So, as we wrap up the Christmas Season for another year, as we all head back out to all the wonderful things out there that are waiting to steal our joy, our vision, and our purpose, let me leave you with four thoughts by way of application to help you as you continue to run your walk with God, wherever that may take you.
It takes work not to worry and trust God’s promises. It is not easy and it is not natural. It is supernatural. You need to be constantly feeding your spirit these truths and promises in order to stay strong. That means, reading your Bible, going to worship, taking part in small groups or Bible studies. Make time to pray regularly. I have a wonderful selection of books and helps that I would love to share with you if you want help in this area. Just let me know in a comment and I will get back to you.
You cannot define who you are by where you are. Your circumstances do not mean didilly-squat when it comes to defining who you are. I don’t care how good things are or how miserable things are. Where you are does not define who you are. Where you are going, who you are going with, and whom are you going for—those determine who you are and how blessed you are. Don’t be fooled into thinking your past or present circumstances define who you are.
The reward of your faith is greater than the pain you are suffering. In Hebrews we are given this fact about God, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that He exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” God has given incredible, unbelievable promises of reward as reason to follow and obey Him; the greatest and most valuable of which is life with Him in heaven!
When you want something really bad, you will go through all sorts of pains to get it because you believe that having it outweighs the price of getting it. That truth works for the spiritual world as well. If we see the spiritual thing as more valuable to us than anything else, we will gladly go through lots of trouble to get it, because of the happiness and satisfaction we believe God promises we will experience when we get it. If however, the reward of attaining that thing—physical or spiritual or anything else—is less than the perceived pain and cost of getting it, you will not work for it. You will doubt that you can get it or that God wants you to attain it at all.
The rewards God promises us are immeasurably greater than any amount of trouble we could possibly go through here to get them, but the nasty things, negative people, events, problems, messes, illnesses, hurts, jerks, scrooges, liars, cheats, gossips, ner-do-wells, complainers, killjoys, and thumb-suckers are going to try to convince you otherwise. Don’t fall for it!
Lastly, do not become complacent in your salvation or in your victory in personal trials that God has brought you through. Celebrate! Soak all that joy, courage, strength and belief in like a thirsty sponge. But don’t let down your guard. And don’t think it is God’s plan to leave you forever on this mountaintop. You don’t grow on the mountaintop. You grow in the valley. Where are the great big trees in the forest? Are they on top of the mountain? No. The closer you get to the top, the smaller they get until they are gone and only rock remains. There’s a spiritual metaphor in that waiting for you. Don’t miss it.