Gilland: Keep pressing on

Man pushing boulder

I have lived long enough to realize the truth in an old adage that says, “Life ain’t easy!” That is true for anyone—regardless of income status, experience, family background, or ethnicity.   

There is teaching out there in TV land that promises a trouble-free life and lots of prosperity for your faith in God—especially if you make a donation to that particular ministry. Such promises are examples of wishful thinking, a doctrine that misses the mark. 

To begin with, God actually blesses everyone, even the unbelievers. 

In the Sermon on the Mount, as recorded in Matthew 5:45, Jesus said this:

“For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

In this passage, we clearly see that God offers blessings that are extended even to “the unjust,” a concept that theologians call “common grace.” Our faith, our obedience, and our efforts are not the reason for these wonderful gifts of provision. They are simply poured out on us all.

What about the struggles of life? Again, Scripture has much to say, including in 1 Peter 4:12:

“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.”

We really shouldn’t be that surprised when we face difficulties, when life seems to take a left turn. It could be that we are simply being tested by God. Or, it could be merely the fact that we are living in a sinful, fallen world. 

Regardless, while we are not promised a life free of difficulties, He does promise to guide us through those hard times, saying that He will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).

It is human nature to desire ease and comfort, but we must work to not let their absence in our lives cause doubt in our faith. The apostle Paul gave us great wisdom in Philippians 3:13-14:

“Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” 

That is the key: Life is about pressing on, upward toward His call. I learned a long time ago that it is impossible to coast when you’re going uphill. While we may wish that we could take our foot off the gas for a while, we have to press on.

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