the WORLD to me, dear! Thank you.
Excellent lesson with respect to guilt. The other thing is that if things are going incredibly smoothly we likely aren’t living as he called us to live. If things are so easy, then we are probably of the world rather than being merely in the world. There are countless times in the Word when He tells us to buckle up and be ready for a bumpy ride. 🙂 though those weren’t quite His words. His words were these (to list a few examples):
If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. -John 15:18-19
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. – John 16:33
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. – Matthew 5:11
All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. – Matthew 10:22
If we are not having some degree of adversity, then we are probably not standing strong in our faith. It is a good gut check for me at least.
Lemon- that is such an excellent addition to the thought! Thank you so much for posting!