Why is it so hard for us to live right before God each day? Why does it seem like there is a battle at every turn that keeps us from living a believing and faithful life? Why are things so hard for us?
For me, the answer to questions like these came when I realized that life seemed hard for me because I wanted an easy life. I thought that when things were easy for me, I was being my best. I didn’t want to struggle. Struggles, I thought, caused me to be someone I didn’t want to be.
There is a scripture in the book of Matthew in which Jesus tells His disciples that one of them would betray Him that very evening. They all became sorrowful. Each of them began to ask, Lord is it I? I have always found this exchange amazing; it was a genuine question from all but the one who would betray him. They didn’t know themselves well enough to know what they could or would do. I’ve asked myself many times, how is this so?
A little later that same evening Jesus told His disciples that each of them would stumble because of their belief in Him. But Peter, standing up, said to Jesus that even if the others stumble, he would not. He boldly claimed he was ready to die for his belief. In Matthew 26:34, Jesus responded to him, “Assuredly I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” Jesus knew Peter better than Peter knew Peter.
And indeed, before morning, three times Peter did deny that he knew Jesus. Peter watched as Jesus was beaten that night before the day He would be crucified. Peter was afraid for himself and sorry for Jesus. I’m afraid I have found the same thing in me that Peter learned about himself that evening. I believe it’s the reason many of us come to find life to be so hard. It’s the reason so many of us stumble at the tough things in life.
So, what is this thing? It’s knowing that you do not know who you are. Peter allowed himself to be frightened by what was happening. He saw the challenge within him as the thing before him. What he saw told him he should be afraid. Peter didn’t know what he was capable of; it was to overcome or to be overcome. He didn’t see any other options.
But God doesn’t want us to respond to the things of the world the way the things of the world come at us. The real challenge for us is not what we see; our eyes make things worse than they are. It is not failing to get what we want; our flesh wants more than what it should have. These things make life harder than it should be for us.
The real challenge for us is to learn that to defeat more of what comes at us, we must wage a battle of endurance within ourselves. We do not have to always defeat our enemies. Often, the easy things to do is to endure so that your enemy does not defeat you. We cannot know how to live an enduring successful life until we know ourselves well enough to know what we are capable and not capable of. When we learn to stop living like people of the world, we will learn to enjoy an enduring life not available to those in the world. Life is made harder than it should be because we still wonder if we have what it takes to change things around us.
Let’s start today changing things within us so that by enduring, we change things around us. Enduring is God’s way of making hard things easier.
Live a Deliver Life. Love you.