Archive for September, 2010

Why do hard things? – Part 2

Posted: September 22, 2010 in Uncategorized

So here is part 2 of the blog about doing hard things and taking a stand for God! It will only take you 5 minutes, so READ IT! 🙂 and write your comment underneath! We want to know what you think!

When we decide to follow God and His plan for our growth, we’re declaring war on our sinful nature and it fights the idea of do hard things with everything its got. The reason it’s so hard to do hard things is because our sinful nature (or the sinful stuff inside of us) wants us to do easy things. Doing hard things is a fight against our own sin (our own natural tendency to take it easy and to take the path of least resistance). That’s why it’s hard. In Romans 7:21-25 the Apostle Paul talks about this nature that wages war against his desire to obey God: He says:

21 I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong.22 I love God’s law with all my heart.23 But there is another powers within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.”

God’s design for us when we were made was good, but it has been corrupted by our sin. We were made to grow through effort. The corruption of our sin is laziness. C.S. Lewis wrote: “ We are like eggs at present. And we cannot go on forever being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.” In other words, we can’t just go on being ordinary, decent Christians, giving God part of our lives while holding back the rest. Either we are hatched and learn to fly or we are a dud that will soon start to smell siff.

The thing is that hard things come to us all the time. We can’t really avoid doing hard things. We can only decide when to do them and how prepared we will be to handle the hard things life brings our way. You either get prepared for the hard things that will come, or you deal with after it happens and you aren’t prepared. We either “do it” now, or we end up having to “deal with it” later. If you think about it- Resisting temptation is a hard thing, but the reward is greater than if you let the temptation take control. The good news? We have God’s grace!! We aren’t perfect, and we won’t always make the right choice. Thats why God gives us His grace and forgives us when we aren’t perfect. We can live in freedom, and choose to do hard things for Him! Its not a chore, its a choice!

Time to Persevere

Our sin nature wants us to keep on believing the lie that our lives will be easier when we avoid doing hard things. And like Paul says, our sin nature doesn’t sleep.  It’s a constant, every day battle. Persevere and keep asking God to help you to do the hard things! Prepare yourself to do hard things. If you fail, thats ok too! We always have God’s grace to help us out!

Why do hard things? Part 1

Posted: September 8, 2010 in Uncategorized

This is from a blog called ‘the rebelution’. The rebelution encourages teenagers to do things for God that are difficult, and to take a stand. You may think its a lot of reading, but it will really only take you 5-10 minutes. Read it, and let us know what you think!

Love Jordan & Jess

Why Do Hard Things?

We’ve all heard people say that God wants us “on fire” for Him. Maybe a pastor that you’ve heard has talked about being “sold out” for Jesus or a conference speaker has challenged you to serve God with “total abandon.”

We’re used to that kind of talk. It’s almost cliché.

But has anyone ever told you that God commands you to do hard things? For some reason that sounds more extreme. Being “on fire” or “sold out” for God sound like positive emotional states where nothing can really get to us. Even serving God with “total abandon” doesn’t make us feel uncomfortable as long as we leave it general and vague. But “do hard things” sounds so — well, hard.

We don’t like hard things in our society, especially as teens under the influence of the Myth of Adolescence. We avoid hard things as much as possible. Unfortunately (or should we say, fortunately), there’s no avoiding them in the Bible.

Hard Things in the Bible

All of God’s commands in Scripture are hard. Of course, our tendency is to just say that God’s commands aren’t “easy” or that it’s only by His grace that we can obey any of them — and both of those statements are 100 percent true — but why can’t we ever come out and say that God’s commands are hard? When Christ commands us to love our enemies, why can’t we just call it what it is?

Everything God commands is hard. Repenting is hard. Forgiving is hard. Turning the other cheek is hard. Overcoming sin in our lives is hard. Honoring our parents is hard. Sharing the gospel is hard. Reading our Bibles is hard. We could go on.

Part of our hesitation to call things hard can be that we’re afraid to come across as unspiritual. After all, if we’re truly “on fire” for Jesus, shouldn’t it be easy for us to read our Bibles every day, say no to sin, and share the gospel with others?

But when we think that way we’re missing something huge that God wants to teach us about personal growth — and that’s what we want to talk about in this post.

The Way We Grow

In James 1:2, we’re told to consider it “pure joy” when we’re faced with challenges, trials, and obstacles, because they test our faith and makes us stronger. Think about that. The God who created you and loves you cares about your growth — and the way He has designed you to grow is through challenges.

It’s just like the way your muscles grow stronger when you work out and the way your brain grows new neurons when it is challenged. You grow stronger, in both character and competence, when you do hard things.

In order to do hard things we need to get over the idea that God’s love means He wants us to go through life with as little effort or discomfort as possible. This is similar to the mistaken notion that we don’t need to change because God loves us just the way we are. God does love us just the way we are, but He also loves us too much to leave us the way we are. He wants us to grow.

Of course, none of this is to say that God wants us to live joyless and pain-filled lives, but it’s a joy that’s rooted in more than our temporary circumstances, and at times pain is necessary in order to gain something of greater value.

A Radical Argument

We make what sounds like a radical argument. It’s not just saying that hard things happen and that you can benefit from them. It’s not even just saying that you have the ability to do hard things. It’s telling you that you should do hard things because it’s the best and only way to experience true growth in your life.

Can you think of any period of growth in your life (as a Christian, student, athlete, musician, etc…) that didn’t involve effort and even some level of discomfort? The truth is that all growth involves discomfort. Think of growing pains.

These are not a new ideas. We’re don’t want to reinvent truth. But we do want our generation rediscover what has always been true — and one thing that has always been true is that in order to grow we must do hard things. We must challenge and stretch ourselves, step outside our comfort zones and do something difficult. It’s how we’ve grown before, and it’s the only way we’ll grow for the rest of our lives.

Coming Up…

So why is it so hard to do hard things? If God commands us to do hard things and tells us that it’s how we grow, how can we refuse? The answer is that there is another player in this battle over our lives. We’ll look at that in Part Two.