11. It might not be smoothsailing

I would like to continue with the same theme that it might not be easy once you start with what you believe the Lord asked you to start with. The excitement of starting the life that the Lord has planned for you could be very thrilling and something that will make you feel as if you have been asleep all these years! Every cell in your being would be alive and ready for the challenge. But remember to stay realistic. Don't think that you will only have smooth sailing from now on.

It is almost like a marriage. A lot of couples think that the hard work is finished when they get married. They think that now that they have the girl, they can live happily ever after. Well, that may be true, but there is a lot of hard work that lies ahead before you can live happily ever after. You need to keep the passion and the love alive. The Devil loves it when marriages and families fall apart and therefore you will receive a lot of resistance when you try to make your marriage work. But if you do persist, you will prevail and have love forever. And it is the same with your purpose in life. You need to persist and continue with what the Lord wants you to do. It will not always be easy, but you need to keep the passion alive and you need to keep your head down and continue with the Lord's plan. You won't be sorry! But to get to that point is not always that easy.

Look at Paul's life for example. Since receiving the call of the Lord, he has experienced a lot of hardship. He was a devoted Pharisee when the Lord called him to win souls for Him in the Kingdom of God. And once his previous 'colleagues' (as you might call them) realized that he was not like them anymore, they tried to kill him. He had to flee for his life and he was sent back to his hometown of Tarsus, where he stayed for several years before Barnabas fetched him there and took him to Antioch where his ministry started. Now I'll need to write down the whole book of Acts further if I would like to tell you everything Paul went through, but I believe that you can go and read it in detail yourself. What I actually just want to say is that Paul's life was in danger several times, he was beaten several times, stoned, imprisoned, basically homeless, unmarried, without children, shipwrecked, he had a thorn in his flesh etc etc. If we honestly look at his life I don't think that any of us would willingly choose his life. I think we would say that it is not humanly possible for anyone to survive all these things. But Paul did, and not only did he survive, he rejoiced in the Lord! He was someone who knew the true secret to life. Listen to what he wrote to the Philippians from his prison in Rome:

Philippians 4:11-13 "…for I learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need."

Wow, isn't it just amazing! This man truly knew the secret of this life. He truly knew how to life even though he had nothing! And what was his advise to people?

Philippians 4:4 "Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again - rejoice!"

And I can just encore that. The joy of the Lord is our strength! And yes, there might be times when you don't feel like rejoicing or praising the Lord, but then think of Paul. He had absolutely no reason to rejoice, but yet he was singing songs of praise to the Lord while sitting in prison. What an amazing testimony. He knew the true meaning of life and today he is one of the most inspirational people of all time. We can look up to him and read his letters and know that even if times get tough, we need to persist, the true treasure is awaiting us in heaven.

Lord Jesus, it is very difficult for us to rejoice when things are not going the way we thought it would. But please give us the courage to rejoice, despite gloomy circumstances, because we know that is where our strength lies. We love You. Amen


2 comments for “11. It might not be smoothsailing”

  1. Gravatar of RonelleRonelle
    Posted Monday, 31 May 2010 at 8:45:37 PM

    It is so true. One actually feels better when rejoicing. Even if you do not really feel like it. Be obedient and the joy will follow.

  2. Gravatar of Madel FourieMadel Fourie
    Posted Friday, 04 June 2010 at 12:19:43 AM

    From my own personal experience I have found more joy and a rejoiced heart in hardship. I always get this peace that God knows best. We are never alone!

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