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Discouragement

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Discouragement

Gal 6:9
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

Faith Believes For The Best

Christians by nature believe for the best, this is the nature of faith. We hope, we pray, we work and trust, but most of all, we believe. We believe that if we do our part, our churches will flourish, our marriages will be healthy, our children will behave and we can live meaningful and happy lives. We, after all, have promises of good success. All we have to do is faithfully serve the Lord and everything in life will land butter-side-up.

What Ought To Be Vs. What Is

So, we have an idealistic faith, a faith of what ought to be. Unfortunately, we live in a world where nothing is ideal, and our idealistic faith comes eye-to-eye with the "what is" of this world. In this world, marriages fail, children die, friendships end, churches close and sickness is real. There is a genuine tension between what ought to be, and what is. To be emotionally and spiritually whole we need to preserve our idealism and we need to keep our faith in the midst of the trial. With the help of the Scripture we can resolve this tension.

Life Is Usually Painful

Most do not anticipate the troubles and problems they will face. As Christian, we are called to be emotionally and spiritually whole and our calling of wholeness is to be worked out on earth the place of very big and ongoing problems. While young, we tend to think we will never face the really bad stuff, but that is not the case. If we live long enough, we will face major problems. When the problems come, we don't want to lose heart so we look to the examples of godly men and women who have walked through major problems; even thought suffering they kept their faith and their idealism.

Remember David

David was specifically chosen by God to be King over Israel. He was anointed by Samuel the Prophet, and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward, 1sam. 16:13. One would think, from that day forward, Davids life would be good. After all, David was called and anointed by God, and placed by God in a particular location for his calling. That's about all one could hope for.

But we all know that was the beginning of serious and life threatening problems for David. Life did not make sense, he was anointed, he was called, his heart was right, but his life was in serious turmoil. At this point David could have quit; he could have quit trusting, quit hoping, quit serving, and quit believing. But his response was that of loyalty. Loyalty to God, loyalty to his call, and loyalty to the very man that was trying to destroy him. David kept his idealism and he kept his faith. He entrusted His life to God and believed for the best.

Live a life worthy of the vocation to which you are called.

The Lord calls us to live a life worthy of our vocation. Our vocation demands we be a people of hope. Otherwise we have nothing to say. We have a Reason for idealism, His name is Jesus, and we can believe and hope for the best, even in times of trouble. We are told by the Lord that pain is inevitable, and that we're going to be surrounded by difficulties. But we are not to worry, that all is working for our benefit. God's ways are simply greater than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. So we keep our idealism, we hope for the best, even when what is falls far short of what we think ought to be.

Ephesians 4:1-3 (NLT)
1 Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. 2 Be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. 3 Always keep yourselves united in the Holy Spirit, and bind yourselves together with peace.

We are told to keep the unity of the Spirit - meaning we are to act and think the way the Holy Spirit acts and thinks. We are to see life the way He sees life.

The Holy Spirit is not discouraged, He is not depressed, He is not carrying the weight of the past, and He is idealistic. Jesus endured the cross for the joy that was set before Him. In His suffering He had hope of a bright future!

Hebrews 12:1-2 (NKJV)
1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

 When faced with the what is of this world, we fix our eyes on Jesus, knowing the what ought to be of faith is yet future. The above scripture tells us to look to Jesus, who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross. We are told to look to Jesus, the One who endured the pain of the cross because of the joy that awaited Him. He is our example, we endure our cross, because of the joy that awaits us!  

Jesus is also idealistic for He uses the "what is" of this life to work the "what ought to be" in us.

As we work out our salvation, hope is set before us, and the idealism of our faith will be fulfilled when we see Jesus face to face!

God bless you,

Jim

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Thank you,

Jim