When people ask how the church plant is going my usual response is “Amazing”. And God is doing amazing work. At the same time I’m being stretched and some days are hard. Sometimes the biggest obstacle is myself. I know it’s not popular say (or write), but here it is:
Life is hard.
I know this isn’t encouraging but it’s the honest experience for many people. And if a real God can’t exist in real life, then what hope do I offer? So how do I explain my faith in these difficulties in my life and to the people I encounter in my city? Paul wrote these words in 2 Thessalonians 3:5:
“May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.”
I sincerely want my heart to reside in God’s love and I preach this all the time. But how often do I desire to have my heart in Christ’s perseverance? Honestly, my response to hardships are about me making it through instead of me knowing Christ in His perseverance. This journey of faith has taught me that Christ must be our sole reward in all things; not our comfort and preferences.
I want to be a man whose leadership builds disciples that say, “I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead” (Phil. 3:10-11).
Here is the good news: Life is hard…but Christ has persevered (John 16:33).