December 2, 2008

Perseverence and Perspective

Have you ever wanted to give up? I know I have- many times. Even many times this week. Not the faith but the battle of living righteously.

Let’s face the facts: Becoming a believer can be easy, but living out the Christian life is hard work. We know what is right, and then we have choices to make. And let’s be honest while we are talking. Sin is fun- at least at the start. So, if you are like me, living the selfish life seems far more appealing than living the God-centered one. Thankfully, my spirit has been renewed and my mind is following behind it! This Christian walk really is a day by day thing.

The first couple of verses in II Corinthians 4 ring my bell:

“Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God.”
Paul hits the issue dead on. We have renounced secret and shameful ways. Sometimes they still allure us, don’t they? It would be too easy to fall back into them and then justify our actions using a slight twisting of the Word here or there. Or even presuming upon God’s forgiveness just so we could do what our sinful nature wants. Instead, let’s hold strong and keep a godly perspective.

Thankfully, we are not alone in this battle to live a godly life. We have the Holy Spirit in us, giving us strength and direction to succeed and forgiveness when we fall. And we have other believers in our lives to encourage us and hold us accountable. Christianity was never meant to be lived out alone!

Verses 16-18 of the same chapter help us see this struggle as God does:

“Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

Let’s not try to do this alone. We can choose to lock arms and support each other as we walk out our faith. Have you found someone you trust enough to be honest with? We need other believers to help us work this out, to gain the victory, to leave our sin behind us.

There you have it. Let’s persevere in righteousness and keep a godly perspective. Together.

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