For He Himself has said: "I will never leave you nor forsake you."
A week or two ago I was at the gym doing some exercise. I adjusted the weights on the machine and I was reminded of a conversation at work with a couple of co-workers about exercise. We concluded that unless you increase the weights in your routine you are not accomplishing anything, in short you are not building much needed muscle. I remembered this as I adjusted the weight on the machine. I was so tempted to continue using the lighter weight that was comfortable. I would not feel the pressure, the discomfort or any pain, especially afterwards, but then I would also not be toning up my body and building those muscles to help me be a healthier me.
I paralleled this to our spiritual lives. It would be so easy to go through life without problems, without pain, without any stress. That would be so amazing . . . or would it? If every step or rather level of my spiritual walk were easy, free from challenges and tests, I would never actually grow. I would never need to run to God, then my relationship with Him would be virtually non-existent.
Like so many others now, I too can look at this Corona Virus and the effect it’s having on the entire world. This virus is one of those major things in our life that we wish we could avoid, we wish we would never have to go through. It’s one of those stresses we can certainly do without. It’s not just affecting some small area in our life it’s affecting our entire life. Many are restricted in ways they would never have imagined, others are facing fear that threatens to asphyxiate the very life out of them. It’s hard to see the good God can possibly bring out of this but He will. In fact, if we put it into perspective, even this is building spiritual muscle in us. For those of us who were comfortable where we were in our Christian walk, all of a sudden, the “weight” has increased. We are panting, we are groaning as we adjust to this new and heavier weight. The problem is, unlike in a gym where we can adjust the weight on the machine to something lighter, more bearable, more comfortable, we can’t adjust this one in that way. So, as we deal with it, we feel the pinch, we feel the pressure, we shift, we even adjust ourselves and we cope as best we can.
Church doors are closing in more and more countries and it seems as if the devil is laughing at us … and winning. But he isn’t. Now we have the opportunity to really reach the world for Christ in a bigger way. As the world is looking for answers, guess what, we still have THE answer. God hasn’t changed or gone anywhere. We don’t need a church building to win the lost … we need Christ. And we always had Him. Now we have the opportunity to go beyond the church walls to where the people are. Now we can get creative and use the available resources to reach the lost for Him. I guess our spiritual muscle is being built as we pray more, focus and choose to stand on God’s Word and encourage others. We are being “toned up” and have the chance to become “healthier” Christians, vessels that are fit for the Master’s use.
If you think about it, so many men and women in the Bible went through “muscle building” experiences. Joseph went through his challenges. Each time life would seem to be going in his favor, something would happen to make his life uncomfortable and difficult. His brothers rejected him and got rid of him; in Egypt when he was starting to see some favour, he was falsely accused and thrown into jail and when he thought he was going to be released from jail he was forgotten and had to remain there a little longer (Genesis chapters 37 - 40). I guess you could say that with each challenge and disappointment, his spiritual muscles were being developed because by the time he became Pharaoh’s right-hand man he was more than qualified and equipped to handle the job and by the time he met his brothers again he was more than humble and ready for reconciliation.
No, we don’t like those “weights.” They are so uncomfortable and even painful, yet so necessary to our spiritual growth and development. I like how the apostle Paul puts it: “Therefore, I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak then am I strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).
This blog provides inspirational nuggets inspired by the Word of God and serves to encourage and motivate Christians in their Christian walk.