“To live strongly, dutifully, watchfully on ordinary days, is the believer’s best preparation for noble behavior on extraordinary days.”Reverend W.L. Watkinson
We, as Christians, have so many things for which to be thankful. The list is longer than we can grasp this side of heaven. In addition, Scripture gives us numerous promises regarding marriage, family life, finances, and even our health. We have instruction on how to overcome our fears and doubts. Encouraging words on how to embrace and live the life Jesus modeled for us. And guidance on keeping our eyes fixed on the life that is to come. With all these promises and pleasures surrounding us, it’s easy to develop an expectation of a pain-free, victorious life. One marked by continuous joy, satisfaction, comfort, and success.
The purpose of hardship
Such thinking is subtle – almost sub-conscious. We tend to focus on the many pleasures and privileges of our faith, and less on the challenges a life journey will include. Yet the reality is that the joys of the Christian life co-mingle with many difficulties and defeats. And no one is exempt. At some point in time, we all encounter the realities of loss, heartache, and disappointment. But the greater reality is this: it is in and through these difficulties that the fruit of the Spirit is developed. More than the blessings we receive, it is the hardships we face and how we respond to them, that will truly define our lives. In his book, A Little Book on the Christian Life, John Calvin wrote, “The good reason for difficult circumstances in our lives is that they create endurance in us.”
It is for this reason I draw your attention to the difficulties of life. My intent is not to discourage you or curb your enthusiasm. Rather, I write to encourage you in your preparation and planning. For it is in this way that you will ENDURE when it’s your turn to encounter difficulty. Being prepared for our battles is what gives us the best chance to not only survive, but to thrive. That’s the way I want to be able to face my personal hardships. I trust it’s yours too. Please don’t stick your proverbial “head in the sand” when it comes to preparing for trials. Instead, apply the words of Reverend W.L. Watkinson who said, “To live strongly, dutifully, watchfully on ordinary days, is the believer’s best preparation for noble behavior on extraordinary days.”