Thankful for the Difficult?

I want to share with you excerpts from today’s meditation in Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest:

The Christian life is gloriously difficult, but its difficulty does not make us faint and cave in–it stirs us up to overcome…Thank God that He does give us difficult things to do! His salvation is a joyous thing, but it is also something that requires bravery, courage, and holiness. It tests us for all we are worth. Jesus is “bringing many sons to glory” (Hebrews 2:10), and God will not shield us from the requirements of sonship. God’s grace produces men and women with a strong family likeness to Jesus Christ, not pampered, spoiled weaklings. It takes a tremendous amount of discipline to live the worthy and excellent life of a disciple of Jesus in the realities of life.

In the realities of life. Yes, that’s where the tests lie. In everyday life. Crises often bring out the best in us, but it’s those day-to-day realities that forge our discipleship.

We make dozens of decisions every day, choosing to act as a disciple and representative of our Lord or choosing to act according to our own interests and agendas. When God rescues and frees His children, adopts them and gives them rights and privileges as His heirs, He also plants His Spirit in them to make them part of His family. Are we “looking” like sons and daughters of God? We’re to follow the Spirit’s leading into a “family likeness to Jesus Christ” (in Chambers’ words).

The apostle Paul writes that we are not given a spirit of fear and timidity, “but of power, love, and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7). That’s the Spirit of Christ. The Son of God lived His life on this earth for one thing–to carry out His Father’s will–and He lived here with power and love and holiness. That’s the way we are to live as children of God.

Do we view the problems, challenges, and irritations of daily life as “glorious difficulties”? Will that mindset makes us thankful in all circumstances? Can we see the difficulties of our lives as stepping-stones to grow into the Spirit’s bravery, courage, and holiness? Psalm 84 says that those whose hearts are set on pilgrimage will find that even though they go through valleys and deserts, they will move from one strength to the next until finally they enter God’s presence.  Remember Peter’s words: “Be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead. Trials and troubles purify and strengthen your discipleship” (See 1 Peter 1).

I will set my heart on pilgrimage. I want to live–and look–like a child of God, living with bravery, courage, and holiness.   

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3 thoughts on “Thankful for the Difficult?

  1. A whittling down of ourselves to make us what we need to be. Such a patient Father. Thank you, Lord Jesus. I love Oswald Chambers’ book. Thanks for sharing it, Elaine.

  2. Pingback: Whittling | Meditations for the Children of God

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