By Mike Andrews

You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. Hardworking farmer must be first to partake of the crops. 

2 Timothy 2:3-6.

There are some days when I say to myself “What’s the point in trying? Why do I put my family and myself through the pain of defeat? Nobody is listening anyways.” Do you feel this way some days? Or is this just me? Why do we try so hard when we know nine times out ten it only leads to frustration, pain, rejection or worse - being hurt by the people around you? I guess the big question is, ‘Why would a holy and perfect God allow me and you to go through such trying days?’ The answer is: why wouldn’t He? We are all sinners, accursed, haters of God. The only reason we are not put to death is because of what King Jesus did on the cross some 2000 years ago.So why does God allow us to go through hardships as we wait upon Him to call us home? The Bible is very clear and explicit when it says trials are for our [the Christian’s] benefit to strengthen and mould us into the image of the Son [Jesus Christ].  

The next word I want to look at that goes so easily under the radar with most Christians is the word “endure” which means: To bear; to sustain; to support without breaking or yielding to force or pressure. Metals are said to endure a certain degree of heat without melting; to bear with patience, to bear without opposition or sinking under the pressure; to bear up under hardship or persecution; to remain under; to be strong, firm, to persevere beneath a heavy burden. “And you will be hated by all for My name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved”. Matt 10:22. We all start as this square block of wood, if I can use this as an example. And God cuts away the dead bark and starts to mould and shape us with all His fine precision tools into the person He created us to be, a person created for His glory. We all need shaping and sanding. Paul says the Christian life is going to be hard with many heartbreaks and struggles but this is the course He has for every one of us, because in the end there is joy and reward. John says He will wipe away every tear and remove all our sin and shame. Why? That’s where He [Jesus] will be. This is where all Christians will be - with the Potter – with the Carpenter who was working in and through us each and every moment. As Paul wrote in Philippians “...He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;” (1:6).

The Lord will continue the work He has begun in each and every one of us if you’re a child of the living God. But this doesn’t mean we will not face obstacles or road blocks until the day of Jesus Christ. Going back to what Paul said to Timothy as he was faced with his coming death, the Lord planned for him to die. We are to ENDURE, persevere as we continue to grow in our Christian walk. There are no easy ways out. Some might face greater challenges and some might go through smaller trials, but the Bible is abundantly clear that all children of God {Christians] are going to face trials and struggles at some point in their life. Why? So the Potter can continue to shape and sand us as we are faced with life’s decisions and having proper responses to what has been given to us by a loving and holy God. The Christian life is not about a life of ease and your best life now! It’s going to be hard work that requires us to endure as He continues this perfect work that He is doing in us.These trials are for us to give God the glory as he delivers us though them. Man loves to boast and get all puffed up with pride when they achieve something or get through a situation. We are to be completely dependent upon Him as good soldiers, athletes and hard working farmers. We must endure and press forward as we wait for the call home to where the Potter lives. He is the One who has taken my wretched life, which deserves Hell, and continues to shaped me, mold me, and sand me all for His glory and good pleasure.                               

 

How To Ruin a Perfectly Good Friendship

                                                                                    

A friend and I recently realized that we have not been spending as much time together as we would like. We agreed it is high time to do something about it. But what to do?

We put our heads together and determined that we will deliberately build time for one another into our schedules. But we also determined that we need to maximize those times together. To ensure this we will go through an evaluation process to consider whether they were as meaningful as they could possibly have been. Did we listen attentively to one another? Did we avoid speaking about the minutia of life and discuss only things that are of the highest consequence? Did each of us spend the appropriate portion of the time speaking and the appropriate portion listening? Days later, can we remember all that the other person said? Did we wring every possible bit of value out of each moment?

I’m just making this up, of course. To do any of that would make a friendship burdensome instead of free. Such intense evaluation and introspection would rob the friendship of warmth and life and instead leave it bound by rules and regret. In fact, it would be a great way to utterly ruin a perfectly good friendship.

Yet there are so many Christians who relate to the Lord in just this way. The Christian faith offers the ability to have a genuine relationship with God himself, a relationship in which we speak and God listens and in which God speaks and we listen. We speak to God through praise and prayer and God speaks to us through Scripture and Spirit. It’s a wondrous and beautiful privilege we enjoy.

At least, it’s a wondrous and beautiful privilege we are meant to enjoy. But so often we fail to enjoy it because we bind it up in rules. Instead of just appreciating a relationship, we constantly assess it. Instead of appreciating the moments we spent together, we lament that we did not make more of them. Soon enough we find that we associate the relationship more with sorrow than pleasure, more with guilt than enjoyment. We undermine and even ruin a perfectly good friendship.

But freedom comes when we simply free ourselves to enjoy the relationship. Freedom comes when we speak freely, when we speak openly, when we speak about any and everything rather than only what is of the greatest consequence. Freedom comes when we stop being morbidly introspective about the relationship and simply enjoy it as a good and wonderful gift of grace.

By Tim Challies

 




Our ultimate desire at Calvary Baptist Church is first and foremost to bring glory and praise to the Sovereign LORD [Father, Son, & Holy Spirit] and to raise up mature believers so that we can fulfill the Great Commission. We will seek to achieve this by following the guidelines that God has put in place for prayer, worship, communion, Christian fellowship, Bible Study, and most of all the expository teaching of God’s Word.  We desire to provide the proper teaching of God’s Word so that fellow believers can grow together and edify one another with love and compassion.  

Please come join us,

as we look into how God has composed a unique storyfor each of our lives.CBC is a place to call home as we ......Magnify the Lord, Mature the Believers, Make prayer a priority, Meet the lost with Christ

Our Church Service Time @ 9:30am.

Adult Bible Study Wednesday Nights @6:30pm

We now broadcast on 97.5FM in your car or home, for those who are unable to come in person. We do encourgage you to attend if possible first!


We are located @
148 Queen Street,
Killaloe Ontario
613-757-1618 
 


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