Devotional Tangents

Doing Hard Things

In the second year of university, I decided I would begin to try doing hard things.  The reason was relatively simple: prior to that I really wanted to succeed in anything I attempted. It’s an obligation to get a job well done, to pull something off. In saying that, I don’t mean that I was successful at a whole lot, just that if I didn’t succeed, I would try not to think about it and either not tell anyone or make like I thought it was funny and that I didn’t care if I did talk about it.

Now, this next paragraph is not going to be me saying that I’ve now overcome that anxiety to perform because I’ve placed my trust in Christ. Hah, wouldn’t that be easy? In truth, I have placed my trust in Christ, but it is still hard to do hard things. That will not go away while I still walk this ground and breath this air. But these truths are the silicone oven mitts to the searing flames of anxiety:

1 Kings 2:1-3

1 As the time approached for David to die, he instructed his son Solomon, 2 “As for me, I am going the way of all of the earth. Be strong and be courageous like a man, 3 and keep your obligation to the Lord your God to walk in His ways and to keep His statutes, commands, ordinances, and decrees. This is written in the law of Moses, so that you will have success in everything you do…

Deuteronomy 5:29

If only they had such a heart to fear Me and keep all My commands always, so that they and their children will prosper forever.

Isaiah 45:7

I form light and create darkness, I make success and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things.

In the face, body, and internal heat of difficult situations, we are not asked to overcome and succeed. Our obligation is to fear the Lord and keep His commands; He makes success and disaster. It may even be disaster after disaster that comes first however well you carry out your obligation to obey.

2 Timothy 4:5-8

5 But as for you, be serious about everything, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time for my departure is close. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 There is reserved for me in the future the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that day, and not only tome, but to all those who have loved His appearing.

This too is Paul’s attitude. Keeping the faith. It is the name of a strange Edward Norton, Ben Stiller, Jenna Elfman movie in which the characters don’t keep the faith; hence, more so, keeping the faith means what it did in the OT. Our obligation is to trust in the gospel and to attest to the truth of the gospel. To know the greatness of God and make his greatness known. The hard thing in this is … you don’t want to be anywhere near greatness or mention greatness when you feel small.

Good grief. A poor excuse not to try doing things.


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