Archives For trials

Regular readers know I love the teachings of A.W. Tozer. I love the way he pulled no punches and possessed deep insight into the character of God. It’s uncanny how often his writing seems so relevant for today, but in truth was mostly written fifty or more years ago. Here’s something from him which I read recently: “There is something better than being comfortable, and the followers of Christ ought to find it out-the poor, soft, overstuffed Christians of our time ought to find it out!

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There is something better than being comfortable! We… have forgotten altogether that there is such a thing as discipline and suffering.” Along the same lines, he also wrote,” We do not want the cross. We are more interested in the crown.” To put it in simple terms, one could say Christians are “all crown, no cross”.

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We spend so much of our lives living in defeat, never remembering that Christ has already won the victory for us. We get tired of fighting the battles and give up without ever realizing that the battle was over before it even started. Imagine an army too tired to fight another battle. Suddenly they are informed the enemy has surrendered. Instead of marching in and securing the victory, they remain wallowing in their fatigue and let their opponent know that instead of declaring victory, they are going to concede defeat because they’re just too tired to go on. It’s a ridiculous scenario, but it is the way many followers of Jesus are living their lives every day.

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Have you ever had periods in your life where you felt like you could relate to Job? There are seasons in all of our journeys where, to the best of our knowledge we are following well, yet everything seems to be crumbling around us. Maybe a job loss or financial difficulty will arrive. Perhaps we will lose someone close to us or have an internal battle threaten to rage out of control. We are doing the things God told us to do but still our lives seem to be spiraling downward and picking up speed. These are the times of character refinement, and it is these moments that determine our true loyalty. Will we give up because it is too hard? Or will we say with Job, “The Lord gives and He takes away… I will never curse my friend” (Job 1:21-22; Job 2:9-10)?

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