I like realism. When I watch a movie, I want things real and gritty. My history degree instilled in me this need for realism in everything. I like real faith. I desire it; I try to live it. I try to be real with you as we journey together, pursuing God better in our lives. We journey together as partners, as God’s family in this life. So allow me to be real with you. Life equals hardship. People turn mean, money runs short, relationships get rocky, and wisdom escapes; life often comes out swinging. What to do? Many of us deal with life by falling to our knees, the perfect solution to any problem. I pray regularly and powerfully midst my desperation when life knocks me to the ground. Walking with God comes naturally when life attacks…
Yet what about when life flows smoothly? It should be easy to walk with God in the good times right? Saying “yes” here would be a cop-out and not true, at least in my life. I often find myself at a distance with God when things go smoothly. I start with gratefulness to God yet progress to selfishness and arrogance because I start believing nothing can touch me. I’m on top of the world, but God isn’t there. When things go well, I go away from God. I forget His faithfulness because I’m lost in my own success, my good fortune. Church can wait till next Sunday; worship music gets exchanged for some sweet beats, seeking God seems so foreign… Sound familiar?
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” – James 1:2-4 NIV
I always thought James to be crazy when he said be happy in the midst of our trials. Realistically who grows happy when life goes down the toilet? Yet now I realize the beauty of pain, the delight in trouble… it keeps us close to God. Though I like a smooth sailing life, I love being close to God. Walking in Christ’s footsteps doesn’t lead one down paths of meadows with butterflies lighting on one’s nose, but through real life with real pain, sorrow, joy, happiness, tears, ecstasy, and despair. Are you ready for what’s real? If so, learn to embrace and live within the full reality of life. And be happy!
What is your reality right now? Is it good, bad, tough, strange? Leave it in a comment down below so we can pray through it with you!