Groaning and Hoping
It only needs average eyesight to realise that the world is not right; in fact everything is dysfunctional in some way or another. It is hard work to live here, confronting daily challenges to our bodies, minds and spirits. Although it would be nice to think that following Jesus would eliminate all struggles, the reality is that the more closely we follow Him, the more struggles we have.
However zealous our hearts may be, our first struggle is with our bodies and the sinful nature which we have to wrestle into submission, if we are to conform to Christ (1 Corinthians 9:27). Our imagination and the thoughts in our minds also must be taken captive so that they do not run wild away from Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). But all this struggle, discipline and hard work is not in vain. The Holy Spirit's presence within us gives us a confident hope that the struggles are temporary (2 Corinthians 4:18).
Only a God-given hope of a sin-free eternity can keep us true to Jesus now. If we love Him when life is good and resent Him in the tough times, we know little about the hope of eternal life. That is one of the reasons why Bible-starved Christians are so unstable. Unless we keep being assured by the Word and the Spirit that the tough struggle is normal, we will think that something is wrong with our faith, or our Saviour. But those who are properly rooted in Christ will have a strong hope that He will keep us in the times of struggle and, when He returns, He will certainly complete our deliverance - with much joy for all eternity. So fix your eyes upon Jesus today!
© Dr Paul Adams